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Forestry England

For over 100 years, Forestry England has been managing England’s public forests.

Following deforestation for timber requirements in periods of historic growth and conflict which left the UK with less than 5% woodland cover. We have been growing, shaping and caring for over 250,000 hectares of the country’s most important habitats for the benefit and enjoyment of all, for this generation and the next.

Today, woodland cover has increased to over 13%.

Forestry England manages beautiful, diverse, and productive, publicly owned woods and forests. In fact, we manage more land and trees than any other organisation in England.

We aim to connect everyone with the nation’s forests and create rich landscapes for the benefit of people, wildlife and the climate. We’ve built over 1,800 miles of walking, running and cycling trails, supply England’s largest amount of sustainably sourced timber, and conserve thousands of plant and animal species.

We care for some of the country’s most important habitats, home to our rarest wildlife. We are recovering vital ecosystems and returning missing species to our landscapes.

With careful planning and expert management, our forests will continue to thrive.

We are always thinking beyond today, planning and planting forests that will help create a sustainable future. By joining us on the Forestry England Graduate Leadership Programme you can form the future of a prosperous forestry industry, green economy and make real change.

Graduate Leadership Programme

Are you looking to kick-start a career that encourages you to be adventurous, make a difference and enjoy the freedom to approach challenges with creativity and imagination?

We think beyond a lifetime to make plans today for a better tomorrow, helping to deliver sustainable forests that thrive into the future, and we want you to join us.

We are looking for an outgoing and enthusiastic individual for our two-year graduate leadership programme, to apply the latest research and innovation techniques and provide a diverse range of perspectives.

Your journey with Forestry England begins with a two-year programme that will give you varied, stimulating and challenging work, allowing you to learn about sustainable land management and the UK forestry sector to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Your first year will be spent in one of our District offices, either South (Lyndhurst, Hampshire), East (Thetford, Norfolk), or Central (Sherwood, Nottinghamshire). You will work across a range of departments from forest planning, land management and recreation to develop a deep understanding of how our organisation operates, including timber harvesting and the management of designated protected areas such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

All of this is underpinned by acquiring a strong eye for business, identifying opportunities to get more people to enjoy nature and the nation’s forests, and working with specialist partners to deliver real change for the better.

In the second year, you will join our national operations team based out of Bristol to apply the skills you have learned in the first year on a national scale, giving you the chance to think about the bigger picture and drive real change throughout the organisation.

Current projects include the cultural and heritage value of the nation’s forests, and determining the species of trees we should be planting to ensure thriving forests for the next 100 years and beyond. We will also help you get involved in projects that match your areas of interest to build your skills for your career after the programme.


Graduate's Experiences

Richard Wilkinson, Graduate Trainee 2022-2024

"I started the second year of the Forestry England Graduate Programme in September 2023. I joined Forestry England as a change to my career having worked in the insurance industry for around 10 years. I was excited to apply for and be accepted to the graduate programme as it gave me the opportunity to work for an organisation where I could really make a difference and understand the different areas of land management from conservation and sustainability to timber harvesting, to recreation. It’s been so rewarding to see how forests can make such a big difference to people’s lives"

Maeve Brittle, Graduate Trainee 2023-2025

“I joined Forestry England in September 2023 in the East District, after graduating with a degree in Geography from the University of Cambridge. In the short time I have been here I have been working on projects in the Forestry and Land Management, and Forest Resilience teams. It has been great to have a mix of practical work out in the forest and work in the office. I was given plenty of responsibility early on, with lots of support to facilitate the steep learning curve required to get to grips with forestry.”

Adam Harrington, Graduate Trainee 2023-2025

"I joined Forestry England in August 2023, in the South District after having studied Economics with Geography at Loughborough University. I wanted to join an organisation that makes a real difference and in the short time I’ve been with Forestry England, I’ve already been able to see the vital/impactful work that is done right across the district (which is extremely motivating). I have been given plenty of responsibility at an early stage, such as overseeing a contract for the planting of 70,000 trees. Additionally, I've had the chance to actively engage in hands-on forestry activities, which has been a great way to build my knowledge."

Sally Jervis, Graduate Trainee 2023-2025

"I started my role in Forestry England in August 2023, after a career change from working as a Chef in the hospitality industry for 7 years and subsequently graduating from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Ecology and Conservation Biology. I am now in month 4 of the graduate leadership program and can say that I am proud to be part of an organisation that holds values which align closely with my own, encompassed by mutual respect for the worth and diversity of our natural environment alongside an intrinsic need to better social wellbeing simultaneously. The programme has thus far presented me with a range of responsibilities and opportunities such as outreach activities in recreation and public affairs that have increased my personal development and understanding of the sector."