Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand and Slovenia are the destinations for this year's successful and intrepid RFS Randle Travel Bursary award winners as they look to extend their knowledge on a range of diverse forestry topics.
The Randle Travel Bursary helps towards the costs of independent study of forestry abroad. Each Bursary holder is also invited to contribute an article about their research to the Quarterly Journal of Forestry to share their new found knowledge.
2017 bursary winners are:
John Bragg, Senior Forester with Durham County Council. He 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 that he may find uses which can be applied in the UK.
Manuela Czinar, a PhD researcher at Imperial College, London. She will becarrying out 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 for the already existing bioenergy production and for the 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, organised the Whole Society Meeting in Gloucestershire in 2011 and the RFS Overseas Study Tour in Vermont in 2016. She 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 look at commercial forests which are mainly privately owned. Her studies are being guided by The Slovenian Forest Institute.
Jennifer Greaves, Operation Officer for Scottish Natural Heritage, 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).
Details of all RFS bursaries and how to apply can be found here