Dumfries and Galloways Barony Campus Said “Willkommen” to German Forestry Students

The Barony Campus of Scotland’s Rural College recently hosted three female forestry students from Munchehof School in Germany for a month as part of an international exchange.
The students in their third year of a forestry apprenticeship, joined SRUC Barony’s own students and made full use of the excellent facilities and equipment which includes the Scottish Forest Industry Technology Centre (SFITC) and specialist forestry simulators, forwarders and climbing equipment.
The group particularly enjoyed learning about tree climbing and how to rescue a colleague stranded during this type of work. They also carried out species identification, and the thinning of Sitka spruce from the initial stage of marking the trees, right through to felling and then delimbing the trees.
Talking about the international students, Forestry Lecturer Tom Karas commented:
“Barony Campus has excellent international links, and we were delighted to expand these further when we opened our doors for the first time to students from Germany – and the feedback from our three foresters was all positive, indeed they are keen to return to Scotland for further studies here!
“In addition to practical classes the students also visited different local forests where I encouraged them to compare and contrast the species and the woodland management with those in Germany. The study trips included viewing native woodland restoration at Carrifran Wildwood contrasted with the large scale commercial plantation forestry systems of Eskdalemuir and cultivated species at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh at Dawyck.
“The three ladies really got into the spirit of the Barony campus and took part in the annual campus race, with one of them, Ida Klaus being the first lady to finish!”
In addition to the learning activities, the students enjoyed some weekend trips around the country with two highlights including a visit to the Highlands exploring the ancient Caledonian Forest in the Cairngorm National Park and seeing the Douglas Firs in Perthshire’s ‘Big Tree’ countryside.
Speaking at the end of their placement, the three students from Munchehof School said:
“All in all we had a lot of fun and learned a lot, and right from the start we felt very welcome. Every time we could count on the help of the staff, especially when we planned our trips for the weekend. Therefore we would like to say “Thank you very much to SRUC Barony”.
More information on the range of forestry courses available can be found at http://www.sruc.ac.uk/forestarbor.
Photograph: L-R: Ida Klaus, Leona Ottens and Johanna Picker

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