Members of the WTC, known as colloquially as ‘Lumber Jills’, were employed directly by the Home Timber Production Department, which paid their wages. This was a vital difference: Lumber Jills were employed directly by the British state, unlike Land Girls who were employed by independent farmers or County ‘War Ags’ to pay their wages. Lumber Jills were paid on a piece-work basis, as opposed to Land Girls who received fixed wages, agreed at a national level.
The skills required to wield axes, strip timber, and move large amounts of wood meant that training was a necessity. As increasing numbers joined the WTC, training centres became a high priority. In England and Wales, women were sent to Culford in Suffolk, Hereford in Herefordshire, Wetherby in Yorkshire, and Lydney in the Forest of Dean. In Scotland, the majority of women undertook their training at Shanford Lodge, near Brechin. In the space of 4 weeks, women were introduced to a range of tasks – and tested as to whether they could carry out their work.