New course in forest landscape design

In an initiative from the ever inventive Forestry Commission Scotland, a new training course offering insights into Forest Landscape Design should appeal to people involved in woodland management and who are keen to explore the principles of forest landscape design. Anyone invited to sign up for the course, delivered by courtesy of Forestry Commission Scotland, is warmly invited to do so.

It’s an informal two day, classroom based course, aimed primarily at forest managers and their advisers to help them develop design and presentation skills that will aid the preparation of forest management plans.

It will also be useful for anyone with a more general interest in understand how forest landscape design can effectively integrate forests into the wide range of Scotland’s landscapes.

This is a welcome evolved position from the not so distant days when densely robotic conifer plantations were just slammed down wherever.

Nicholas Shepherd, the Commission’s Landscape & Culture Advisor, who will tutor the course, says: ‘We’re aiming to help develop an appreciation of what is meant by ‘landscape’ and the basic differences in landscape character.

‘As well as sketching out the established principles that underpin forest landscape design, we’ll also illustrate their application through a mix of presentations and practical design exercises.

‘The course is suitable for all levels of ability and it’s meant to be enjoyable – so there will be no formal exams or critiques at the end. The important thing is that people acquire some new awareness and skill and use them when developing a forest design plan.’

Aspects of the course include:

  • reading the character of a landscape and appreciating what can make a landscape sensitive to change;
  • understanding the principles of design and how to apply them in a forest management plan – contributing towards the enhancement of the local landscape;
  • practising basic drawing skills and the applying them in exercises on new planting and forest restructuring designs.

Depending on demand for the courses, it is intended to run them at locations throughout Scotland during 2013.

There will be a non-refundable registration fee of £40 as a contribution towards the setting up of the courses.

Course reference materials are free to view and download here from the Forestry Commission Scotland web-site.

Anyone wishing to have further information about the course or wanting to register an interest in attending one in the future, should contact Nicholas Shepherd by email:

Note: The courses are based on the thinking  of the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) Guidelines:  ‘Forests and Landscape’, which you can download here: UKFS Guidelines- Forests and landscape

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