UK Tree Champion appointed following key Confor proposal move

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In a new initiative, first highlighted by the flourishing Confor organisation, a new UK Tree Champion has been appointed by the British Government

The Tree Champion is to tasked with setting a bold new direction for the country’s forests and woodlands over the next 25 years developing ongoing expansion of forest and woodland cover UK wide.

The man in this ‘hot seat’ is Sir William Worsley, current Chair of the National Forest Company and an early meeting is planned between Sir William and CONFOR in the near future.

Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, made the announcement following Confor’s suggestion that a new figurehead was needed to drive up planting rates and meet Government targets.

Sir William,, has been tasked with and supporting Government manifesto commitments to plant 11 million trees, plus a further one million in towns and cities. The appointment follows through on a commitment made in the Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan (25YEP), published in early 2018.

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, who exist to support sustainable forestry and wood-using businesses through political engagement, market promotion and supporting our members’ competitiveness, said:

Confor proposed the idea of a Tree Champion when we met Michael Gove last autumn and I’m delighted that this has been followed through. I welcome Sir William’s appointment. Having worked with him on the Independent Panel on Forestry, I know him well and value his knowledge and experience, as well as his real passion and commitment for our forests and woodlands.

He is an excellent appointment by the Secretary of State and Confor is committed to working constructively with Sir William, Defra ministers and officials and all other stakeholders to get more trees in the ground.”

Mr Goodall continued: “This appointment is much-needed to galvanise efforts to drive up tree planting rates in England, with the 11 million trees by 2022 target still well off course. We have started to see larger-scale schemes coming through, at Lowther and Doddington, but much more needs to be done.”

The planting target in the 25YEP [increasing forest cover in England from 10 to 12 per cent by 2060] means 7,500 hectares of new forests need to be planted each year until 2060.

However, the latest Forestry Commission statistics show that only 7,500 hectares have been planted in the last FIVE years, so a step change is needed to meet long-term targets.

Mr Goodall said Sir William’s appointment came at a crucial time, with major post-Brexit issues including plant health and the new support regime for the UK countryside to replace the Common Agricultural Policy.

Sir William’s remit includes supporting the development of a future forestry grant scheme outside the EU – “one that encourages large-scale tree planting, reduces carbon and rewards landowners for enhancing the environment”.

Mr Goodall added: “The UK is the second largest importer of wood products in the world, after China, so the new trade deals to be negotiated as we leave the EU are vital to the future.”

He said the Government also needed to publish details of its proposal for Forestry Investment Zones (FIZs), designed to kick-start commercial planting: “Wood processors are pressing for the first FIZ area to be in the north of England and to be supported by the Borderlands Growth Deal. This is one area where Sir William can make an immediate impact so there is new commercial planting alongside proposals for the Northern Forest.

Confor has written to Sir William to welcome him to his post and looks forward to an early meeting to discuss all these key issues and identify how to drive up planting rates quickly.”

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “We have a responsibility to make sure the next generation inherit the woodlands, forests and trees they deserve. We are beginning to see good progress in growing tree cover, but we need to go further – and faster.”


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Nicks Timber is Hiring

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NEPCon launches online survey on ‘due diligence’ best practices and EUTR

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EU Timber companies are being asked for opinions on key issues by the NEPCon organisation.

This survey will provide further understand ing on how confident the companies are with the EUTR and the applied ‘due diligence’, also highlighting difficulties to help the compliance with regulations.

NEPCon is encouraging EU-based companies working in the timber sector to share their experience with due diligence and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

The five-minute survey is part of the ‘Supporting Legal Timber Trade’ project, aimed to show timber-related businesses how to align with the EU Timber Regulation and discover possibilities of gaining a competitive edge.

The survey targets a wide range of timber-related companies from pulp and paper manufacturer, sawmill, wood processor to timber trader.

The online consultation is available in 10 languages, namely English, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, German, Romanian, Hungarian, Spanish and Portuguese.

