Education and Training

Delivering forest based training in the silviculture of continuous cover forestry. Photo: © 2019 Brian Browne.

Our Classroom is the Forest

Welcome to SilvicultureAcademy, the education and training arm of Silviculture Research International. We deliver a wide range of courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development levels. Our focus is silvicultural science and practice, focusing on adaptive management strategies that enhance forest resilience. We have a highly distinguished track record in delivering award-winning and inspirational courses in tree biology, silviculture and sustainable forest management in the UK, Ireland and Canada. Details of current and recent courses are presented below.

Knowledge Mobilisation from Theory to Practice

Silviculture Research International is currently developing and delivering a series of short courses and knowledge mobilisation events in Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF). Our audience includes forestry professionals, woodland owners, university and college students, and community groups. This work builds on our established programme of talks and courses for a diverse range of organisations. 

Courses are designed on the principles of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and link strongly to evidence-based practice. Learning by doing (haptic learning) is recognised as an effective strategy for developing knowledge, skills and competencies. This approach underpins the structure, content and assessment elements in each course design. We use detailed feedback from participants to develop and continuously improve each course and fully meet the needs of learners.

An essential skill in CCF is the process of tree marking. This is where trees are selected for removal or retention at each stand intervention. Tree marking is the link between planning and forest operations. It requires knowledge of tree biology, ecological processes and forest stand dynamics.

Two courses in tree marking are being offered in 2024. Course SR-01 embraces the early stages of stand transformation to CCF, and Course SR-02 the later development of stands where timber production and significant biodiversity assets must be considered. Follow the links below to individual course pages.

Courses Offered in 2024

Course SR-01 | Tree Marker Training 
Early-stage transformation of Sitka spruce stands to Continuous Cover Forestry (Level 1)

This course focuses on early-stage stand transformation to CCF, specifically in the 2nd and 3rd thinning interventions. It provides an overview of initial site factors and considerations, stand prescription development and the process of tree marking to promote timber productivity and quality, stand stability and structural irregularity. The course is designed for students, woodland owners and professional foresters. Duration is 2 days.

Course SR-02 | Integrate Darnaway | New for 2024
Tree Marker Training for Timber Quality and Biodiversity Values
| Marteloscope Project

This course focuses on late-stage stand transformation to CCF, at a point where timber production must be balanced with increased biodiversity and habitat considerations. Trees are assessed in terms of the economic and ecological value. Stand prescriptions are presented as practical exercises where a range of forest values must be intergrated. The course makes use of two specially designed silviculture training plots (marteloscopes) at Darnaway Forest, Moray, Scotland. The course can be presented in 1-, 2- or 3-day formats, depending on the level of detail and requirements of each group.

University Module | SRUC | January-April 2024
Multi-Purpose Woodland Management
(MPWM)| Module D510

This module investigates how to design and manage woodlands to meet modern multipurpose objectives, including landscape, nature conservation and environmental improvement, as well as timber/wood production. It includes a specific focus on the role of forestry in climate change mitigation and an exploration of silvicultural systems applicable in the UK.

This module is being delivered within the BSc (Hons) Environmental Management, BSc (Hons) Widlife and Conservation Management, BA (Hons) Rural Business Management programmes at SRUC.

University Module | UCD| April 2024
International Forestry Study Tour
| United Kingdom

Field trips and international study tours are a core element of professional forestry education. The opportunity to see how forest management is delivered in other jurisdictions and countries presents an opportunity for highly focused learning, sharing of knowledge and deeper appreciation of the drivers for specific policies and practices. Each year, the final year students at UCD undertake an international tour. This has taken the group to a number of countries in Europe. Since 2019, three study tours have been based in the North of England and the South of Scotland, which is one of the most important forestry regions in the United Kingdom, with examples of private-land and public-land forestry, timber production and processing, conservation and environmental forest management. Most important is putting theory into practice through meeting colleagues, woodland owners and engaging with real-world projects and operations.

The tour to Northern England and Southern Scotland has now been repeated three times, 2019, 2023, 2024.

This module is being delivered within the BAgrSc (Hons) (Forestry) programme at University College Dublin.

Latest Course Dates

Dates and locations for the courses that have been delivered are as follows:

  • Course SR-01-10 – Tree Marker Training | Kilteel Forest, County Kildare, Ireland | Dates TBC
  • Course SR-02-01 – Integrate Darnaway | Darnaway Forest, Moray, Scotland | Dates TBC

Additional course dates are being planned. Please check back for details in early 2024.

Other Course Offerings

A wide range of other courses can be developed and delivered to meet the specific needs of individual groups and organisations. Most topics can be designed for a range of levels (enthusiast to professional) and technical detail, and from 1-5 days duration. Courses include:

  • Tree identification (Taxonomy and Dendrology)
  • Tree and forest measurements (Mensuration)
  • Tree seedling biology and planting stock quality
  • Forest soils and site classification
  • Inventory and mapping
  • Woodland creation and establishment
  • Stand density management and thinning control
  • Silvicultural systems
  • Continuous cover forestry
  • Forest resilience planning and management
  • Tree and forest health (pests and diseases)
  • Forest policy and strategy

Further Information

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