Laura Teijido Rey is currently in the second year of her level 2 arborist apprenticeship at The Royal Horticultural Society Bridgewater
I grew up really close to the mountains and used to hike with my family during weekends. I always knew I wanted to work outdoors protecting the environment. A few years ago I started became passionate about trees and, in 2017, while volunteering with the rangers in the Lake District, I worked with the woodland area ranger who taught me about trees, and with his passion I knew I wanted to be an arborist.
It’s true that you need some strength for this job, but that’s something you can build up and even if I will never be as strong as a man I can always find other ways to move heavy logs, like rolling them. The good thing about being a short person is that I can get through small gaps when I’m up in a tree, and the views from there are worth it. I truly believe that passion and dedication makes this job possible for anyone.
The unexpected part of this job, especially working as part of the team in RHS Bridgewater, is that we are planting mature trees. I’m used to planting saplings so it’s been amazing to plant trees that weigh a few tonnes. It’s exciting being part of a new RHS Garden outside of a busy city like Manchester. I love working outdoors and doing different jobs every day. I feel welcome in this team where we all share our passion for trees and they help me to gain more skills and knowledge.
This is a job that I want to wake up for each morning. A job where I can be surrounded by trees and learn as much as possible about them, and then carry out specific tasks to protect them. I chose this path because I love trees and I want to protect them, but I won’t wait for someone else to do the job. As Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.
After my RHS apprenticeship finishes, I would like to work in an arboretum. We need a balance between protection and enjoyment, to let the trees grow while enjoying their beauty in a sustainable way.
To find out more about apprenticeship training at the Royal Horticultural Society, visit www.rhs.org.uk/training