Patrick Faircloth, owner, Faircloth Forestry

Patrick Faircloth, owner, Faircloth Forestry - image: HW
Patrick Faircloth, owner, Faircloth Forestry - image: HW

- How did you get started?

I never considered arboriculture or forestry as an option when I was at school. I wish I had - it would have saved me two years trying out university courses I knew I was never fully committed to. On leaving university and feeling rather sheepish, I started working for a forestry firm as a basic groundsman. Since 2005 I have been self employed and have undertaken various arboricultural and technical courses.

- What does your typical day involve?

My business incorporates forestry and tree surgery work. Forestry work is predominantly ground-based while tree surgery involves climbing the tree with ropes and a harness to reach the problem area. One day I might be dismantling a huge tree in someone's garden while the next I'll be on Dartmoor thinning a woodland.

- What is the best part of your job?

It is certainly hard to beat the feeling of working in a woodland, in the sun, in the middle of nowhere. I enjoy the hands-on learning experience I get with my work and at the end of every day there's always something new for me to look up. There is also something very appealing about swinging around in a tree canopy on ropes.

- And the worst?

It's an obvious one but rain does put a dampener on things.

- What piece of kit can you not do without?

I would never work without my chainsaw trousers on. I have heard enough grizzly stories of what chainsaws do to flesh. Obviously the trousers are not 100 per cent effective, but they're a lot stronger than jeans.

- How do you wind down after a hard day?

I love playing and watching sport. I play football two or three times a week and love squash. I live in Devon, where I go surfing or wakeboarding when I can.

- What is your greatest achievement?

I was proud to be awarded the Top Practical Student Award by the Royal Forestry Society. But really I'm glad to be where I am at my age, running my own business and doing something that I really love.

- What does the future hold?

I would like to finish off my courses and make the time to work abroad. I think I could learn a lot from working with another firm and in another country. My greatest ambition would be to own a woodland myself.

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