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Future Foresters

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  The Royal Forestry Society’s (RFS) Future Foresters programme aims to strengthen the pipeline of skilled people entering forestry, to ensure we have a workforce that can meet the challenges of the 21st century. 

Bringing more woods into management on a large scale will require considerable expansion and up-skilling of the workforce.  Yet we know 53% of forestry workers are over 40, and only 11% are under 25 – it is vital that we generate a sustainable supply of skilled and knowledgeable entrants coming into the sector.

The Future Foresters programme will engage and enthuse people from all backgrounds to enter the forestry sector and support them through their learning and development. To achieve this the RFS Future Foresters programme offers the following;



The RFS offers both professional qualifications and a Post-nominal certification.

RFS Certification is designed to acknowledge the importance of both the practical and theory aspects. Comprising a portfolio of 8 practical tickets (NPTC/Lantra) and a theory forestry, arboriculture or silviculture qualification at level 2 or higher. It can be shown on CVs as RFS Cert ArbRFS Cert For.

RFS also offers two professionally recognised qualifications, currently accredited by ABC.
RFS/ABC Certificate in Arboriculture (level 2) and the RFS/ABC Certificate in Forestry (level 2).

To find out more about these qualifications please click here

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  • Forestry and Arboriculture Careers Guide – In September 2015 the RFS launched a new Forestry and Arboriculture Careers Guide, to support prospective and current students and employees by providing details covering all aspects of development within the forestry sector. To find out more about the ‘Careers Guide’ click here

  • Studentships – The RFS works in partnership with UK Universities to provide summer studentships. To find out more about studentship opportunities with the RFS please click here


  • Bursaries – The RFS offers three bursaries to support forestry learning; Randle Travel Bursary, Spencer Bursary & Yorkshire Bursary. To find out more about the RFS bursaries please click here


  • Awards – The RFS presents awards to both students and education providers. This includes the Silky Fox Handsaw Awards, Truncator Award and a range of best student awards across our divisions. To find out more about these and other awards presented by the RFS please click here


  • Forestry Roots In 2018 RFS launched the Forestry Roots Project. This is designed to offer first time employment to college and university leavers for 1 year, with an additional CPD fund availble, designed to help the future forester boost their CV and acheive their RFS certification.
    We will be recruiting four education leavers a year for the next 3 years to start with.

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Our commitment to health and safety lies at the core of our activities. We fully endorse the Forest Industry Safety Accord (FISA) and want to see the forest become a safer workplace.

Our Future Foresters programme is supported by The Prince's Countryside Fund