Felling Trees

27 November 2018, 10:00 - 15:00 ( Add to calendar )

This is a beginners course for adults wanting to learn how to fell small trees (less than 20cm in diameter) safely using hand tools and based on current good practice and an understanding of tree biology and structure.

This mainly practical all-day course will take place at Surrey Wildlife Trust's educational nature reserve at Nower Wood near Headley and will be delivered by an experienced countryside trainer Paul Ritchie. With over twenty years experience managing woodland, commons and open space Paul will start with a short classroom session will cover an introduction to trees, their biology, management and uses. This is important for understanding how trees grow and respond when you cut them with saws.

Paul will then take you to an outside teaching area to learn how to identify the hazards associated with using bow saws and felling small trees. You will discuss reducing risks and felling trees safely so not to harm yourself or others. 

After lunch you will move into an area of woodland where you will fell small trees that have been identified for clearance as part of the conservation management plan for Nower Wood. You will be shown how to process your felled tree to produce a variety of timber and wood products as well as using waste materials to create wildlife habitats.

All students will get an attendance certificate but this is not an accredited course.

Tutor profile - Paul Ritchie

As a Biologist with over 20 years of experience looking after nature reserves and commons Paul is well placed to teach courses in ecology, conservation and practical countryside skills. He had roles training employees and volunteers for the Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Corporation and Surrey Wildlife Trust.

He went on to study zoology at the University of Nottingham.

After studying ecology and conservation at Birbeck College, University of London Paul moved onto a second 20-year career with City of London managing parks, gardens and open spaces. He helped establish a community woodland project at Ashtead Common NNR; trained and assessed apprentices; and worked closely with volunteer and community groups.

Before recently retiring, Paul was the Community Learning Coordinator for Surrey Wildlife Trust working with colleagues and external tutors to plan and deliver a wide range of scientific, practical skills and art courses for adults. Paul has complemented his prior experience as an associate lecturer for the University of Surrey by completing a PTLLS course at East Surrey College.

Registration Types

Name Price Quantity


SWT members receive a discount on this course.
Price £35.00 Quantity


To receive a discounted rate on your adult learning courses you must first be a member of SWT. This can be achieved for as little as £3 per month. For more information about becoming a member please follow this link http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/support-us/become-member
Price £47.00 Quantity