Search for lumberjacks ....and lumberJILLS

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CUTTING down trees is just one of the skills apprentices will learn on a new scheme set up by the Forestry Commission to find new lumberjacks — and female equivalents called lumberJILLS.

More recruits are needed to learn a variety of forestry skills.

Nationally there will be 20 people appointed across England as part of the apprenticeship scheme, six of these will be needed in the central region, which covers Sherwood Forest, Cannock in Staffordshire and Delamere Forests in Cheshire.

“This is an investment in the future of our forests and will help tackle potential skills shortages in the future,” said Andy Medhurst, Forest Management Director in Nottinghamshire with the Forestry Commission.

“Forestry has a tremendous future with the growth in the woodfuel and firewood markets, rising timber prices and the boom in forest leisure activities. It is a great industry to be part of and of course offers a fantastic working environment in some of our most beautiful woodlands.”

Each apprentice will learn and work their way to professional qualifications and longer-term employment opportunities during the two year scheme.

Planting and felling trees, restoring wildlife habitats and maintaining recreational facilities is all part of the job.

For more information check out www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd54qfw5.

n OUR PHOTO shows Forestry Commission worker Sarah Bell (21)