NepCon –

NEPCon is a non-profit organisation that builds commitment and capacity for mainstreaming sustainability. We foster solutions for safeguarding our natural resources and tackling climate change.

Say NEPCon, “We’re over 7 billion strong on this planet, and every human being deserves a good life. The challenge is to reach this goal, whilst protecting the natural environment on which we depend and which is increasingly under pressure.

The potential for a sustainable world is there. Good solutions for responsible land management and climate-friendly business already exist, and more are under way.

NEPCon are working to unlock the potential through innovation projects and by promoting high-impact solutions that result in deep-seated change.Peter Feilberg, NEPCon Executive  Director 

“Our vision is a world where human choices ensure a sustainable future.” Peter Feilberg, NEPCon Executive  Director


Timber prices climb further in Quarter 1 this year

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Global softwood timber prices continued their two-year climb in Q1 with the growth being higher in North America than in the Nordic countries, Russia and China, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

The saw milling industry in the Nordic region has seen its markets improve in demand and pricing during the past year. Export volumes declined in early 2018 as compared the same period in 2017, but prices increased, reaching the third highest level seen in the past decade (in local currencies).

Sawmills in Finland and Sweden have increased their presence in different markets in 2018, with Swedish sawmills predominantly expanding sales in Europe, and Finnish exports increasing to the Middle East and Japan, according to WRQ.

Both countries reduced sales to China during the typically slow season of January and February when the Chinese New Year is celebrated. The Nordic countries have filled the gap in supplying to China after Canadian suppliers pulled back.

In Q1, lumber volumes from Finland and Sweden accounted for 12% of total Chinese softwood imports, a doubling of their market share compared to 2015.

Russian lumber exports reached an all-time-high volume of 28 million m3 in 2017, up 10% from the previous year, a doubling of exports from ten years ago.

Wood panel products – building a growing and valued reputation

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Wood based panel products are some of the fastest growing product sectors in the timber supply chain. Versatile, decorative and easy to use, wood panels have become increasingly popular with merchants, builders, designers and architects. The UK is the world’s fourth biggest import market for wood-based panels.

The state of the Wood Panels market in the UK will be closely examined and discussed at the up and coming Wood Panels Conference later this year. This half day conference aims to examine the state of the panels market in the UK and its prospects for growth.

The conference takes place on Wednesday 7th November this year at The Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5DA.

In particular it will be looking at the innovative ways manufacturers and traders are designing products to meet specific market needs, adding value and ensuring quality at all steps of the supply chain.

This is a “must attend” event for all those involved in the global wood-panels sector. It offers a great networking opportunity for producers, agents, importers and traders alike.

There are various sponsorship opportunities available. As major sponsor there is Company branding for the duration of the conference, including the website, email marketing, social media from now up to and including on the day.

Also the sponsor’s brand to be tagged in all TTF social media activity relating to the conference whenever possible and the Company profile will appears in all conference literature. Sponsors will exhibit their products/services as part of the conference and have invitations to the NPPD Annual Dinner 2018.

The total sponsorship package price is price at £10,000. There are also session sponsor opportunities and certain other sponsorships available at The NPPD Dinner on the evening of the Wood Panels Conference.

For more information, please contact Karen Sussex – TTF Head of Membership – at or 0207 291 5372

Check this vital seminar – ‘Fire – your exposure to risk’

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No-one needs telling, due to recent events, as to how vital it is for those in key industries such as Timber, to fully understand their responsibilities in the complex area of products and fire risk reference safety in buildings and, also indeed in all environments.

Following the recent NPPD meeting in May, the TTF is organising a technical seminar for members on fire treatments and fire doors on Tuesday, September 4th. The workshop will also be structured to help TTF members appreciate the many wide ranging issues involved.

The event – to be organised in conjunction with the Wood Protection Association (WPA) and the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) – will look at case studies and the types of products available. This event is for TTF Members only – Only two representatives per company.


