Our countryside students have had the privilege of trialling advanced innovative technology from leading power tool manufacturer Stihl.

Thanks to our long standing partnership with the company, we were one of the first colleges in the country to use Stihl’s latest training tool, a virtual reality chainsaw simulator.

Nearly 30 Level 3 Diploma Forestry and Arboriculture first year students plus Level 2 Countryside and Environment students had the opportunity to try out the immersive experience, which replicates different methods of tree felling including cross cutting and snedding without the use of a ‘live’ chainsaw.

The system, which involves a head set, chainsaw and computer screen, is particularly suitable for training students who have never previously handled a chainsaw and provided a lot of fun for the whole group.

Stihl Sales Retail Trainer Reuben Wilson, who ran the session with colleague Amanda Patterson, said: “This has been a very interesting experience which everyone has enjoyed. It has been a great opportunity for us to show students advancements in their industry, particularly in the areas of cordless technology and computer based technology.”

Level 2 Countryside and Environment student Aidan Moore added: “The whole session has been very good. It’s a great way to learn about using a chainsaw before using it on an actual job out of doors. It gives you more time to think what you are doing, and it’s safer and more convenient.”

Stihl regularly uses our facilities for dealership product training and also attends our annual industry event, which introduces countryside students to leading manufacturers and training providers.