FORESTERS and arboriculturists of the future have been recognised in the annual Student Awards from the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF).

Each year the institute presents the awards to top students who have studied at universities and colleges in the UK which run ICF-accredited forestry and arboriculture courses and offers them a one-year associate membership to get them started on their path towards becoming chartered.

The 2019 ICF Student Awards are presented at graduation ceremonies across the country by representatives of the ICF. The associate membership gives them a valuable way of building a network of contacts and the opportunity to develop on a professional level with forestry and arboricultural peers.

The 2019 ICF Student Award winners include Jocelyn McLaren (BSc Hons) in Forest Management with Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, Scottish School of Forestry, University of the Highlands and Islands, Inverness); Andy Gardner (BSc (Hons) in Forest Management, the National School of Forestry, University of Cumbria); Elizabeth Anderson (BSc (Hons) Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, Myerscough College, Lancashire); John Trimble (BSc (Hons) Forestry, Bangor University, Wales); Edward ‘Teddy’ Ellis (BSc (Hons) Forestry, University of Aberdeen); and Fearghus Gage (FdSc Arboriculture, Plumpton College, East Sussex).

Louise Simpson, ICF development director, said: “First of all I would like to say well done to all the students and hope that they will now work towards becoming chartered. It is an incredibly exciting time for forestry, with more trees being planted and government strategies on forestry throughout the UK very much in favour of increasing planting.

“It is also an important time to encourage young people into the sector, particularly arboriculture, where more tree professionals are needed to help fulfil national targets for urban tree planting and to work towards combating increasing threats.

“These awards help to build valuable connections for young people starting out and the institute strongly believes in supporting young talent. The next generation of professional foresters and arboriculturists will take a vision forward with them at a time when trees are recognised on a global level as having a vital role in reaching climate change targets and making the world a better place.”

A further two ICF Student Awards are due to be given out at graduation ceremonies at Harper Adams University, Shropshire, and Pershore College, Worcestershire.