The Forestry Skills Forum

The Forestry Skills Forum (FSF) is dedicated to promoting education, skills, learning and development across the forestry sector in England and Wales. Members comprise the sector’s leading authorities, charities, companies, educational institutions and training providers. The FSF is an independent group, supported by The Forestry Commission and is currently chaired by Dr Helen Manns, Director, Institute of Science and Environment, University of Cumbria. The work of the forum is informed by members and by four subgroups:


Schools Sub Group - led by Becky Wilkinson


CPD and training Sub Group - renamed Skills Group - led by Rob Hawkins


College and University Sub Group  - current Trailblazer group – led by Steve Fowkes


Attraction and Retention – led by Richard Hunter

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Purpose and Aims

The purpose of the Forestry Skills Forum is to:

  • Agree actions across the forestry sector on priority skills and education issues
  • Share information and resources among members
  • Advocate and promote education, learning and development in British forestry.


The primary objectives of the Forestry Skills Forum are to:

  • Support the development and delivery of a Skills Action Plan
  • Challenge and encourage the industry and employers to take the lead with the skills and learning agenda
  • Inform and influence qualification development and professional/educational interaction
  • Represent the sector on education, learning and development issues.

Related online study courses

At the undergraduate level (HN to degree) you can study the following remotely through the Scottish School of Forestry, which is based at Inverness College UHI:

  • PDA Forestry
  • HN Forestry 
  • BSc Hons in Forest Management.


If you are interested in Masters level study you can study the following at the University of Bangor:

  • MSc Agroforestry & Food Security 
  • MSc Forestry
  • MSc Tropical Forestry
  • MSc Tropical Forestry (with International Commonwealth Scholarship).
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Annual Report 2021

Annual Report 2019

Executive Summary 2019

Forestry Workforce Research August 2021

Forestry Workforce Research August 2021 - Welsh Version

Role and Remit

Royal Forestry Society Courses

In 2020 the RFS offered a number of online training courses available to members and non-members. Their 2021 programme is live now.


Woodland to Workshop Courses

Woodland to Workshop courses are available here. In agreement with the Institute of Chartered Foresters, members of the Institute are able to claim up to a maximum of 24 hours CPD for attendance and participation in these courses.

Forestry induction pack: the wood and the trees