A BORDERS woman has been chosen for a place on a UK-wide leadership course after beating the competition for the prestigious place.

The Emerging Leader Programme from the Institute of Chartered Foresters aims to develop forestry leaders of the future.

Ros Wardman, of Peebles, who currently works as a Scottish Forestry forest industries advisor, is thrilled to join the six-month programme.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to working with other forestry professionals from all over UK to develop understanding and solutions to the challenges faced by forestry.

“A huge focus for me is to improve learning about how to increase diversity within the forestry workforce, with particular emphasis on attracting more women into the sector.

“We female foresters need to be more visible and we need to enable and encourage more people to know about the wide range of fulfilling career opportunities available in the forest industry.

“I’m also keen to show that people can change careers into forestry from totally different professions. I used to work as a freelance stage manager in theatre and opera which is a world away from forestry, but there are always skills you be bring to a new career."

The Emerging Leader Programme helps to equip applicants with the skills to manage trees, forests and woodlands, ensuring they keep offering their benefits for as long as possible.

Ros has worked in operational forestry in south and central Scotland for 14 years, having studied at the National School of Forestry in Cumbria.

She is one of 10 successful applicants to the programme who will work to build their potential as leaders, strengthen their networks and encourage social and organisational change.

Ros added: “Although I would not normally rush towards the idea of being a leader, I think this style of development programme will really help me embrace the term more confidently.”