10am – Welcome and introduction

Understanding FR specifications for wood products

Case Study – Wood Products with FR inherent to their production

a. Fire Testing

b. QA, CPR and CE Marking

c. Sales promotion and product claims

Case Study – Wood products with FR added post production and offered to the open market.

a. Fire testing

b. Additional requirements of QA, CPR and CE marking.

c. Sales promotion and product claims

Case Study – Wood products with FR added post production for delivery to a single site.

Panel Q&A to address member questions and supply routes or products not covered above.

Lunch & networking

The golden thread” Legal considerations within the FR supply chain.

Case Study – Manufacture of Fire door blanks/ leaves for import to the UK

a. Fire Testing

b. QA

Case Study – Manufacture of Fire Doors Sets

a. Fire Testing

b. QA, CPR and CE marking

c. Conversion of FR blanks into finished door sets?

Case Study – the importance of Installation and Maintenance for Fire Doors

Panel Q&A

Ends 4.30 pm

Latest Timber Forum ‘partnership’ publication now out!

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The latest edition of a partnership publication dedicated at improvement of all sold timber products UK-wide is now out.

Ahead of the upcoming BMF Timber Forum in Coventry, the Timber Trade Federation and the Builders Merchants Federation have launched the fourth issue of the partnership publication ‘Timber Forum News’ dedicated to informing timber merchants across the country on all aspects of their trading and supply.

The publication is part of a strategic partnership between the two trade associations and is distributed free of charge to members of BMF and TTF.

Explains TTF Managing Director, David Hopkins, “The partnership publication with the BMF means we can distribute expert news and views from the timber sector direct to Merchants across the UK.

The Timber Trade Federation and its members are always keen on providing merchants with information and education to improve the quality of timber products on sale across the UK Construction Market.

Initiatives such as Timber Forum News, our recent Plywood review and the Focus on Timber Treatment go precisely in that direction and will be further enhanced over the next few months,” added David.

To download the latest copy as a .pdf please click here.

Solid Wood Solutions Event coming up…..

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Whether creating designer elements for defining high-quality architecture such as the Warner Stand at Lords Cricket Ground ( photo above- Clare Skinner) or focusing on the realisation of contemporary and sustainable buildings and as will be clearly demonstrated at the Solid Wood Solutions conference and exhibition.

Wood as a natural raw material has established its position and is currently undergoing a revival quite unlike any other.

Continuous technical developments and the need for sustainable management of our resources are further reasons why solid wood solutions such as cross laminated timber, laminated veneer lumber and glue laminated timber – are proving to be the material of choice for the 21st century.

Timber architecture is having its moment – however it is going to be greater even than now. It is a trend that has major potential for the future of building design and development

Forming a magnificent backdrop for this Solid Wood event – The Oculus building at the University of Warwick, with its outstanding roof featuring massive glulam arches – will play host to Solid Wood Solutions on 5th July 2018.

Developed to inspire and inform, Solid Wood Solutions will shine a spotlight on pioneering projects, that are gaining global attention. Through informative case studies presented by those who designed, engineered and developed amazing solid wood structures such as:

The ground-breaking Warner Stand at Lords Cricket Ground

The 2018 Offsite Awards winner – Anchorage House at East India Docks

The inspirational cancer treatment centre – Maggie’s, Oldham

The pioneering Blackdale Student Residences

The magnificent venue for the event – The Oculus

These presenters will be joined by specialists, academics and industry pioneers from Edinburgh University, TRADA, Buro Happold, Ramboll and Ecological Building Systems – leading offsite expert, Darren Richards, Managing Director for Cogent Consulting will chair the Solid Wood Solutions conference and exhibition. The full programme can be downloaded here:-

Sustainability & Responsible Sourcing in latest ‘Timber Talks’

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The positive environmental aspects of using timber are numerous as Timber requires very minimum energy to be moulded and used in construction, design or furniture .

