the south pennines leader

Extensive forestry training now on offer at Holmfirth company thanks to a grant from South Pennines’ LEADER programme

A specialist independent land-based training provider for the forestry industry and beyond will be able to extend its training provision thanks to new hi-spec equipment.

T Kirk Forestry, of Holmfirth will take delivery of a Valtra Tractor and a Junkkari Trailer this month. These have been purchased, in part, with the help of grant funding provided through the South Pennines’ LEADER programme, which is designed to boost local rural businesses.

New Valtra Tractor and Junkkari Trailer
New Valtra Tractor and Junkkari Trailer

Both pieces of equipment have been adapted for use in the forest to allow trainers to instruct professionals, from the land based industries using the most appropriate and up-to-date equipment.

Tim Kirk, founder and partner of T Kirk Forestry, explained why the equipment was so important. “This tractor and trailer are designed and manufactured to operate in the forest, which is a difficult environment. Many places are hard to access with normal vehicles. They will allow us to extend our forestry machinery operations training.

Junkkari Trailer
Junkkari Trailer

“Holme Styes Wood is a 136-hectare commercial forest that we manage through the delivery of training. With this land, the very best equipment and fully qualified trainers we can offer a complete training package,” Tim added.

Tim established T Kirk Forestry in 1992. Since then the business has expanded and diversified in to the delivery of training to the land based industry, it has six full-time employees and works with over 50 associated training instructors throughout the country. Through this training people achieve nationally recognised qualifications and go on to become foresters, tree surgeons and to have careers in the land based sector.

T Kirk Forestry offers a wide range of land-based training courses from safe use of pesticides, safe use of chainsaws, aerial tree work to tractor driving, they work closely with utility companies, fire and police forces. T Kirk Forestry is also an approved provider of training, designed specifically for members of the Armed Forces.

The South Pennines LEADER programme, which is managed by Pennine Prospects, is available to support rural businesses in the South Pennines area. Applications are still being accepted for the programme, which has a total budget of £1,269,000. Eligible projects must be fully approved and contracted by February 2019 so applications need to be made in the next few months.

The programme is designed to offer support to increase farm productivity, as well as support for micro and small enterprises and farm diversification, rural tourism, the provision of rural services, support for cultural and heritage activity and for increasing forestry productivity. Grants can be awarded for up to 40% of the cost of a project. There is a handbook and guidance notes available from the South Pennines LEADER website at masterra

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