“The best start in forestry I could’ve had…”

A graduate forester has reflected on his one year working in woodlands at Thirlmere.

Bryce Flannaghan has been taking his first steps in forestry during a 12 month placement.

He has been employed by the Lake District Foundation and managed by Cumbria Woodlands.

As part of his learning Bryce worked alongside United Utilities staff making lasting improvements to woodlands around the reservoir at Thirlmere.

His role was created as part of a partnership between Cumbria Woodlands, United Utilities and the Lake District Foundation, who secured Green Recovery Challenge Funding generously provided by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Bryce’s work focused on the restoration of plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS) to their former natural condition throughout Thirlmere Valley.

The aim was to increase overall biodiversity, mitigate the effects of extreme weather events and climate change, as well as improving water quality of Thirlmere which supplies water throughout the Northwest.

Bryce said: “My responsibility has been the planning and implementation of this woodland restoration to to improve and protect these unique habitats so future generations can benefit from them.

“I have had a fantastic year. Cumbria Woodlands has been great to work with and really pushed my professional development. I’m grateful to them and The Lake District Foundation for funding the whole project.

“I’m also grateful to United Utilities for letting me work in their woodlands to try and restore it to what it was.”

Reflecting on his year as Graduate Forester, Bryce said: “It’s the best start in forestry I could’ve had. It’s a life-long career for me…”

We went out to see Bryce to find out more about his work…

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