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Successful Responsible Forestry Course

Successful Responsible Forestry Course

The Soil Association has successfully delivered the first Responsible Forest Management and Sustainable Forest Product Supply Chain course, over two weeks at the Shuttleworth Estate. The course was over-subscribed, taking on a diverse group of students from a number of different countries, including Kenya, Chile, Tanzania and Vietnam, all of whom received sponsorship to attend. Sponsorship was generously provided by the Richard Shuttleworth Remembrance Trust.

Each of the students had specific forest management ambitions in mind that they'd like to achieve in their home countries and this course has helped equip them for the future. The course is extremely innovative, put together based on extensive research, and offers both on-site and e-learning that focuses on both policy and practise, in order to broaden the students' learning and maximise engagement. It's aimed at a wide spectrum of interest, including policy-makers, NGO's, forest managers, forestry trainers and supply chain professionals.

The programme itself covers a range of modules, including sessions on responsible forest management in an international context, implementing forest-based ecosystem services, supply chain and market development issues for responsibly produced products, and the environmental and social impacts of forest management.

As part of the curriculum, the students visited Howarth Timber Engineered Solutions HQ, hosted by Chain of Custody Manager, Peter Kelly, in Bury St Edmunds - a licensee of Soil Association Certification Forestry. Here they had the opportunity to learn more about chain of custody systems in a real-world situation and the day was well-received by all who attended. There was a second site visit, hosted by Gordon Pfescher from the Woodland Trust (another Soil Association Certification Forestry licensee). The students were interested to learn from Gordon and his team, how a forest management certificate can be managed across a woodland portfolio covering the whole of the UK.

There are more courses scheduled for March and October 2018, and March 2019 - you can register your interest for these courses on the Training pages. For any questions about the course or to enquire about sponsorship, please contact Course Director, Clive Thomas: forestrytraining@soilassociation.org.