The Company’s roots date back to 1848, and with seven sawmills in the UK and one in Latvia, has a production capacity of more than 1.2 million m3 of sawn timber which is distributed throughout construction, fencing and landscape markets.
Together, BSW and Tilhill Forestry form a strong partnership in the forest industry that will deliver quality from beginning to end - from creating new forests through to producing timber end products.
Read about some graduates who have recently joined the Tilhill Forestry programme:
Jude Fielding BA MSc
For Jude Fielding, studying forestry was a natural progression from his previous career in countryside estate management, and offered him a chance to follow in his father’s footsteps who has been working in Forestry for nearly 30 years. Jude joined Tilhill Forestry’s graduate scheme earlier this year after completing an MSc in Forestry at Aberdeen University. He is now an Assistant Forest Manager based at Tilhill‘s Devon office.
“In my previous job I enjoyed being able to work outside managing new planting schemes for the renewable energy industry. Having grown up in rural North Wales with a forester as a father, I was given many opportunities to spend time outdoors. However, to follow in my father’s footsteps, I realised I needed to be qualified and doing a Masters at Aberdeen University was a logical choice,” Jude explained.
He says that he chose Tilhill Forestry as it seemed one of the best graduate programmes in the forestry industry.
“Joining a graduate scheme is one of the best ways to get into this industry, allowing me instant management experience and responsibility, as well as the potential to gain further on the job training and qualifications that would be difficult elsewhere. Tilhill’s training plan aims to give you the necessary training and experience within a few years to ‘graduate’ to become a fully-fledged forest manager.”
Jude’s role so far has involved timber measurements, harvesting supervision, planting scheme design and implementation including managing and supervising contractors. He has also been writing his first management plan, with a second soon to follow and has had the opportunity to try his hand at mapping, producing hazard and biodiversity maps for the management plan he is currently writing.
He says: “I am really enjoying it. I get to spend on average two to three days a week in the woods, in all types of weather. The woodlands I am helping to manage become your second office, and they are wonderful places to be.”
Jude’s advice for anyone considering joining Tilhill Forestry: “It’s a great company that will invest time in training you. The support you get in the office is fantastic and it’s one of the best graduate schemes I’ve seen in the industry. There are lots of opportunities to learn and visit other offices that might be carrying out other types of woodland management not available in your area, and this helps expand your experiences. The difference with Tilhill is that it’s a large company compared to most competitors and this offers a unique range of opportunities and experiences within the forestry industry.”
Siân Jones MICFor, MSc Forestry
Assistant Forest Manager Siân Jones graduated with an MSc in Forestry from the University of Aberdeen. She was inspired to pursue forestry further whilst working for the Forestry Commission (now NRW) in south Wales following her undergraduate degree in Ecology at the University of Edinburgh.
Now based in Tilhill Forestry’s Llandovery office, Siân is enjoying working on every aspect of forest management from timber sales and supervision of harvesting, to re-stocking and working on woodland creation schemes. UKWAS plans are also an important part of her work to make sure wood is certified and the timber can be sold with the FSC mark of socially, environmentally and economically sustainable forest management.
Siân has found working on woodland creation particularly rewarding. She explains: “It’s fantastic being involved from start to finish – from meeting the client to firm up a proposal, to securing the grant and then managing the actual planting and maintenance. It’s very satisfying being a part of every step.”
Siân has been submitting plans for a number of schemes, including woodland creation on a 48-hectare site which she says is substantial for Wales at present.
When she started on the graduate scheme two years ago Siân didn’t know what to expect but she says she has been impressed with the scheme. “Tilhill makes you feel valued and I have had all sorts of formal and informal training that has exposed me to different aspects of the business and allowed me to build my skills rapidly. One of the things I like most is that through the Graduate Development Programme you build a network of people at the same stage as you with whom you can share experiences and keep in touch. I also like the flexibility of exploring what you are interested in. For instance I write a lot of plans because I’m good at it and enjoy writing them.”
Siân has taken advantage of the support provided by Tilhill to go through the process of becoming a chartered forester. At time of writing, she had just received confirmation that she has passed with Distinction and is now a Professional Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.