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Caithness News Bulletins July 2003

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UKAEA and Johnson Control Apprentices Help Dunnet Forest Project
Four UKAEA and two Johnson Controls first year Dounreay apprentices recently spent a week in Dunnet Forest assisting the Forest Manager, John with new fencing, tree clearing and felling.  The existing fence around the forest has been there for more than forty years and as you can imagine is well past its best.  The apprentices removed around 400 metres of the original fence which in some places was very difficult due to the boggy conditions and uneven ground and this was replaced with a new fence.  As proof that their hard work paid off the local farmer must have been pretty confident with the new fence as he had sheep in the field the following day!

Jim Swan, Apprentice Training Co-ordinator at Dounreay said "we encourage the apprentices to get involved in a community project each year and this year the Dunnet Forest project was chosen.  Community Projects such as these get the apprentices out of the workshops for a week and really helps with their team building, communication and social skills - all of which are an imperative part of their SVQ and overall training.  It also helps to build up their confidence and we have always found if a useful way of everyone getting to know each other".

They also assisted with some tree felling, clearing areas where trees had previously fallen and were covering paths, as well as clearing some ditches which were blocked with fallen branches.

James Macdonald, Apprentice from Watten (who nearly killed everyone with his fly spray!) said "I had a great time.  I've never done any fencing before but I felt really chuffed when I'd seen what we'd achieved over the week - but I have never seen so many flies in my life".

Apart from the flies they all had a great week and made the most of the Caithness sunshine.

Pictured are the apprentices at the end of their week:
(back l to r) Stuart Duffy, John Oliphant (JCL), Jamie Sinclair, Angela
(front l to r)  James Macdonald, Colin Munro (JCL)