CARVING A CAREER IN TREES AND TIMBER
For Immediate Release Elizabeth Cadd’s ‘workshop’ is a newly coppiced woodland on a Leicestershire farm - a place where her artistic talents intertwine with her growing conservation and woodland management skills. Because of these very skills, she has just been named Lantra’s Women and Work Trees and Timber Winner of the Year. Since 2006, the Lantra Women and Work programme has worked with over 1212 companies in England to support 3,250 women develop their skills and progress their careers in industries where women are under-represented. To celebrate the end of the 2010/2011 training programme, the nine top learners were recognised at the second annual Lantra Women and Work Awards, sponsored by VectorWorks Training, at Nailcote Hall, Warwickshire, on 30 March 2011. “There is something very therapeutic about greenwood working,” admits 36-year-old Elizabeth Cadd. “It is wonderful to take a piece of wood and turn it into an object that’s both useful and beautiful.” As well as turning her hand to coppicing, hedgelaying and woodland conservation Elizabeth works with greenwood, creating garden furniture, sculptural seating and traditional coppice products. “I made my own bowl turning lathe last year and it’s now set up in the coppice with my other equipment at Manor Farm, Burton Overy, about four miles out of Leicester. Craig who runs Manor Farm has very kindly let me set my greenwood workshop up here.” “I’ve been without a suitable work space for many years, so it’s great to finally be in a woodland setting, with all my materials to hand, that’s how it should be. “she said. Elizabeth was invited to help carry out various woodland management tasks during winter at Manor Farm where her partner runs a tree surgery business. “The natural progression is that I should now make things from the wood we felled and coppiced. Although this is a young woodland, planted only nine years ago, it still gives plenty of scope for a creative mind with practical skills. Making something from what could be a wasted by-product is very satisfying, it just takes a bit of patience and energy.” ”Take this coppice for example; we initially cleared this completely overgrown area of blackthorn and willow to let the light in. Pollarded the mature field maples on the edge of the bank whilst leaving the ash to mature. A new coppice of hazel and field maple was planted, along with areas of bird cherry and wild cherry. We laid old hedges and planted new ones. It was a very satisfying project for everyone involved.” Elizabeth studied art and design at university and worked as a freelance web and graphic designer until her interest in practical conservation eventually led her into a gradual career change three years ago. “For the past three summers I’ve volunteered at Clissett Wood in Herefordshire, helping Gudrun Leitz (contemporary chair maker and teacher) run her programme of greenwood working courses. I did this in order to experience a different way of learning. “It’s a wonderful experience living and working in the woodland. It really lifts your spirits and puts you more in touch with yourself. Here I am able to combine my knowledge of traditional rural crafts with contemporary design and create pieces which are exhibited in art galleries in and around Shropshire. I have had the privilege of seeing many people make Windsor chairs, welsh stick chairs and sculptural seating. This year I will be taking a step up and assisting in the workshop.” Elizabeth embarked on training at the Greenwood Centre, in Ironbridge, through Lantra’s Women and Work programme, gaining qualifications in Sustainable Woodland Management, Woodland Ride Management and Social Forestry. “I got funding from Lantra’s Women and Work scheme, which enabled me to get training in the areas I needed and so boost my confidence in the woodland situation,” says Elizabeth. Thanks to the scheme, she also completed a three-day tool forging workshop with John Rees at Clissett Wood using a traditional charcoal forge, and a two-day workshop with Ben Orford in a hi-tech forge making greenwood bowl turning hooks and turning chisels. “The course with Ben Orford was awesome, even though I had some huge blisters at the end of it, I loved bending out the red hot springs of steel and hammering them out until my arm felt like it was about to drop off” says Elizabeth, “its helped me understand my tools much better, how to keep an edge sharp, and that’s effected my whole working process. “ “As with all the courses I’ve undertaken, they’ve helped me become a more confident and able woodland worker which is the best thing that could have happened.” Lyndsay Bird, Lantra Women and Work Programme Manager said, “Elizabeth’s successes show just how far you can go when you challenge yourself and continuously develop your skills, which is exactly what this programme is designed to achieve. Her career is greatly boosted by her determination and no doubt this is just the beginning for her.” The Lantra Women and Work funding programme will commence in June 2011 (subject to contract). For more information and to register your interest visit www.lantra.co.uk/Women-and-Work. Follow Lantra on twitter at www.twitter.com/LantraSSC. Read about Elizabeth’s woodland experiences and greenwood working at www.greenwoodwoman.blogspot.com or visit www.elizabethcadd.co.uk. ENDS ISSUED BY Lantra Press Office Samuel Zelmer-Jackson, PR Co-ordinator Tel: 02476 858 418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Lantra on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LantraSSC CREDIT FOR PHOTO Elizabeth Cadd – Lantra’s Women and Work Trees and Timber Award 2010/11 NOTES TO EDITOR About Women and Work • The Women and Work: Sector Pathways Initiative is about raising skills and unlocking potential. The project aims to raise recruitment levels in sectors where women are under-represented; increasing earning potential and aiding career progression. The initiative is in response to recommendations by the Women and Work Commission’s report ‘Shaping a Fairer Future’ and receives government funding, matched by employer contributions. • Women and Work funding is available to those working in agriculture, aquaculture, environmental conservation, farriery, fencing, fisheries management, game and wildlife, horticulture, landscaping and sports turf, production horticulture, land-based engineering and trees and timber. • For more information: www.lantra.co.uk/womenandwork/ About Lantra • Lantra is the Sector Skills Council for land-based and environmental industries, working to ensure these businesses access the training, qualifications, skills and knowledge they need. • Lantra represents 17 industries: agricultural livestock and crops; animal care; animal technology; aquaculture; environmental conservation; equine; farriery; fencing; fisheries management; floristry; game and wildlife management; land-based engineering; horticulture, landscaping and sports turf; production horticulture; trees and timber and veterinary activities. • By working together with the sector, Lantra leads research on skills issues and business needs, sets national standards and develops qualifications to meet modern business needs and help businesses grow through skills. • For more information see www.lantra.co.uk.