April Newsletter 1 2022: Do you hear nature calling? 🌳🌿🌾

Timber! Our new 100 Hours Forestry Foundations Course

Considering Forestry as a career choice?  This course is an entry-level foundation course and is ideal as an introduction to understanding the importance of forestry management and what the forestry industry requires.

The course will help you understand the principles of growing and managing timber for production, the management of urban forests as a sustainable asset, and the relevance of agroforestry in relation to growing trees on farms. Learn also, how to manage commercial plantations, native and natural forests.

Learn and study the necessary elements of forestry. This course will help you develop an understanding of the various timber species and how to collect and process timber.

In this Forestry Foundations course, you’ll also learn how plantations and woodlands are managed, together with recognising the importance of conservation and restoration forestry. A most important element of this course includes agroforestry – the study of forestry for farms and the agriculture sector.

Forestry is generally described as the science and practice of managing trees for use in agriculture, environmental and climate change mitigation, for human health and animal shelter, for tourism and manufacturing. A career in forestry provides many opportunities for professional growth.

1. The Scope, Nature and Fundamentals of Forestry

  • Introduction to Forests
  • Tree Value
  • and more!

2.  Timber Types

  • Introduction to Timber and Forest Products
  • Different Types of Wood and Their Uses
  • and more!

3.  Harvesting

  • Tree Felling and Stump Removal
  • Protecting Trees
  • and more!

 4.  Milling and Processing

  • Introduction to Processing Timber
  • Turning Trees into Timber
  • and more!

5.  Plantation and Forestry Management

  • Introduction
  • Key terms
  • and more!

6.  Conservation & Restoration Forestry

  • Introduction to conservation and restoration
  • Forestry for Wildlife Conservation
  • and more!

7.  Agroforestry

  • Introduction to agroforestry
  • Benefits of Agroforestry including carbon sinks and credits
  • and more!

8.  Urban Forestry

  • Introduction to Urban Forestry
  • Selecting Tree Species
  • and more!

9.  PBL:    Planning a Commercial Timber Production

  • Project-Based Activity: to write a plan for commercial timber production on a small 5-acre woodlot, taking account of the site-specific and environmental considerations.

We Love Trees: 5 Reasons Why Trees Are Great

In the UK, we are all appreciating the beautiful Autumn colours of our trees. From rich reds to rusty browns and burnished golds, we cannot help but feel serene, peaceful and tranquil in a grove of trees.

Trees provide us with so many other benefits that perhaps we take for granted. These include the following:

  • Trees supply safety and a home for much wildlife. Our lives are undoubtedly enriched by the presence of birds and other small mammals who shelter among their branches.
  • Local climates are moderated from the extreme effects of sun, wind, and rain. Radiant energy from the sun is absorbed or deflected by leaves on deciduous trees in the summer and is only filtered by branches of deciduous trees in winter. Trees also play a part in combating climate change. Rain, sleet, snow and hail are absorbed or slowed by trees, providing some protection for people, pets, and buildings. Trees intercept water, store some of it, and reduce stormwater runoff, thus decreasing soil erosion and the accumulation of sediments in streams. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, removing and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of carbon dioxide produced when a car is driven for 26,000 miles.
  • Trees in urban surroundings can screen unattractive views and soften the harsh effects of masonry, metal, asphalt, steel, and glass. They can create a huge impact on how a community is perceived by visitors and they can positively affect the mood and community pride of its residents.
  • Research shows that the soothing effect of nearby trees and foliage can significantly reduce workplace stress levels and fatigue, calm traffic, and even reduce the recovery time needed after illness. Apartment buildings with higher levels of green space have lower crime rates than nearby blocks without trees.
  • Because of their poten­tial for long life, trees are frequently planted as living memorials. We often become personally attached to trees that we, or those we love, have planted.

