Developing people through training
A Forestry Commission case study

Page 1: Introduction

The Forestry Commission is a government department, making it a public sector organisation. Its mission is 'to protect and expand Britain's forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment '.

It is Britain's largest land manager and is responsible for some of the UK's most spectacular landscapes. Over the last 20 years it has expanded Britain's woods by an area more than three times the size of Greater London.

However, that is not the whole story. The Commission's 3,000 staff also:

  • manage forestry land owned by the government, including 15,000 miles of roads and 2,300 bridges
  • support and regulate the use of privately-owned forests and woodlands
  • plant and renew forests
  • restore landscapes
  • develop open forestry spaces to provide forest walks, concert venues, bike trails and even wind farm sites
  • help to protect Britain's trees from pests and diseases
  • contribute to wealth generation by providing jobs and selling products. For every £1,000 raised from timber and forestry, another £3,000 is generated to the UK economy from associated products and services, for example, tourism, paper and food
  • represent the UK at international forest-related talks and negotiations.

The Forestry Commission has always placed operating in a 'green' manner top of its agenda. It balances four related needs: people, nature, environment, economy.

The Forestry Commission takes a long-term view about how it can help create a better environment for everyone in this country. For example, forests:

  • if sustainably managed, provide many benefits. The Forestry Commission ensures its forests are sustainably managed and encourages private owners to do so too
  • provide extremely low carbon sources of energy and fuel
  • provide the lowest energy consuming and carbon-emitting building materials available
  • help to absorb carbon emissions from other industrial activities
  • provide a micro-climate for many species of insects and animals for example, oak trees support more than 600 species of plants and animals
  • provide recreational outdoor spaces that contribute to healthy lifestyles. Over 50 million visitors each year to Forestry Commission sites generate more than £2 billion in revenue
  • create employment within the forestry and other industries, such as construction, tourism and engineering.

The case study will show how training and development is central to the work of the Forestry Commission and how it benefits the career development of its people.

It will particularly highlight the work of Julie McMorran, a civil engineer with the Forestry Commission, for whom training and development has provided the springboard to promotion.

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Forestry Commission | Developing people through training

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