The strength and energy of 16-21 year old men can be invaluable when considering the labour involved in the management of our woodland.

Half a day coppicing at the RSPB plantation, in fact it was 1.5 hours as we struggled to get going, followed by heavy rain which cut the day short, witnessed tumbling overgrown hazel and the development of a dead hedge, achieved by lads with 21" bowsaws.

Ten level 1 students were given woodland management guidance by four level II students, overseen by Rangers and College staff to provide means and method allowing important interaction between young men and the land.

The most important factor in all this is that these young men have a strength and vitality, whose recognition is long lost; some thrived, some were enthusiastic, some asked questions, some just got on with it, some messed about, one worked with his arm in a sling and barked orders when the College tutor was 'talked over' and all went away hungry and wet.

Their achievement is great, however, little recognised and mostly ignored.

They have now contributed to, and interacted with the RSPB plantation achieving much and hopefully they'll all be back in a couple of weeks, 4th October.


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