He’s a lumberjack and he’s doing OK!
That’s the update on 26-year-old Daniel Chapman, from Stanley, who is working his way up the career ladder by completing a Forestry Commission trainee craftsperson course in 2,000 hectare Hamsterley Forest.
Now his duties have taken on a very festive theme as he ventures into the spectacular County Durham wood to fell big Xmas trees.
The British Christmas Trees Growers’ Association says bigger specimens might be short supply this year, but forest chiefs have good home-grown supplies of Norway spruce in the Pennine beauty spot.
Consignments are being earmarked for sale in Hamsterley and also further afield in places like Chopwell Woodland Park and Gibside, near Gateshead.
“I love being outdoors and started working for the Commission collecting fees on the forest toll at Hamsterley,” said Ian. “Getting a good training in forestry opens up a lot of doors and I’m really enjoying the experience. I’m a practical person so felling Christmas trees is much better than working in an office.”
Amongst other training Daniel will learn how to use a chainsaw. When he’s not in the woods he volunteers restoring steam trains on the Tanfield Railway.
Christmas tree sales run daily in Hamsterley from 1 to 16 December, from 10am to 4pm. Cash raised will be used used to care for the region’s woods.
Adding to the “feel good” factor there’s the knowledge that a real tree uses ten times less energy to produce than an artificial one.
Other sales Xmas tree sale centres run at Kielder Castle on 8 and 9 December, 11am to 4pm, and at the Forestry Commission office in Rothbury on Walby Hill from 7 to 9 December and 14 to 16 December, 9am-4pm.
For more information on Christmas with the Forestry Commission, tree tips, festive events and hundreds of woodland trails to help you work off the festive excess visit the Forestry Commission website at www.forestry.gov.uk/christmas