The following are the most recent recipients of the Randle Travel bursary. Some of their stories can be read by downloading the pdf documents to the left of this page.
- John Bragg
- Senior Forester, Durham County Council
John is off to New Zealand's North Island to explore the community and social uses of forests, including community owned and Maori owned forestry. He will be meeting community reps and Maori village heads and hopes he may find uses which can be applied in the UK.
- Manuela Czinar
- PhD researcher, Imperial College, London
Manuela will be conducting a sustainability assessment and monitoring of charcoal production in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. The assessment is a part of her PhD research to assess the drivers and sustainability impacts of policies and markets promoting planted forests in Brazil. She will be considering the existing bioenergy production and additional demand that is expected to develop. Minas Gerais State and its Eucalyptus plantations, which are mainly used to produce charcoal for the steel industry, is one of two case studies she is developing.
- Chloe Darling
- Organiser, WSM Gloucestershire, 2011; RFS Overseas Study Tour Vermont 2016
Chloe is off to Slovenian to learn about the ancient beech forests and the high alpine pastures laced with spruce which help maintain the quality and flow of the water either as snow or rain. She will also be looking at commercial forests which are mainly privately owned. Her studies are being guided by The Slovenian Forest Institute.
- Jennifer Greaves
- Operation Officer, Scottish Natural Heritage
Jennifer will be following her interest in Araucarias, a genus of evergreen coniferous trees. She is interested in their ecology, environment, history and culture and is researching the history of Araucarias from the Jurassic period to present. Jennifer has already seen 17 of the 19 species while travelling in New Caledonia, Papau New Guinea, Norfolk Island and Australia with just Araucaria araucana and A. angustifolia in South America (Argentina and Chile) still to see.The Randle Travel bursary will help her to visit small town in Argentina (Caviahue) which has an annual festival to celebrate the harvest of the ‘pine (Araucaria) nut’. She is also hoping to visit timber plantations run by UPM / ARACO (forestry companies), a petrified forest of Araucaria and to see the Araucaria tit spinetail (a small bird that is almost completely dependent on araucaria forests).
- Emma Gilmartin
- California and Oregon, USA
Emma, a PhD student at Cardiff University, is researching fungal community development in hollowing beech trees. To date, most of her research has been in the UK and, latterly, in Poland with the Ancient Tree Forum. Emma is now planning to travel to California and Oregon to meet with mycology experts and US Forest Service foresters to learn more about the Northwest Forests Plan - a collection of policies covering the states of California, Oregon and Washington which have been in place for about 20 years.
- Gejza Jano
Gejza Jano, a 2nd year BSc Hons Woodland Management student at the National School of Forestry in the University of Cumbria, will be travelling to Hungary to carry out multipurpose assessment of forest biodiversity conservation in the Carpathian region of Hungary. The project will involve surveying 63 tree, 40 shrub and 145 herb species. He hopes to help to suggest potential tree species for climate change trials in Britain.
- Niall Williams
- New England, USA
Niall Williams, who is in his second year of a BA (Hons) in Landscape Architecture at Birmingham City University, will be joining the RFS Overseas Study Tour to New England, USA, in October 2016. He is focussed on learning more about what different nations are trialling, and the issues and solutions they have developed to improve their land management. Niall has already completed a course in forestry at Sparsholt College and is curating a series of lectures at BCU on flooding and resilience landscapes. He has taken part in a previous RFS study tour to Costa Rica.
- Zubairu Yakubu
Zubairu, an MSc student at Bangor University, will be examining the contribution of indigenous fruits to livelihood and rural nutrition in North Western Nigeria. The work will involve assessing the influence of wild fruit trees to the livelihoods and nutrition of rural dwellers in the semi-arid regions of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States - an area with a mean annual temperature of 28-40C and erratic rainfall of 250–600mm.
- Yosuke Fukushima
Yosuke, pictured right, is studying for an MSc in Agroforestry at Bangor University. He will be travelling to Kalimantan island in Indonesia to look at sustainable use of non-timber forest products, including edible fruits of mangrove trees, that could help to promote sustainable forest management. He will be conducting forest inventory in the field as well as laboratory work back in Bangor as part of his dissertation project.
- Neil Humphris
Neil Humphris, pictured right, is the RFS South Eastern Division chairman and Leconfield Estate Head Forester. He will be travelling with four other foresters from the South East of England to visit four forestry locations in Belarus to transfer knowledge of seed to sawmill between foresters and students.
- Dr Simon Leadbeater
Dr Simon Leadbeater, right, from Harpenden, Herts, is a woodland owner and founding director of Priors Environmental Ltd. He will be visiting the Bialowieza forest in Poland to meet with forestry experts and study how small-leaved limes grow in a semi natural state. He aims to apply that knowledge to the restoration of his PAWS woodland.
- Rob McBride
- 14 European countries
Rob - aka the treehunter- is from Ellesmere, Shropshire. As a member of the European Champion Tree Forum and host of the awards ceremony of the European Tree of the Year 2014, he has been visiting the14 participating countries in this year's contest, talking to broadcasters and media and promoting European cultural trees, trees & forests health benefits.
