Working outside, solving problems and dealing with a variety of interesting people – there is a lot to like about being a forester.
I've been a Professional Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters since 2002 and joined the Galbraith team in 2015.
When I am in the office I will be working on grant schemes, management plans and organising forestry operations such as planting, timber harvesting and restocking. At some stage, all of this work involves digital mapping work. Forestry is a modern industry and there are always opportunities to explore new technologies and share skills across our Rural, Energy and GIS teams.
If I am out of the office I am often on site in Perthshire or the Borders meeting and supervising contractors, looking at harvesting operations or doing survey work for a woodland creation scheme. Designing new woodlands is a creative process and can be a very rewarding part of the job. Site work often involves being quite hands-on and can involve anything from digging soil pits, checking the health of young trees, locating and marking badger setts or measuring the volume of standing trees.
There is no such thing as a typical day when you are a forester and that can often be one of the big attractions to the role. When you are managing lots of different projects there is always something to do to keep things moving in the right direction.
Being out on site is a regular occurrence but with that comes preparation, I must make sure that I have booked a vehicle and pull together everything I need, such as maps, marker paint, GPS unit and tape measure. I try and get there as early as possible and prepare in advance so I can make the most of the day. Time always seems to fly when I'm on site so it can be quite hectic. Sometimes sites are 2 or 3 hours’ drive away so you have to try and get as much out of a visit as possible.
Collaborating with clients to create new woodlands, large or small, or make existing woods better through active management is always very rewarding.