International Day of Forests: More about our foresters

March 21, 2024 | Land management | 6 minute read

21st March was established as the International Day of Forests by resolution of the UN General Assembly on 28th November 2013. We thought we’d take this opportunity to share more about the Forestry team here at Holkham – their work, and a mini interview with one of our six foresters, Mai.

Holkham’s team of foresters is one of the youngest in the country. Led by our Head Forester, Harry Wakefield, the team look after 827 hectares (2,044 acres) of woodland across the estate, 500 hectares (1,200 acres) of which are within Holkham Park.

The team are passionate about conserving Holkham’s forests, which involves:

  • recording data from a sample of woodland to plan for new projects
  • felling diseased trees to protect the other healthy trees in the woodland
  • processing the tree so the timber can be used (some of which is used to heat Holkham Hall, the stables offices, The Victoria, the Courtyard Café and Gift Shop and the Lady Elizabeth Wing)
  • tending the nursery where propagated seeds and plants are grown and will one day be planted on the estate

In the largest plantation at Holkham, the team have planted:


Mini interview with Mai, one of the foresters at Holkham

Mai joined Holkham’s forestry team in July 2022, after studying forestry and arboriculture at college.

What is the best part of your job as a forester at Holkham?

I get to be outside and see the woods grow and change over the seasons.

And the most challenging part of your role?

The physical aspect of forestry can be really tough sometimes, especially when you’re tired and the weather’s awful!

What made you get into forestry?

I love trees! And I wanted to be outside. The more I learned about it, the more I gravitated towards forestry.

How was your experience of your traineeship here at Holkham?

It was great. I couldn’t have asked for a more encouraging or supportive group of people to do something like that with!


Find out more about recent work of our forestry team here.

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