Dan’s Blog

The June Blog

Hello readers, welcome to my blog!

 It seems that the first month of my Prince of Wales Forest Leadership Award internship has come and gone, meaning it’s already time for my first monthly blog post.  As such, I’ve decided to use this space to briefly introduce myself, and to give a bit of background information related to my internship, before briefly describing some of the work-related activities that have kept me occupied throughout the previous month.

 Who Am I?

 My name is Dan Root.  I’m a 28 year old prospective forester, currently working toward a Master of Forest Conservation degree at the University of Toronto.  I have an undergraduate Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Waterloo, and I’ve worked previously as an assistant environmental biologist, organic farmer, and part-time musician.  This spring, the Canadian Institute of Forestry, the Institute of Chartered Foresters, and the Duchy of Cornwall generously granted me a 2018 Prince of Wales Forest Leadership Award, sending me to England for three months.

 For visual context, here is a picture of me in forestry garb, preparing to march in a parade celebrating The Prince of Wales’s contributions to the environment and to rural communities throughout the UK, on the occasion of HRH’s 70th birthday.

Dan 6-1
Preparing to meet the Prince … sort of

What am I doing?

 I’m spending the summer completing a joint internship with Pryor and Rickett Silviculture (PRS), a forest management company, and Euroforest, a provider of timber harvesting and marketing services.  PRS provides custom forest management services to private woodland owners throughout the UK, helping such owners maximize the economic, social, and environmental value of their forests.  Forest managers at PRS routinely meet with clients to discuss personal goals for private woodlands, while liaising with government officials to ensure that management activities comply with regulations designed to protect the long-term health and sustainability of forests throughout the UK.  Meanwhile, Euroforest works with landowners and forest managers to purchase timber, oversee harvesting operations, and arrange for transportation to regional buyers, including sawmills and renewable energy projects.

 Where am I?

 Though PRS and Euroforest operate throughout the UK, I am working for both companies’ regional offices in South West England.  This means that my work involves visits to forested sites throughout Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, three largely rural counties in England’s South West Peninsula.

 Outside of work, I am renting in a room in a shared farmhouse on a large country estate near the town of Exeter, in Devon County.  I share the space with an actor, a chef, and an archaeologist, as well as several chickens.

Dan 6-2
Home, sweet home

So, how’s it going?

 It’s going quite well, thanks for asking!

 After travelling by land, air and sea through Europe from Serbia, (where I completed a two-week forestry field course with the University of Toronto in early May), I arrived in England at the beginning of June.  I’ve since managed to settle comfortably into my new home and begin work with both companies.

 In early June, I also had the opportunity to travel with the PRS staff to the Royal Cornwall Show, a large agricultural fair housed near the town of Wadebridge.  This show is a celebration of rural life in Cornwall, and PRS takes this opportunity to promote the company and offer services to prospective clients.

Dan 6-3The team at PRS South West England

My rest of my work has primarily involved assisting managers from PRS and Euroforest as they perform site visits, often interfacing with clients and checking up on harvesting operations, in addition to surveying planted sites to assess forest regeneration efforts.

 As an example, here is Kiera of PRS (a Prince of Wales Forest Leadership Award alumna), assessing the success of a regenerating forest in rural Devon.  In the UK, woodland owners are legally required to ensure that forests successfully regenerate after timber harvesting activities.  Fortunately, forest managers at PRS are silvicultural experts, as the success of the spruce and foxglove pictured below demonstrates:

Dan 6-4A nascent forest

Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for checking in, and I’ll see you next month!