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Be A Woodland Apprentice

Charlotte Cobb - Mystic walk in the Woods

7:30am 12th August 2012

An apprenticeship's being offered as part of a project to breathe new life into Pubeck's woodlands.

Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Purbeck Small Woodland Project have teamed up to give the opportunity to gain woodland skills over the next three years.

There are 24 places for an initial week's course, and any of those taking part can apply for the one apprenticeship place on offer.

Emma Tomlin, Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Trees and Woodlands Conservation Officer, said: “Like many of Dorset’s landscapes, its woodlands have survived because of their use by man, and this has benefited wildlife.  These precious and important woods need active management if they are to be enjoyed by future generations.  We want to bring back the woodland of our grandparents’ days – living woods with sunny glades and rides, full of the noise of birdsong, the buzz of insects and the sounds of people making woodlands work.”

Fran Fowkes, Small Woods Apprenticeship Officer at the Small Woods Association, said: “This is a great opportunity to encourage much needed new entrants into an industry that is truly sustainable; helping to manage woods to benefit the local economy, biodiversity and people, through coppicing and green wood working”.

The woodland apprentice will work with Toby Hoad, an independent craftsman and member of Dorset Coppice Group.  Toby said: “The chosen apprentice will spend three years learning woodland skills such as charcoal making, woodland management, hurdle making and green woodworking. The experience gained during this apprenticeship will give the skills to help restore our local woodlands. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone that is passionate about the future of our woodlands and the products that can be made from them.”

The Week in the Woods takes place in Purbeck from 24th September to 28th September.  There are 24 places available costing from £120, to include basic accommodation.  Participants will be able to apply for the one apprenticeship place, which starts in the autumn. This event is organised by the Small Woods Association supported by the Ernest Cook Trust and Dorset Wildlife Trust.  For more information or to apply, visit  dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/events  or ring Fran Fowkes on 07903 206518.

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