Fí¶rst, a leading supplier of high performance and robust woodchippers, is working in partnership with Merrist Wood College to help develop the tree surgeons of the future.
Spread across 400 acres, Merrist Wood College has over 2,000 students studying a range of land-based courses including Arboriculture and Forestry, Sports Studies and Horticulture.
After meeting at the 2015 Arb Association's Arb Show, Fí¶rst donated a TR6 woodchipper to the college for their Arboriculture and Forestry courses, which range from one-day sessions through to full time 9-week intensive courses and diplomas from levels 2 to 4.
Utilised by short course and full time Arboriculture and Forestry students, the machine enables pupils to gain hands-on experience using high quality industry machines. Through using the machine, students can achieve their required Certificate of Competence, allowing them to begin their Arboriculture or Forestry employment earlier than usual and with the correct qualifications.
Speaking of the partnership, Zak Walker, Head Lecturer at Merrist Wood College, said: "The donation of the Forst machine has allowed our students to gain real life experience of the machines that they will be using throughout their career, and the TR6 is a fantastic start."
"Because it is a modern machine, which is very robust yet simple to use, maintain and service, it is the ideal woodchipper for us as a college. It makes conducting training, maintenance and use extremely easy. The simplicity of the design also makes learning for students, who have never previously seen or used a wood chipper before, extremely straightforward and easy to understand."
Merrist Wood College, opened in 1943, and has been offering Arboriculture courses for nearly 50 years. Teaching over 10,000 Arboriculture and Forestry students every aspect of the industry from tree planting, maintenance and care to climbing, chainsaw use and felling.
Lecturers from the college visited the Forst headquarters in Andover to receive specialist training on all aspects of the Forst machines, allowing them to offer bespoke learning to their students. A student visit also followed shortly after.
Zak continued: "As we do a lot of our training across our own site and across other forestry locations around Guildford, it was essential that we use a tracked woodchipper as many of our locations may be hard to access and often boggy. The TR6 can quickly and easily be taken to any site, tackling a range of different terrains."
Doug Ghinn, Director of Fí¶rst, said: "At Forst, one of our main aims is to support the latest generation of Arboriculture and Forestry students to help them achieve success in their chosen career. As well as striving to supply the industry's leading machines, we want to provide students with access to these machines to help them excel in their learning."
All Fí¶rst machines are installed with waterproof and vibration proof unique AutoIntelligence feed control, to provide outstanding reliability and usability as well as an open top flywheel system to ensure chip is thrown, not blown, minimising blockages on wet material and helping to maintain increased velocity when chipping.