In celebration of 20 years of Forestry at WIT, we talk to Robert Windle, forest inspector, Forest Service
Robert Windle considers his job as a forest inspector his dream job as he will never run out of new challenges that occur in his line of work. He has studied Forestry and Land management at WIT and says “All aspects of the Forestry programmes at WIT have proven vital in my career to date. I’d honestly say I have used 95% of everything I was taught in college”. Robert advises students to get at least a 2.2. or higher in their honours degree because it will open more doors in terms of career prospects.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
Assess all applications for forestry consents, licences and schemes. Ensure tree felling and forest replanting takes place in accordance with the Forestry Act 2014. Carry out compliance inspections with reference to ISPM No.15 wood packaging standards and Forest Reproductive Material.
Describe a typical day
Carry out field and desk inspection of applications for the different forestry schemes and felling licences.
What are the main challenges?
A job in the Forest Service presents many challenges, everything from assessing the eligibility of afforestation applications to the different forestry schemes, to forest health surveys, to being involved in reviewing the national Forestry Programme. You need to be an excellent people person with good communication skills, with knowledge of everything from ecology, geology, hydrology, silviculture, engineering, national and international forest policies and legislation, the list is endless.
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
I have excellent knowledge of a variety of different subjects that I need in the day to day workings of my job.
How did you go about getting your current job?
I applied through www.publicjobs.ie.
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
Applying for, and securing a position with the Forest Service on the National Forest Inventory.
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
Very much so, there is a lot of driving involved throughout the country which I don’t mind and the job has no real drawback and poses new challenges all the time.
Education and training
What is your education to date?
National Diploma in Science in Forestry, Waterford Institute of Technology (now called the Bachelor of Science in Forestry). Bachelor of Science in Land Management in Forestry, WIT
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
All aspects of the forestry programmes at WIT have proven vital in my career to date. I’d honestly say I have used 95% of everything I was taught in college.
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
I have completed further training in Geographical Information Systems.
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
Securing a job that allows me to get out and about Ireland two or three days a week. Being a part of the Irish delegation that represented the EU at the United Nations Forum on Forestry in Istanbul, Turkey.
What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
I am never frightened of a new challenge and with a job like mine; there are always new challenges around the corner.
What is your dream job?
I have it.
Advice for others
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
- Excellent forestry knowledge
- Hard working
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
Make sure you get at least a 2.2 or better in your honours degree, as it will open more doors for your career prospects.
What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?
Work at anything to do with forestry, the more experience that a candidate brings to a job interview the better chance they have of getting the job.
These WIT Forestry graduate testimonials were compiled by the Forestry Careers Promotion Group to mark the 20-year anniversary of Forestry courses at WIT in 2018.