Young Professionals Study Tour 2017

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The delegates from the 2016 Young Professionals Study Tour at Winnows Hall
The 2017 Young Professionals Study Tour on 12-13 May comprises visits to new plantations and existing recreation and commercial forests in and around Oban and Fort William and includes a tour of the state of the art BSW Timber K2 Sawmill in Corpach.

Building on the success of last year’s Young Professionals Study Tour in Hexham, the Institute is once again hosting a study tour for young professionals in 2017 in recognition of the growing numbers of young professionals joining as Student and Associate members, as well as of those who have been chartered before the age of 35.

The Young Professionals Study Tour offers a fantastic opportunity for young forestry and arboricultural professionals to enjoy a sociable learning event.


Thursday 11 May
Delegates are invited to meet on Thursday for an informal drink from 8.00pm

Friday 12 May

8.30am Meet in Oban. Introductions and scene setting.
8.45am Travel to BSW Timber K2 Sawmill, Corpach, Fort William PH33 7NJ. The YPST delegates will be transported in minibuses.
10.30am Tour of BSW Timber K2 Sawmill, Corpach, Fort William PH33 7NJ. The sawmill, one of the most hi-tech sawmills in the UK, sits on a 67 ha site and produces 250,000 cubic metres of sawn timber on an annual basis.
1:00pm Lunch
1:45pm Travel to Glen Nevis and Forest Enterprise Scotland sites
2:30pm Tour of Forest Enterprise Scotland sites. Forest Enterprise Scotland will showcase a series of multi-purpose forests and demonstrate how the public sector is encouraging an outdoor lifestyle around Lochaber, “The Outdoor Capital of the UK.” Initial meeting point is the Braveheart Car Park, Glen Nevis – the main entrance point into the forests. Staff from Forest Enterprise Scotland will discuss site management and future plans. Then attendees will move onto Dun Deardai, al vitrified hill fort and site of a three-year archaeological project. Finally, attendees will visit Achriabhach, where Forest Enterprise Scotland staff will show us the pinewood restoration project area.
5:30pm Travel to Oban. Aim to arrive in Oban at approximately 6.30pm.
7:30pm Evening meal in Oban. Drinks at 7.30pm, aim to be seated by 8.00pm.

Saturday 13 May

9:30am Meet at Scammadale Forest.
10:00am Tour of Scammadale Forest. Scammadale Forest is a new mixed planting scheme which is being established as an addition to an existing forest. The scheme is currently about to have the start of ground preparation for planting this winter. Ideal for demonstrating the processes and planning that a forest needs to take it from stump to replanting.

The planting scheme has been quite of a challenge with multiple iterations of planning being submitted to Forestry Commission Scotland and other interested bodies. As a result, the final agreed plan should benefit a wide range of species including white tailed eagles, golden eagles, black grouse, red grouse and other iconic species.

Attendees could also discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with this previous inaccessible forest, which was purchased by a private investor, and has now developed a wide variety of functions in the local environment.

12:30pm Lunch
1:15pm Continued tour of Scammadale Forest
3:15pm Study Tour Closing Words
3:30pm Delegates Depart

Meet Your Hosts

Sam Bristow, Assistant Forest Manager, Tilhill Forestry

Sam is a graduate forester with Tilhill, working in the West Highlands and assisting in the management of a wide range of properties.

Sam graduated from the University of Cumbria in 2014 with a degree in Forestry and initially worked as an Assistant Forest Manager in Devon and Dumfries for Treelands, assisting in the production of management plans, mapping, and operational planning.

After being accepted onto Tilhill’s graduate programme in 2015, Sam moved to Inverness and began to manage sites across the North and Western Highlands. This primarily consisted of the day to day harvesting management of different operations from Clearfell to Site Clearance.

After a few months of working with Tilhill Harvesting, Sam was given the opportunity to switch back to Forest Management within West Argyll where he works within the Forest Management team to deliver a wide range of activities including Long Term Forest Plans, UKWAS Certification, New Planting, and Restocking.

Matt Huddlestone MICFor, Woodland Officer at Forestry Commission Scotland

Professional Member Matt Huddlestone MICFor, Woodland Officer, has been working for Forestry Commission Scotland at their Perth & Argyll Conservancy Office since 2011. His main responsibility is processing a wide range of grant applications and licences.

Coming from an agricultural background, Matt graduated from the Scottish School of Forestry in 2007 with a BSc in Sustainable Forest Management with distinction. He worked as a Forest Manager in Moray for Smiths-Gore, where he was responsible for a range of activities from planning and managing harvesting to producing Forest Plans for a range of clients objectives.

In 2008, Matt joined Forest Enterprise at Galloway Forest District as Direct Production Harvesting and Marketing Manager. He was responsible for the safe planning and implementation of the direct production harvesting operations (clear fell/thinning) for a Forest District with a combined programme of over 700KM3 OBS.

Study Tour Contacts

Stuart Glen, Member Services Director, Institute of Chartered Foresters. Tel. 0131 240 1425.

Sam Bristow, Tilhill Forestry Ltd. Tel. 01631 562906.

Follow @TheICF  #YPST2017

Booking Information

This event is open only to members of the Institute of Chartered Foresters through our exclusive Members’ Area.

If you’d like to join the Institute and attend the Tour, please visit Join Us to submit your application.

May 12, 2017 - May 13, 2017

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