Here is the group relaxing on some of their self- made ‘rustic’ furniture, a well- earned break!
The Academy has been busy over the last few weeks, with new starters, and some old familiar faces completing and saying goodbye. It’s good for us to see our trainees find their feet in industry, and use their skills to make a real go of their new career.
As this cohort are rushing ahead, we have started a new group. Archie, Karl and Matt make up a small group, who are doing an intensive training course to become utility arborists with Birch Utilities. They have been with us a week and so far they have done their basic chainsaw and woodchipper units, and their ROLO exam. Next week sees them visiting Taunton for their WPD induction course, company induction, and then their UA1 training.
They have certainly hit the ground running!!
I attended a Trailblazer apprenticeship meeting on Tuesday. Apprenticeships are about to get a good shake up, and that is no bad thing. It will be more employer led, and the content will be much improved. We are already running our apprenticeships along similar lines, so for us, it will make very little difference to delivery. Other providers may find it a bit more challenging, as they have been used to doing it their own way for many years. I suspect some will give up- good for us, more apprentices!!!
The woods are very beautiful at the moment, but as well as that, it becomes very obvious that different trees do things differently!
Deciduous trees obviously have different times at which they lose their leaves, and with the fairly mild and still weather, some species are hanging on to their leaves as long as possible. The enlarged picture on the right shows the unusual shape of a Wych Elm leaf. At the base the leaf blade is longer on the right hand side, (arrowed), and this is very distinctive of Elms in particular. This leaf blade shape allows trees like this, to twist the leaf to alter its angle to the sun, and therefore maximising photosynthesis.
Whilst wandering through the woods- as I do a lot- I came across this interesting fungus on a log.
I also came across this fungus, which is also worth looking out for, but for very different reasons.
The left picture is a close up of the rhizomorphs and the right picture has fruiting bodies and rhizomorphs covering a log.
Then on Thursday, we will be going over to Buckfast Abbey to help a group of scientists from Cardiff University take DNA samples from trees, to establish what fungi are growing within the wood.
Should be a really interesting week!!!