In Partnership with NPTC Group of Colleges

1 academic year, full-time

Locations: Talgarth (Troed-yr-Harn and other local woodlands) OR Treherbert

Our Coppicing and Greenwood Trades will help you to develop skills and knowledge for a successful and rewarding career in woodland management and timber work.

This vocational course will give practical outdoor learning backed up with classroom theory to equip students with skills and knowledge about woodland management, for minimum impact, safety, biodiversity, and sustainable green wood use.

What will I learn?

Coppicing is an approach that can increase the biodiversity of woodland, as well as provide a sustainable source of timber for green wood products and energy.  Students will study in beautiful and unique woodland settings. This course is ideal for students who want to further their experience of working in forestry to increase their ability and confidence.

Modules covered include the following, each will have a particular focus on sustainability:

  • Sharpen and Maintain edged hand tools
  • Carry out maintenance of chainsaw and cutting system
  • Cut, process and extract coppice
  • Identify tree species and their properties
  • Fell and process trees up to 380mm
  • Control pollution incidents
  • Build and maintain tools and devices to process coppice and greenwood products
  • Maintain coppice health and productivity
  • Plant Trees
  • Cross-cut timber using a chainsaw
  • Monitoring and maintaining health and safety
  • Produce wood fuel in a woodland or forest (Treherbert ONLY)
  • Site and install site furniture and structures (Treherbert ONLY)
  • Hedgelaying (Talgarth ONLY)

Within this NVQ, students will also undertake a Chainsaw Maintenance and Training Course, providing you with an additional, sought-after qualification.

Modules may differ slightly depending on your chosen location (Talgarth or Treherbert)

Why study Sustainable Coppicing and Green Wood Work Skills?

The Level 2 in Coppicing and Greenwood Trades will give you the skills you need to pursue a sustainable and rewarding career.

After this course, students may be able to:

  • Move into a Level 3 course in Green Woodworking and Coppicing
  • Use transferable skills for employment opportunities in the trees and timber sector
  • Start a career as a self-employed or salaried tree surgeon or woodworker
  • Use this qualification towards entry to the BMC undergraduate course
  • Move on to other higher education courses such as Forestry or Arboriculture

Why study at BMC?

  • Course tutors, Jed Needs and Ben Kelleher have extensive experience from a broad spectrum of coppicing and green woodworking, bringing up-to-date techniques and knowledge.
  • The course takes place in unique learning environments.
  • Students without the necessary grades (grade 4/ C or above) will get additional teaching and support to study for GCSE English and maths.
  • As a part of their course, students will undertake the BMC Core sessions, which are 1-day per week and incorporate eco-literacy, climate literacy, climate literacy, sustainability and aspects surrounding our environment. This is an innovative programme, supporting students’ development and understanding and career opportunities in the context of an urgent climate crisis.
  • Your learning experience within our BMC Core Sessions will be supplemented with various activities, day trips, guest lectures, and a project of your choice.
  • BMC’s learning model, applied across all courses, integrates the head, hands and heart, multi-sensory protocols, outdoor learning and multiple hierarchies of knowledge or ways of knowing.

What will I do within the BMC Core Sessions?

Alongside the NVQ, students will participate in unique and innovative Core modules, covering real-life skills, supplemented with educational trips, guest speakers, outdoor learning, and practical experiences. You will develop vital skills, knowledge and understanding for the future; to not only support your career success but also to empower you to take a role in making the world a better place for future generations.

These Core Sessions are an integral part of your chosen NVQ, is part of the qualification and is not optional. This part of the course is designed to support:

  • Health and wellbeing skills
  • Communication skills
  • Informational and study skills
  • Business skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Art and crafts skills
  • Writing, thinking and storytelling skills

Core skills also delves into certain topics, such as energy, life, habitats, and earth cycles as well as providing time to reflect on coppicing, horticulture, and nature recovery and explore life choices. 


Students will also undertake mini projects, where they will work with a local organisation on a task and carry out a research project based on a scenario around a commodity that is commonly used. These projects can relate to your chosen NVQ! Previous students have completed fencing, gardening, riverbank design, biochar making, dormice nest box building, land or ecological surveying, water harvesting, beehive building, and many more projects!

How much will it cost?

Our Level 2 NVQs are fully funded for students aged 16 or over who are UK residents with no upper age limit. You do not need to repay any tuition fees, our NVQs are completely free!

We never want money to be a barrier to your education – there are also a lot of options available to support you with living costs whilst you study! Visit our Further Education Student Finance page for more information on what you could be entitled to during your studies.

There will be some costs for specialist equipment as follows:

Safety boots, gloves, head-gear and eye protectors, chainsaw trousers, personal first aid kit. £340 approx.

You will have the option to purchase these yourself, apply for a grant from us or borrow them from BMC.

Further Education Student Finance >

What are the study hours?

Coppicing and Greenwood Trades is classed full-time, but the contact time required is 3 full days a week. There is an element of self-guided learning too.

Course Length: 1-year from September to July

Location: Talgarth, Powys or Treherbert, RCT

What are the entry requirements?

There are minimal entry requirements, although if you are aged 16-18 you will need to have gained a Grade C/4 in Maths and English GCSE by the end of the course if you have not done so already, and we can help you with that. You will need to complete an application form and complete a short interview showing your passion for the course and your potential.

Minimum age: 16 years. There is no upper age limit!

How will I be assessed?

You will produce a portfolio of evidence throughout the year. You will generally be assessed via observations of your practical work, and monitoring of your portfolio. Some assessments may be in the form of a brief oral test, and some of your worksheets may be used for assessment purposes.

How to apply

Complete and submit an application form.

Applications for September 2024 start are now open!

Apply Now >


If you’d like to ask us any questions, join one of our taster sessions or arrange to have a chat with the tutor, email us.

Courses are subject to change without notice. 

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