That is a key message from David Hopkins, CTI Director and Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) in his latest discussion ‘Timber Talks’ podcast blog.

In this discussion,he highlights more about responsible sourcing, sustainable forest management and how CO2 emissions are captured and stored in timber products.

Says David, “Timber requires a very minimum energy input to be moulded and used in construction, design or furniture compared to other materials. This represents a clear commercial advantage along with a crucial element for helping the UK boost productivity and manufacturing output in the context of a low-carbon economy.”

You can freely download and listen to the David’s ‘Timber Talks’ podcast on AudioBoom and iTunes. The first ‘Timber Talks’ episode featured CTI Chairman Roy Wakeman OBE explaining how the Timber Industry contributes to the British economy and why it can help fix the endemic UK housing crisis.

The next podcasts will include – among the others – Iain McIlwee (CTI Director and CEO of the British Woodworking Federation) and Alex Goodfellow (CTI Director and Managing Director of Stewart Milne Group)

The ‘Timber Talks’ series gives users the opportunity to hear the movers and shakers within the Timber Industry discussing the latest news, trends and policies, as well as answering the hot questions of the moment. It also possible to suggest new topics and raise questions for the speakers by sending an email to

Check the CTI media library for the complete list of episodes.

Another ‘mammoth’ Forest environment officially protected

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More and more areas of forest of all types are being protected by various countries across the world to conserve their very special environments – so eye-catching it is reference news from the BBC recently, that Canada will soon have the largest protected Boreal forest on the planet – would you believe, it is the size of the whole of Belgium!

A Boreal (or conifereous) forest is in fact located in regions of subarctic and cold continental climate. There are long, severe winters (up to six months with mean temperatures below freezing) and also short summers (50 to 100 frost-free days) There is a wide range of temperatures between the lows of winter and highs of summer.

Some 1.6m hectares of remote land in the province of Alberta are now being made into new or extended provincial parks. A 6.7m hectare conservation zone will now be protected and free from logging or oil and gas exploration.

This particular Boreal zone is home to threatened wood bison, peregrine falcon and woodland caribou populations. The region makes up about a third of a band of green that extends across northern North America and into Asia. It is also a nursery for billions of songbirds that migrate north in the summer from wintering grounds in the US and beyond.

Said Dan Kraus, a conservation biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada(NCC), “It’s not just forest, it’s really the matrix of forest and wetlands and waters – and we can protect those at a scale that is an opportunity lost in the rest of the world,”

Some of the largest intact forest left in the world is in Canada, “It is the one thing we can really share with the world, and give to the world in terms of conservation”added Mr Kraus.

The NCC worked with the Alberta provincial government and the Tall Cree Tribal Government and on the conservation project. The Tall Cree First Nation agreed to relinquish its timber licence and quota in the region, allowing for the creation of the new Birch River wildland provincial park.

Tall Cree First Nation Chief, Rupert Meneen said he had watched farmlands and forestry encroaching on the forest and its inhabitants over the years.

“I could almost see the boreal forest coming down around us on a daily basis. It was important we try to at least leave some of the forest for the future generations.”

The NCC says the new Birch River park is a haven for 68 species in need of conservation.

That includes the woodland caribou – an animal you will see by the way on Canada’s 25 cent coin – whose population has decreased by some 30% over the last 20 years. The caribou have been on the federal threatened species list for 15 years.

Mr Kraus said: “One of the things we’re losing around the world are those large animals that have space to roam around. We’re squeezing them into smaller and smaller areas and losing the phenomenon of animals migrating across the landscape.”

The federal government and Syncrude Canada, one of the country’s largest oil sands producers, also provided funding.

“Our approach at NCC is we work with anyone who shares our vision of conservation and we strive to find common ground,” Mr Kraus said.

The remote region in question here is north of Fort McMurray – about 425km (265 miles) from Edmonton, the provincial capital – and extends up to the Northwest Territories.

Check the video here