Forest Learning Development Working Group at APF 2016 show

Written by Tir Coed / Wednesday 21 September 2016

Tir Coed’s introduction to the group came at the APF 2016 Show; the UK’s largest and most exciting forestry, woodland, arboricultural, trees and timber event, held at the Ragley Estate, Alcester, Warwickshire. The meeting convened in the Forest Workers Zone, aptly in amongst the trees on the hillside overlooking the beautiful estate. 


Discussions highlighted exciting developments with the new National Land-Based College; use of films to enhance the online careers guide portal provided by Royal Forestry Society; current Apprenticeship opportunities at Hereford and Ludlow College, Bill Hogarth Memorial Apprenticeship Trust and Small Woods; Forestry Commission England’s progress with the approval process for the new Trailblazer Apprenticeships; funding available for Conformembers; and other organisation updates including Tir Coed’s future focus on progression opportunities.


This was a great opportunity to meet with like-minded organisations and a chance for Tir Coed to access a UK wide network of expertise. Many of the issues and developments raised either mirror Tir Coed’s own developments or will enhance and expand them. This is a really exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of positive, progressive and much needed consolidation of woodland sector activities. 


Tir Coed received a warm welcome as the Welsh contingent, and now promises to offer the group a different perspective, a sound track record of experience and an essential link to another area. We are already looking forward to the next meeting in December.


A trip to the APF show would not be complete without a tour of the massive site, to investigate the huge range of components that make up the international world of forestry. 


There were huge displays and demonstrations everywhere you turned, reflecting everything that happens in the working woodland, forest and tree work sector, from seed to sawmill! 

MWMAC were in action, delighting visitors with their demonstrations of traditional winching methods, and proving that processes don’t always have to be high tech to be successful and productive. This also provided a chance to catch up with Chris Hughes to finalise details of content for Tir Coed’s new intensive weeks in mechanised forestry and woodfuel. 

The show really caters for all aspects of woodland and tree management and timber processing. Traditional vs modern, large vs small, functional, artistic and entertaining – this show had it all! Chainsaw carvers, horse loggers, woodland craft experts, pole climbing champions, winches, pulleys, tractors, forwarders, saws of every description, cherry-pickers, chippers, choppers, mills and boilers - state-of-the-art or vintage gear all shapes and sizes and prices too!!!