Forestry Scotland’s new army of ‘lumberjills’ continues to grow

By Caroline Wilson
The Herald Scotland
August 16, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Lesley Reilly

THEY were known affectionately as ‘Lumberjills’ during the second world war.  In 1942 hundreds of women and girls as young as 14 were recruited  to replace male loggers in Scotland who had left to serve their country.  They were expected to do everything their male counterparts were involved in including felling, snedding, loading trucks and trains and milling timber all over Scotland. …There are currently 40 apprentices at Forestry Land Scotland (FLS) – the Scottish Government agency responsible for managing national forests – and 11 of these are women. A further ten female, mid-year students have joined FLS in the past three years, as part of the organisation’s work-based learning programme. Female employees include Lesley Reilly, an expert chainsaw operator with FLS, who recently felled a particularly large, diseased ash on the site of a former ironworks – now a woodland – at Wilsontown  in Lanarkshire. 

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