Bangor University Celebrates 110 Years of Forestry Teaching

One of the oldest “forestry universities” in the UK – and the first to offer a degree in forestry – is celebrating 110 years of forestry teaching.  Over that time Bangor University has awarded forestry degrees to students from more than 100 countries, and today 60 undergraduate and 100 postgraduate MSc students are studying on forestry courses run by its School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography.  Bangor’s international research profile and vibrant research culture in forestry mean that 50% of the School’s research students are working in the areas of forestry, agroforestry and wood science.

Bangor forestry graduates and staff will be celebrating the 110th anniversary over the weekend of 21st-22nd June 2014 with a dinner, a trip to Gwydyr Forest in Snowdonia and a commemorative tree planting in the grounds of the University’s new arts and innovation centre.  There will be “open house” in the Thoday building, which opened 60 years ago in 1954 and has been the home for forestry staff and students ever since.  Click here for a copy of programme and booking form.

Forestry teaching in Bangor started in 1904, when the University College of North Wales established the position of assistant lecturer in forestry in its Department of Agriculture.  The Department of Forestry was formed in 1907, and in 1908 Bangor became the first university in Britain to offer a (two-year) degree in forestry.  Two students took their final examinations in 1910, and in the same year Bangor appointed its first Professor of Forestry.

Bangor’s current Professor of Forest Sciences, John Healey, says “from its earliest days Bangor University sought to develop teaching in subjects of local, national and global importance.  Forestry has been one of the greatest successes of this policy: Bangor University is established as a world-leading institution which has achieved a huge impact on the profession of forestry and the sustainable management of forests.  The education of international students has been a major feature throughout the history of forestry at Bangor, with students graduating from more than 100 countries.  Their influence has been enormous, assuming leading positions in government and international forestry organisations in Wales, Great Britain and throughout the world.  The founders of forestry as a degree subject at Bangor, such as Fraser Story, showed great foresight.  The relevance of our degrees is now as high as ever given the huge importance of forests as the world’s greatest source of renewable materials and as a vital component of our management of the environment: storing carbon, providing habitat for much of the world’s biodiversity, and controlling flooding and soil erosion.  Managing forests sustainably to satisfy all of these needs is a huge challenge which are graduates are well equipped to meet.  A career in forestry has never been more important or exciting.”

For more information about our history, our current forestry courses and our research please visit our web pages at https://www.bangor.ac.uk/subject-areas/forestry/