ARE you in the military or have recently left the Armed Forces? Do you love nature and the idea of working in the woods? Then this opportunity could be for you. 

Free events will be held next year to give military personnel an insight into the forestry and wood sector.

Run across several days in both Scotland and England, the sessions offer a taste of nurseries, planting and establishment sites, general management, harvesting and processing. Attendees will also have the chance to see new technology in action. 


The format - only available to ex or serving military personnel - is an update to Confor's popular Introduction to Forestry Machinery event, which has been widely attended for the last two years. As well as the change in entry criteria, it also sees the taster sessions held south of the border for the first time. 

Speaking at one of the practical events in the Scottish Borders earlier this year, Richard Hunter, Confor’s teaching and industry support manager and the leader of the project, said: “An often talked about problem is the lack of new entrants coming into the industry, and certainly those wanting to use a machine." 

“It’s important to try and get new blood into the industry,” John Williamson, an instructor on 2023's course, said. “It’s been a problem for years – a consistent problem. The demographics of the drivers are getting old now and we need younger people involved. Some of the contractors can’t get drivers to drive these machines."

2024's events are as follows: 

  • South Scotland: 15-17 January 2024
  • North Scotland: 6-8 Febrary 2024
  • East England: 13-15 February 2024
  • West England: 27-29 February 2024

If you are interested in taking part, complete an application form on Confor's website and email it to Richard:

Sponsors include Forestry England, Scottish Forestry, and the BSW Group.