This piece is an extract from this week's Forestry Features newsletter, which is emailed out at 4PM every Wednesday with a round-up of the week's top stories. 

To receive our full, free newsletter straight to your email inbox, click here.

FORESTRY has a quirky side – and perhaps we don't shout about it enough. In an industry as broad a church as they come, it's not just forwarders, harvesters, and chainsaws that get people talking (although they certainly always do). 

This became apparent in recent days when one of our TikToks went viral. Showing footage of Treadlight Forestry's EDER Bark Stripper in action at last year's APF Show, the 20-second clip has clocked up north of 850,000 views, making it our second most-watched video on the platform. It's also been viewed thousands of times across our other social media channels. 

@forestryjournal Stripping bark is as easy as one, two, three 👌 #forestry #forest #tree #timber #chainsaw #eder #bark #apf #fyp ♬ original sound - Forestry Journal

Far from just wanting to toot our own horn (although we are chuffed), this appears to point to the fact that the wider public is genuinely interested in what we do. Scores of comments asked for more information, while others appreciated the tool's quirkiness. 

This has us wondering – can we turn this interest into more bodies in the sector? 

How we do this is the real million dollar question. If it were easy, it would have been done by now and contractors across the land would be tired of their doors being knocked down by would-be operators, hand cutters, planters, etc. We like to think our growing social channels are playing their part as are others like Jimmy Waters, a young operator using his platform to share forestry to new audiences.

Importantly, these are often viewers well under 30. This can only be a good thing at a time when the importance of trees are widely understood, but few know the magic behind caring and felling them. 

Where this all falls down is in the experiences of our existing operators, who too often tell of an industry that doesn't pay or appreciate them the way it should. The same can be said of contractors and in April's Forestry Journal two senior Forestry Contracting Association (FCA) figures have laid bare the cost of doing business – it doesn't make for encouraging reading. 

READ MORE: Jimmy Waters: Young operator on TikTok and life in forestry

Clearly there is appetite out there from the wider public to know more about our brilliant industry and how it all works. Maybe it's not possible. Maybe people just watch clips while on the loo then move on. But it would be great if we could bottle this interest and use it for the good of forestry.