MPs and peers call for funding to help veterans find a career in forestry

7 June 2023

Politicians are to write to Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer to ask for financial support to support ex-military personnel find a career in forestry.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Forestry and Tree Planting heard that taster sessions giving people the chance to drive large forestry machines had been successful in Scotland.

The sessions, organised by Confor, were funded by Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Forestry, and supported by John Deere, which provided machines worth up to £200,000.

However, at present, no funding is available to support the taster sessions in England or Wales.

Richard Hunter, Confor’s Technical and Industry Support Manager, urged the APPG to request funding. He was supported by Guy Opperman, Conservative MP for Hexham, and by Ben Lake, Plaid Cymru MP for Ceredigion.

Mr Lake, who was earlier re-elected as Chair of the APPG at its AGM, agreed to write to Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer MP on behalf of the Group.