A TRAINING fund for aspiring foresters and arborists has reopened - with an additional £1 million backing from the UK Government. 

The Forestry and Arboriculture Fund – formerly known as the Forestry Training Fund - is primarily aimed at those considering changing their careers to one in either industry, as well as those already working in the sector. 

The new scheme will cover the full cost of training courses in a range of areas, including in:

  • Chainsaw operation;
  • Operating heavy machinery;
  • Planning and planting new woodland;
  • Deer management;
  • Marketing and selling timber;
  • Aerial tree pruning; and
  • Branch removal.

Since being launched in February this year, the fund has received exceptionally high uptake, with over 150 short course training providers having registered to offer courses and 1,100 training places already funded for the next two years. It's understood all placed were filled within three days of the scheme's launch last time out. 

Forestry Minister Trudy Harrison said: “As tree-planting and woodlands across the country increase, so must our forestry workforce.

Forestry Journal: Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison (Image: FJ/Stock)

“We are committed to growing the sector and increasing green jobs which will be made possible through this significant funding of Forestry and Arboriculture courses." 

The fund is only available in England. 

Richard Stanford, Forestry Commission chief executive, said: “England’s forestry sector plays an essential part in creating resilient forests and woodlands which improve our natural environment, helping meet net zero carbon emissions, provide a sustainable source of home-grown timber and boost people’s health and wellbeing."

Early application is encouraged due to the unprecedented demand for courses. View the list of training providers and apply for funding on GOV.UK here.