STUDENTS at SRUC Barony College and the Scottish School of Forestry, Inverness College UHI are to benefit from a new competitive bursary on offer to those hoping to take their education further.

Created by the Royal Scottish Forestry Society and one of its members, Richard Davidson, the RSFS Davidson Bursary for Barony College is aimed at those students entering the Advanced Certificate in Forestry. The student will already have a Certificate in Forestry or appropriate experience in other employment sectors and wishes to progress to the next level. The twin bursary at UHI will be awarded to a Year Three student and covers years Three and Four of their BSc degree.

In both cases, the purpose of the bursary is to support those changing career into forestry. The award of the bursary is competitive and will be managed by RSFS.

RSFS president Nander Robertson noted: “The RSFS prides itself on encompassing all aspects of forestry and trees in Scotland and supporting the broad range of people involved with them. These new bursaries are the realisation of a longstanding ambition of the Society to return to its roots in forestry education."

Forest owner Mr Davidson said: “I’m delighted to support these bursaries. Since acquiring my first forest in 2003, I have become a real advocate of forestry and value the expertise of the foresters. Through the RSFS I have become aware of the need for more people to enter the profession and the value of them coming from a range of backgrounds.”

Head of the Scottish School of Forestry and programme leader, Amanda Bryan, commented: “Here at UHI we are absolutely delighted to be working with RSFS to provide the RSFS Davidson Bursary for one of our Degree level students. This very generous award will ease the financial burden of studying for a degree, particularly for those mature students who have chosen forestry as their second career.”

Senior Forester at SRUC’s Barony campus, Martyn Davies, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for a student studying the Advanced Certificate in Forestry and Arboriculture to access financial aid, while allowing important networking to take place with the Royal Scottish Forestry Society. The forestry and timber technology industry remains essential to the economy, especially in these current times. The support we offer as an industry to new entrants will have lasting impacts on our work force.”