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Bursaries and Studentships

The RFS is committed to supporting individuals who wish to enhance their knowledge of trees, woods and sustainable forest management both in the UK and abroad.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and sponsors, we are able to provide a range of bursaries that subsidise or cover the costs for individual projects. Over the years, our funding has helped many people acquire new information about forestry and share their expertise with others. 

Below is a summary of current RFS bursaries. For more details, including how to apply, click on the heading for the relevant fund.


  • The Spencer Bursary is open to current students or recent graduates (within the last 2 years) of forestry/arboriculture degrees (or higher level courses with a high forestry content). The bursary enables recipients to attend RFS events, including the RFS National Conference. Up to five awards are presented in any calendar year. 


  • The Randle Travel Fund offers bursaries to enable RFS members of all ages to travel independently to enhance and share their forestry knowledge. Up to four awards of £300 each are awarded in any calendar year. 


  • The Yorkshire Bursary is sponsored by the RFS Yorkshire Division, in conjunction with the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. The bursary has a value of £600 and allows a younger person to carry out a forestry related project.

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  • The Viking Bursary is open to full- and part-time students enrolled on a forestry or closely related course, such as arboriculture, geography, rural land management, or environmental science. The bursary has a maximum value in any year of £2,000 and can be awarded to one individual or divided between two or more successful applicants, at the discretion of the selection committee. The bursary is designed to cover travel and other expenses for independent, self-directed study or research which benefits the practical management or resilience of woodlands, principally in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.


  • The North-West Midlands Bursary is funded by the RFS North-West Midlands Division and supports educational staff in undertaking Outdoor Learning training. The bursary is open to all staff employed in a state funded educational setting within Derbyshire, Staffordshire or Shropshire and priority will be given to schools with the highest level of need. There are a maximum of four £100 bursaries each year which can be used against the Level 2 Outdoor Learning Practitioner or the Level 3 Co-ordinating an Outdoor Curriculum courses. Full details and an application form are available from