“Please respect the forests and most importantly, leave Northumberland as you found it for others and future generations to enjoy.”
Aimee Maxwell, Recreation Craftsperson, at Forestry England is passionate about the county’s forests. Living on the Scottish borders, looking onto Northumberland, she has a great appreciation for the vast rural landscape and wildlife that the county brings. So, when the opportunity to join the Forestry England’s team came up she knew it was the right role for her.
Aimee (27) relishes being in the great outdoors and her role brings many opportunities to build her skills and knowledge. One of her proudest achievements is becoming a qualified chainsaw operator. This turned out to be a crucial skill when supporting her fellow team members to restore and reopen the county’s forests following Storm Arwen.
When chatting to her this is what we found out.
“I’ve always had a great passion for nature. There’s nothing quite like being in the great outdoors. I love breathing in the fresh air and that feeling of accomplishment after using my hands to plant, maintain or create something that helps nature.
“Working with Forestry England is incredibly fulfilling, especially over the past eight months. Working together with my fellow team members to help restore and rejuvenate many of Northumberland’s beloved forests so we can welcome back visitors over the summer has been amazing.
“Nothing could have prepared me for the devastation caused when Storm Arwen hit the county in November - it took down around one million trees in just one night. At the time I was at home and it was several days before I could reach Northumberland due to the devastation.
“I couldn’t believe the damage when I saw it with my own eyes but it didn’t deter me. Right away I started to help by clearing roads so locals could regain access and then work through clearing various trails to ensure they were safe.
“I’m always asked which trail is my favourite and while it’s a hard question I have to say Hindhope Linn at Kielder Forest. It has a spectacular waterfall and beautiful dell which I find enchanting no matter how many times I visit. While we’re still working to make the whole trail safe, visitors can access the waterfall and it’s well worth the trip.
“My key message for visitors over the summer is to please treat the county’s countryside, wildlife, forests and coast with respect. It is all thanks to considerate visitors that Northumberland boasts such amazing natural beauty spots.
“It goes without saying but please respect the forests and most importantly, leave Northumberland as you found it for others and future generations to enjoy.”