Smith Up Sticks To Smithton

03 August 2009
SNP MEP Alyn Smith will up sticks to Smithton, Inverness on Tuesday (4 August) to spend the day working as a lumberjack with the Forestry Commission as part of his annual work experience across Scotland.

His visit to Smithton ensues a hard day of deer stalking at Invermark Estate, Brechin.

Since his election in 2004, Smith has spent the first two weeks of recess on placements in a variety of trades. This year his ‘getting your hands dirty' week consists of: deer stalking, working as a lumberjack and working at Forth Ports on the Rosyth-Zeebrugge ferry and horse grooming at a later date.

The MEP will work along side David Jardine, Forest District Manager and his colleagues and will assist with a forest planning exercise at Strathmashie forest at Laggan.

Speaking ahead of his visit, Smith said:

"I think I will need to add a few more sugars to my porridge on Tuesday morning as by the sounds of things I am in for a hard days graft!

"Forestry Commission Scotland strives to protect and expand Scotland's forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment. The biggest area for Scottish business growth in the forestry sector is clearly green tourism and forest recreation with around 26 million visits made to Scotland's forests every year.

"Laggan Wolftrox is a clear example of this. It has a world-class trail and coupled with stunning scenery ranks Scotland as one of the top places on the planet to go biking.

"Forest tourism charms millions of European visitors to Scotland offering tourists the chance to enjoy the landscape, at no cost. It is thereby important for MEPs to leave the office work behind and work closely with the Forestry Commission to discover new ways to expand and increase the benefits forests bring to Scotland's tourism product. I am very much looking forward to a day out of the office and inhaling some fresh Highland air!"

Forest District Manager, David Jardine said:

"We'll certainly put Alyn through his paces as he gets to grips with the many aspects involved in forest planning and the day to day management of the national forest estate.

"Hopefully the day will be informative - as well as hard work. Forestry delivers a huge range of social, cultural and economic benefits to individuals and to communities - and it's also an important element in tackling the impact of climate change. The more people we have to help spread the word the better!"