News, stories and reports from Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Forest Estate

The Forest, episode 5.

The popular documentary series, The Forest, is on tonight - BBC One Scotland at 19.30hours. Filmed over six months, the six part series gets views up close and personal with those who live and work in Galloway Forest Park.

Our Community Projects Manager, Lyndy Renwick, based in Galloway, was involved with the filming. Here she gives us an insight into the filming and explains a bit about her role.

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Lyndy Renwick, Community Projects ManagerYou’re a Community Projects Manager - what is that? What’s your working day like?

I work with the communities that surround Galloway Forest District. People living in the area want to work with FES because the forests and woodlands can really help communities on a number of fronts.  This could be through  holding events and activities, getting involved in managing land or buildings, developing renewable energy projects, establishing community woodlands, hutting, fishing, volunteering projects and even big scale landscape partnerships projects.

Most days involve establishing the ground rules for agreements that enable FES to work with communities. I meet up with community representatives to discuss their plans and help make them more achievable by making them bite-sized and phased. I am also the first point of call for community asset transfers - the process where communities can purchase land from us.

The work is really varied and rewarding. For example, there was an increase in the number of grass fires in the north of the area last year. To reduce this in the future I am working with Police Scotland, neighbouring landowners, Doon Academy and the fire brigade to set up events for the local primary schools on a grass fire campaign. The events will help show the damaging effects of fire to the landscape, wildlife, the local community and of course, the people themselves.

I also work with community groups who have invested in windfarms and those who want to invest in the National Forest Estate to bring tourism in and  keep their community going.

Can you tell me about your favourite place within Galloway Forest Park? What’s special about it?

North Kyle and East Ayrshire. Actually, they are outside the forest park but within the overall Forest District area that we manage. This area is special to me as I can see the forest being able to create a lasting and positive legacy that will replace an extremely degraded industrial landscape with something more natural and in keeping with the area before opencast mining arrived. By transforming the area using forestry as the catalyst we can make it more welcoming to wildlife and make a greater connection between communities and the forest. Trees provide a high quality opportunity to provide outdoor education, activity, recreation and creates an environment that enables economic, environmental and social economic regeneration. All the stuff that the forest should be used for as well as timber production. These are the elements that are often overlooked when looking at our commercial forests, which now offer far more through great design and diversification.

What motivates you each day? What do you love about work?

Working with people and making change happen.  Each day can bring different challenges all in the pursuit of making the forests relevant in people’s lives.

What brings you to a forest when you’re not working?

Walking the dog. My favorite bit of woodland is the Brough Wood outside New Galloway. This is lovely Oak, Birch and Hazel semi ancient woodland that not many people know about.

The series finishes next week but if you have missed an episode you can catch up on iPlayer.