forestry@bangor distance learning student recognised in National Forestry competition
Confor, the industry body which represents the forestry and wood sector across the UK, launched a nationwide #TheFutureIsForestry competition in Westminster in June 2019. The task? To write an essay or create a short film addressing the question “How can farmers and landowners be motivated to plant more trees to deliver a wide range of benefits, especially mitigating climate change?”
Results were released online (instead of being presented by Defra Minster Lord Goldsmith at an evening reception, due to Covid-19 restrictions). Nathan Adams, currently studying Bangor University’s MSc Forestry (distance learning) was highly commended for his essay. Nathan said “the key points I made in my essay were that the construction industry is under increasing pressure to ensure it is completing buildings that are 'net zero carbon'. This includes not only the operational carbon associated with a building but also its embodied carbon (the associated carbon stemming from a building's materials, construction process, maintenance, disposal etc.). In its current state, the construction industry cannot achieve 'net zero carbon' on a project without a certain level of carbon offsetting. My submission made the point that this could represent a substantial consistent source of private funding for farmers and landowners to access to get trees in the ground.”
Reflecting on this very public recognition of his work, Nathan said “I am really thrilled that, as a student of forestry, I was able to write something that gained the attention of forestry professionals at Confor. I am hoping that what I wrote may gain some wider industry interest once it is published on the Confor website.”
Nathan’s course director, Senior Lecturer in forestry James Walmsley from the School of Natural Sciences commented: “I’m delighted that Nathan’s ideas have been recognised in this way. Forestry offers tremendous potential for climate change mitigation, particularly if trees are grown with a view to producing high quality building materials that effectively ‘lock-up’ carbon in buildings for many decades or more. As a part-time forestry student who also works as a sustainability consultant for Focus Consultants, Nathan is very well placed to identify and develop these opportunities for forestry.” Looking ahead, Nathan shared the following thoughts about his future ambitions: “Firstly, I would like to revisit this topic for my MSc thesis. I would then like to see the construction sector making significant steps towards becoming net zero carbon while simultaneously assisting the forestry sector to hit new annual planting targets. I would like to be a part of this evolution of the two sectors.”
James Walmsley said “our distance learning programmes continue to attract incredibly talented mature students, many of whom go on to make considerable contributions to forestry and woodlands both in the UK and beyond. There is widespread societal interest and appreciation in trees, woodlands and forests, yet relatively few people choose to study them academically.” When asked about why he is studying MSc Forestry at Bangor University, Nathan commented “My wife made me realise/told me that rather than talking at her about trees and forests constantly and seeing them only as an interest, I should study them. I don't know why I didn't see that myself but then again she often knows how I feel before I do!”
If you are interested in studying a related degree programme at Bangor University, please visit www.bangor.ac.uk/natural-sciences/subject-areas/forestry/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org / telephone +44 1248 382881 / 2351 / social media @BUForestry.
Publication date: 29 April 2020