Welcome to our free, comprehensive online course- Ground Preparation for Woodland Creation

Commencing on the 1st of March, course modules and resources will be released each Monday for delegates to work through. These modules will be supported by online tutorials where questions may be asked and discussions had around the topics covered. The course is open and relevent to all involved or interested in tree planting (not limited to Cumbria).

Why is the course important?

"The right ground prep on the right soils can improve survival and growth rates along with reducing the need for herbicide. That’s got to be good, improved growth reduced nasties! The wrong ground prep done in the wrong way on the wrong site can sink the whole push towards increased planting" Neville Elstone (Director)

Why now?

"Tree planting is very Prada at the moment. Bashing the sector for planting in the wrong place and way is also the height of fashion. We have to get it right, it's kind of 'licence to operate' stuff." Neville Elstone (Director)

Who is this course for?

"If you want to plant trees then the course is for you! Be it a specifier, regulator, contractor manager or contractor it is stuff you need to know." Neville Elstone (Director)

Course Modules-

  1. What is ground preparation?
  2. Site conditions & tree growth
  3. Environmental guidance & legislation
  4. Ground preparation techniques
  5. Matching ground preparation to the site
  6. Case study reflections

Course Tutor Dave Atkinson-

Dave Atkinson is the Senior Forestry Manager for Edwin Thompson who operate across the North of England and South Scotland. Dave has over 30 years of experience in the sector starting his career in private forestry in the West Highlands, work as woodland officer for the FC in Cumbria followed by six years lecturing in forestry for the University of Cumbria before returning to the front line with Edwin Thompson in 2013. Edwin Thompson manage a significant portfolio of farms, estates and woodlands on behalf of private clients and have planted between 50 and 200 hectares of new woodland most years.

“My role in the course will be to provide practical insight as part of the tutorials and consider how guidance, regulation and site planning are taken forward out there on the ground. We, as foresters, are often guilty of making forestry complicated, when in reality it is one of the simplest forms of land management. Anyone who has ever tried to grow anything in their back garden will be well on their way to understanding forestry ground preparation. Weed free, warm, well drained and aerated soils grow the best veg and so it is with trees.” (Dave Atkinson)


Link to Part 1 of the course here

Link to Part 2 of the course here

Link to Part 3 of the course here

Link to Part 4 of the course here

Tutorials will be held on Zoom at 4pm on the 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th of March

Sign up for the tutorials here

This training course is developed and provided by Cumbria Woodlands. It has been funded by the Forestry Commission in association with Roots to Prosperity, RDI and Martin Glynn. The initial support for this work came from the Forestry Commission through the Research and Development Grant under the Forestry Innovation Fund