Summary & Outcomes
During the first year of the NIA, the Dorset Opportunities Programme was closed. The funding originally allocated for this was transferred to the woodland apprentice scheme, which became the delivery mechanism for workplace opportunities, supported by additional funding from Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Small Woodlands Association. The project has worked with young people to encourage much needed new entrants into an industry which is truly sustainable, managing woods to benefit the local economy, biodiversity and people.
The woodland apprentices have learnt coppice and craftsman skills in Purbeck woods with local coppice worker Toby Hoad. The programme has also offered formal training including health and safety and first aid. Coppice regeneration work has commenced in a number of woods under the scheme, with training undertaken to enable wood craft products to be produced.
Highlights and challenges
The woodland apprentice and coppice worker attended the RSPB’s Forage Festival at Arne with “Fleur” to demonstrate horse logging methods which proved extremely popular. Two skill sharing days were also held at Brenscombe Wood. A further highlight has been getting woodlands managed that had been neglected for decades.
DWT and the Small Woods Association will continue to support the current Woodland Apprentice until October 2015. At this time the scheme will have two qualified woodland coppice workers both of whom will gain income from their products. In both cases the apprentices have produced high end wood crafts from coppice materials from Purbeck helping to maintain the management of two woodlands in the area. The partnership will review success at the end of October, but are keen to work on future schemes given appropriate funding.