I joined the team at Prees Heath Forest Nursery earlier this year and I love it!
Here at the nursery we do quite a variety of tasks such as: sewing seeds either into seed trays in the poly tunnels or in the seed beds outside, and then pricking them out and planting them into individual cells. It’s very rewarding waiting in anticipation for them to germinate and grow into young trees. Potting on, as the saplings grow they need to be put into bigger pots and put outside or planted by machine in rows in the fields and looked after here until they are sold on to become part of a hedge, estate, garden or a forest where they will play a vital part in tackling climate change and the biodiversity crisis. We also propagate by taking cuttings from more mature trees.
Trees are the ultimate carbon capture and storage machines. They also help in flood prevention, reducing city temperatures and reducing pollution. They keep the soil rich in nutrients and provide havens for wildlife. Knowing all this makes me feel proud to be part of the mitigation against climate change.
Working with nature is very good for your health (no need for the gym) and mental wellbeing. Spending time outside and experiencing the change of seasons can help you to feel connected to the world. Having the responsibility to care for living things gives you a good sense of achievement and worth.
I would definitely recommend working at a forest nursery!
I first began working here back in 2000 and really enjoyed it, but after a while left to have my first baby. 21 years later, when I was able to work full time, I thought about the jobs I enjoyed the most over the years and this was definitely top of my list. So along with a friend, I decided to call up to the nursery and see if they had any work for us, to our delight, they did.
We started here in late April 2021 and have been here now almost six months. We carry out a varied range of jobs here, including, seed sowing, pricking out, potting, planting, weeding, taking cuttings and lots lots more. There are so many different things to do here that every day is different, keeping the job fresh and interesting, which is great!
One of my favourite things to do, and the most rewarding for me, is the seed sowing. I feel privileged to be a part of it, watching them grow on a daily basis into young trees. With our nurturing, watering, weeding, monitoring and generally taking care of them until they’re ready to leave.
It really is incredible to me to watch something so small and fragile, grow into something so big and strong and so important to the environment. It makes me proud to know that I’ve contributed in some way in helping towards the ongoing climate change issues, giving me a great sense of pride and purpose.
Working outdoors has many health benefits, both physically and mentally. It’s great exercise and nature has been proven to help with many mental health problems.
I am very much enjoying learning new things on a daily basis. I have learnt so much in such a short amount of time. I find it so interesting to discover and learn about the many different species of trees here, how to identify them and what they need to help them thrive.
We have a great team of people here to answer any questions we may have, and I tend to ask a lot! There are so many new things to discover and learn each day. I really wish I’d studied Forestry/ Arboriculture in my younger years at college or university. I would definitely encourage anyone thinking about it, to choose this career path.
Trees are vital in many ways to us all for our future, with a career in forestry, you will be literally making your mark on this planet. It’s so reassuring to know that long after you’ve gone, your hard work will live on.
I hope to be working here for many years to come!