Have you ever wanted to work with trees? To make an important difference to the natural world? This wide-ranging subject is known as Arboriculture. A knowledgeable arborist understands that working with trees is about more than felling them; once a tree is removed it cannot be put back. Arborists are there to encourage and maintain healthy, growing trees where at all possible; their work, therefore, has an important role in the community.
Opportunities in this growing industry include employment in private specialist contracting businesses, self-employment, local and state government positions. Activities include the maintenance and care of trees and large shrubs in private gardens, public parks, reserves, bushland reserves, recreational areas, industrial complexes, housing estates and institutions. The Academy for Distance Learning provides a variety of courses in Arboriculture. Why not check these out?

By Iona Lister

Iona has been a clinician and manager of health services for fifteen years, and a trainer for UK-based medical charities, focusing on psychosocial issues, mental health disorders, and also the promotion of communication skills for people in helping roles. She tutors and facilitates groups via workshops and teleconferences, and now specialises in Sight Loss. As a freelance writer, she contributes regular feature articles for magazines, has written five published books, as well as published courses relating to personal development and counselling skills.

Our New Short Course in UFO Spotting

Welcome to your advanced certificate in UFO Spotting as part of our new Centre for Extra-Terrestrial Research. In this short course you can expect to learn about:

  • Terrestrial UFOs
  • Extra-Terrestrial UFOs
  • What to do if you spot one
  • How to avoid being abducted
Lesson 1: Types of UFOs

A flying pig, not somthing you see everyday :)

UFOs can be any type of Unidentified Flying Object including those with Earth-bound origins. These can include flying pigs, poorly decorated aircraft, rouge hot air balloon and pterodactyl. Once identified, they are classed as FO (flying object) or, in the case of the pterodactyl, FD (flying dinosaur).

Alien UFOs are much more difficult to classify due to their dangerous and mysterious nature. Here is what I learned on my most recent trip to Area 51 for course research. There are two major classifications of alien UFOs, abductors and transport. Abductors look for people to pick up for experiments, usually never to be seen again. Transport types are intergalactic taxis for aliens that wind up on earth during particularly wild nights out; they typically leave marks called crop circles.

Lesson 2: What to do if you spot a UFO

A crop circle, alien taxi or elaborate prank? The mystery remains

The short answer is run. But the longer answer is run and take photos, preferably ones that cannot be used as definitive proof of aliens because that would ruin the fun for the rest of us. Aliens are a mixed bag, and while many are a friendly bunch and may just want a coffee or a chat, others may insist on showing you holiday photos of Andromeda or worse, read you some Vogon poetry uugh!


If you do find yourself abducted explain to your captors that there has been a terrible mix-up and that you were, in fact, looking for the nearest phone box and stumbled in here by mistake, that may just do the trick.

Assignment 1: Look at the night’s sky

The nights sky, just think about everything that's out there

Take a gaze into the unknown and wonder just what’s out there. Find a clear night, and maybe you’ll get a good look at the stars. It’s difficult not to feel small when surrounded by the majesty of our galaxy but take a second just to appreciate our universe. Who knows, you may spot something yourself!

Oh, and of course, APRIL FOOLS!!!




COP 27 – What it is and why it matters

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New RHS Course Pricing Options

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Cats, Bats and Spiders: Common Animals Associated with Halloween

Spooky Season has arrived again.  You may have noticed a few Halloween-themed decorations and costume pieces between the Christmas goods in your local store (now that Christmas legally begins in August). But have you stopped to wonder why cats, bats and spiders are common animals associated with Halloween? Once again windows will be filling up

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Is Your Neighbour a Witch?  These Deadly Plants Might Tell You

Plants mean potions, potions mean magic and magic means witches. How can you tell a witch apart? By the deadly plants in their garden. If you’re following our singular brand of logic back to its root, you’ll understand that you may well be able to spy a potential witch or warlock from the trees, herbs

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Tips for Writing Horror – Haunted Words at Halloween

For writers, inspiration often comes out of the blue staring them in the face.  At this time of year, that increasingly involves some form of Halloween horror as seeing some plastic knickknack hanging in a store window becomes the inspiration to try one’s hand at horror writing.  That said, writing a proper scary tale is

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