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That’s the Ticket!

October 16, 2015

Written by Amy Brocklehurst & Christina Bowdler, Practical Conservation Trainees.

The last couple of weeks we have been very busy gaining some formal qualifications to add to our ever-widening repertoires! The machinery tickets we obtain in this traineeship are often a crucial asset to make it into our chosen career paths, so this has been an invaluable opportunity.

The first week saw Jack and Sophie join us for a day at Deverell farm in Milborne St Andrew to try our hand at brushcutter operation. Starting with maintenance and ending with some practice runs along the grass verges (leaving them decidedly patchy!), we learnt the safe and effective use of these machines and gained our Lantra qualification.

Copyright Amy Brocklehurst.

Of course we had to have an obligatory pose shot at the end, it’s not often all four of us are together!

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Happy days! We all passed our brushcutter assessment. Copyright Amy Brocklehurst.

Last week saw the culmination of lots of stressful practice put into use, as the two of us swallowed our nerves and faced our chainsaw test in a woodland at Wimborne St Giles. We started by demonstrating our chainsaw maintenance knowledge and chain sharpening ability, and then had to demonstrate two felled trees: a standard felling cut and a technical felling cut. We had to get one of these trees deliberately hung up in another tree so that we could demonstrate the ability to get it unstuck and safely down to the ground with various techniques.

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Stump, stack & a tree-feller’s toolkit. Copyright Amy Brocklehurst.

With no shortage of worry and panic and a very long day spent lugging our chainsaws around, we are excited to say that we managed to do everything correctly and safely and we both passed our chainsaw test! We had the biggest smiles on our faces at the end of the day and who can blame us, this was one of the hardest challenges we have had to face so far, and we defeated it!

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Nothing will stop us now! Tickets achieved, it’s time for the real learning to begin. Copyright Amy Brocklehurst.

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