2013 - 14
- Ben Fanstone
Ben Fanstone (pictured right) from Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, used his bursary towards the costs of PhD research – a historical investigation of forestry in Kenya during the colonial period – and will be looking at the differing, and often competing, visions of what constituted a useful and valuable forest within a colony of the British Empire.
- Deborah Elton
- Costa Rica
Deborah Elton from Ashburton in Devon is a Local Partnership Adviser for the Forestry Commission in South West England. Her bursary helped towards the costs of joining the RFS Costa Rica Study Tour to understand forest conservation and management in Costa Rica, to meet with key agencies, and to witness the collaborations with the private sector and the innovative approaches to forest ecosystem management.
2012 - 13
- Elizabeth Kartawick
- Solomon Islands
Elizabeth Kartawick, who travelled to the Solomon Islands to live with the indigenous peoples of eight villages hidden within Guadalcanal’s Cloud Forest.
She said: “My mission was to expand and amend the current database on ‘Food plants of the Solomon Islands’, including cooking and agricultural practices, while exploring ways in which current practices can be combined with the principles of ‘evergreen agriculture’.
“I hope to understand the reasons for, and importance of, traditional ‘Kastom’ agricultural practices for the life of the forest and its inhabitants. More importantly, I hope to understand the interaction between these practices and those of intensive agriculture – a result of globalised trade and demographic growth.”
- Stefania Pizzirani
- New Zealand
Stefania Pizzirani was one of two successful bursary winners who travelled to New Zealand where she took a PhD. She is used the bursary towards her travel costs and says:
“Forests in New Zealand, although relatively extensive, are only managed in two ways: as nature reserves and for intensive timber production. However, certain factors affecting forestry – such as shifts in consumer demands, changes in environmental policy, risk mitigation due to the effects of climate change, and a desire to decrease dependence on foreign oil – are leading to a national interest in forest management diversification.
“There is a great need therefore to evaluate the feasibility and potential impacts of expanding New Zealand forestry to include other management alternatives such as continuous cover, multiple objectives, and wood fuel production. It is necessary to perform a life cycle assessment and a sustainability impact assessment on these new management approaches in order to understand economic, environmental and social implications to New Zealand. Together these assessments will provide a robust foundation for a comprehensive analysis of current and future forestry options. My PhD will be addressing these issues.”
- Andrew Leslie
- Republic of Ireland
Andrew Leslie went to study eucalyptus in the Republic of Ireland to obtain information that will guide better matching of species and origins of eucalypts to the range of planting sites in the UK.
He said: “The approach will involve examining the performance of a range of eucalypts across a variety of sites and ages of stands in Ireland. There are impressive stands in trials dating back to the 1930s and also later ones from the 1980s and 1990s. While the climate is generally more maritime in Ireland, the results for the Irish trials may be directly applicable to warmer, coastal parts of the UK. Furthermore, the recent laboratory freezing tests of particular origins will also be most useful in guiding selection of material for the UK. It is hoped that the visit will also allow stronger links to be forged between researchers in the UK and in Ireland.”
- Gary Kerr
- New Zealand
Gary Kerr of Forest Research attended the ‘Uneven-aged silviculture: Optimizing timber production, ecosystem services and resilience to climate change’ conference at Lincoln University, New Zealand, organized by a research group of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). Gary has been involved with the group since he started working on continuous cover silviculture for Forest Research and is the coordinator of the research group. He presented a scientific paper on work he has been doing on the resilience of forests to climate change. He also took part in a post-conference tour to a variety of forest locations on the south island of New Zealand.
- Paul Bartlett
Paul Bartlett headed to Georgia in Eastern Europe.
- Chloe Darling
Chloe Darling went to a hugely forested area in the Sami region of Sweden.
2011 - 12
- Jo Clark
Jo Clark, who used the Randle Travel bursary to help pay the costs as she clocked up more than 9,000 miles on the latest stage of her PhD research into the adaptation of ash to climate change.
“Forestry Commission sponsorship paid for the first five years of the project, but that ran out last year and I am very grateful to have received this bursary.”
Her PhD research has seen her establish ten populations of ash at five different locations – Cawdor Estate in Inverness; Parlington Estate, Yorkshire; the Northmoor Trust Paradise Wood in Oxfordshire; Dourdan, just outside Paris, and at Monein in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Seed has been collected from two populations at each of the trial sites, and a reciprocal transplant experiment (RTE) established. The aim is to see how British ash survives and grows in France at locations that have been matched to the potential future climate of Britain in 2050 and 2080, and to investigate which populations may be suitable for growing in the UK with a warmer climate.
Jo explained: “Phenology is a very important part of this research, so I will be spending six weeks looking at the timing of bud break at each site. Ultimately I am looking to see what impact climate change is likely to have on ash over time and given different conditions.”
Jo, who hopes to complete her PhD in 2011, is the Forestry Research Manager for the Oxfordshire-based Northmoor Trust where she manages the largest collection of hardwood tree improvement trials in the UK – looking at both genetics and silviculture. There are more than 20 trials ongoing at Northmoor Trust, with each replicated elsewhere across the country, making around 50 in all. She is also the Secretary of the British & Irish Hardwood Improvement Programme.