4th March 2002




Five students from Lincoln jetted off to Scandinavia on Saturday to spend three weeks in the forests of Sweden learning how to operate specialist forestry machinery.


The students, who are all enrolled on the National Diploma in Forestry and Arboriculture at the Lincolnshire School of Agriculture, will stay at Vreta College 100km south of Stockholm for training in the use of the ‘forwarder’.


The purpose-built forest machine grabs felled timber from the forest floor and extracts it to the roadside ready for removal to the sawmill.


The participating students are very keen to learn new experiences and will be on a steep learning curve as none of them has any experience of operating this type of machine.


“It will seem a bit of a daunting prospect to them at first, but they have gained experience of machines and machinery in general as part of their National Diploma course, so they will soon acquire the skills needed,” said Steve Fox, who manages the Forestry & Countryside Management programme at the university.


“These trips are a unique opportunity as the training they get over there is second to none. This partnership with Vreta College has been ongoing since 1995, but there was no trip last year because of foot and mouth disease, so we’re pleased to be sending the students for a three-week stay instead of the usual fortnight.


Mr Fox explained that people working in forestry increasingly need a high level of technical skill to be able to do their job efficiently.


“This training opportunity is indicative of the need for students to grasp the technical side of the industry,” he said. “The industry requires not only the skills to operate this kind of machinery but also IT, numeracy and communication skills, and there’s a number of technical aspects that people working in the industry need to be aware of.”


The students who flew out to Sweden at the weekend are: Alex Spink (Saxilby), Robert Toll (Spalding), Matthew Graham (Mablethorpe), Andrew Hudson (Grimsby) and Christopher Almond (Wellingore).


For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042)

email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk