Check out Wood Campus Timber design ideas for your garden

In Blog by Trevor


Check out on Wood Campus this interactive design tool, created by Swedish Wood to allow you to explore a wide range of projects in the garden involving various wide ranging products of all kinds.  Click on the Garden right here – and start designing right here.

Create your own stunning wood projects – go here – and click on these image examples as below.

Styles and dimensions are indicative only.Talk to us here at Nicks for available sizes and profiles so you could trial out some of these designs and garden fixture styles yourself.



Who are Wood Campus

Wood Campus is the UK’s timber learning and information portal. They provide a range of learning and information tools for professional users of wood, from customers and staff of builders’ merchants to architects and specifiers.

As a member of the Contributor Group you can gain free access to the growing Wood Campus resource library, a powerful learner management system and a wide range of generic e-learning.

The free elements are already used by over 3,000 architects on the main Wood Campus site You can deliver your own branded, sponsored content to the entire Wood Campus audience (contact Web Masters Cortexa for details, email or call 01933 227226).

To become a member of the Wood Campus Contributor Group, contact Tony Traynor at Wood Campus or Mark Parrish at Cortexa, details below, or email at

Plant trees – or face ever higher energy bills

In Blog by Trevor


More tree planting is needed at once to hit UK emission reduction targets and so avoid constantly rising energy bills. Current tree-planting is two-thirds lower than needed and calls are being made by various key organisations to the Government to act to improve it.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) identifies enhanced tree planting as a “simple, low-cost option” to get targets on track – Failure to plant more trees will increase the cost of de-carbonisation and energy bills, says the report, Reducing UK emissions – 2018 Progress Report to Parliament.

Confor, the UK’s forestry and wood-using trade body very much backs the need to boost tree planting.

There is a current commitment is to plant 11 million trees in England between 2017 and 2022 (equivalent to just over 2,000 hectares per year) and remove barriers to faster tree planting. However, in 2017, while 15,000 hectares (ha) of trees should have been planted across the UK, only 8,800ha were planted, 80 per cent of them in Scotland.

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, said, “Planting rates in England have been very disappointing, but there are signs of a more concerted effort to improve things. England can achieve the tree planting it needs to meet climate change targets, while delivering substantial benefits for the rural economy.

The key is a change in mindset towards planting applications – to look for the good things in these schemes, not always the negative, to recognise the environmental necessity of tree planting and to approve larger schemes much more quickly.

It is encouraging that the Committee on Climate Change wants more done to stimulate private sector investment. One way to drive this forward is through the Government’s plans for Forestry Investment Zones (FIZs), announced as part of its Clean Growth Strategy and 25 Year Environment Plan. However, since the initial announcement, progress has stalled and we need to see action.

While Confor and others have sent detailed proposals to the Government, there has not been a coherent response with an England-wide action plan for FIZs that would match the CCC’s ambition.”

Confor’s Manager for England, Caroline Harrison, welcomed the inclusion of harvested wood products (HWP) in the carbon inventory. “This suggests that incentives should focus on forests that maximise long-lasting products made from sawn timber (such as timber for houses, fencing, decking and furniture) rather than just broad-leaves, which are primarily harvested for firewood.

Michael Gove has said he wants a Green Brexit with a big increase in tree planting in England. This report is the latest in a long line pointing out that DEFRA is simply not going to meet its already modest targets unless there is a step change in approach to the afforestation of England.

The appointment of Sir William Worsley as Tree Champion is a big step in the right direction but England desperately needs more trees in the ground now. It needs to move on Forestry Investment Zones – and Confor will work closely with Sir William and the government to put the FIZ back into the English countryside.”

The CCC report adds : “A lack of action on forestry has led to a flat-lining of net carbon sequestration from forests over the recent past.” It continues: “It is also important for stimulating private sector investment to come forward given Defra wants the private sector to take the lead role in meeting the 12 per cent [woodland cover in England] target by 2060.”

The report says non-financial barriers to planting are holding back progress in England in particular. It praises DEFRA for action taken so far but says much more needs to be done.

November date for UK Wood Panels Conference 2018

In Blog by Trevor


A key conference is scheduled by the TTF in November this year which aims to examine the state of the market in the UK and its prospects for growth. The UK is the world’s fourth biggest import market for wood-based panels.

In particular the Conference 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.

Wood based panel products are some of the fastest growing product sectors in the timber supply chain. Versatile, decorative and easy to use, they have become increasingly popular with merchants, builders, designers and architects.

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.

It is being staged at The Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen St, London

WC2B 5DA on 7th November from 8.45am to 12.30pm. The Event is free to attend for TTF Members & their guests.Guests MUST be registered by a representative of the host company. Non TTF Members are to register separately at a fee of £50+VAT per person.


08.45: Coffee & Networking Breakfast

09.30: Introduction & Welcome

0940: Market Overview

Adding Value in Production

1010: Water Resistant OSB

1030: Fire Resistant Board

1050: Coffee break

Adding Value Post Production

1110: Treatment

1130: Selling UP not selling DOWN

1150: Q&A

1205: Architect / Designer View

1230 ENDS

If members wish to raise their profile amongst the TTF membership, there are a number of sponsorship and advertising opportunities available. Find out more here or contact Karen Sussex – TTF Head of Membership – at or 0207 291 5372


Challenges prompt merger proposals move by Forestry Trade Associations

In Blog by Trevor


In a move to face testing times for wood supply, the challenge of Brexit and the key issue of plant health moves, the two leading trade associations in the UK forestry and forest products sectors, the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor) and the UK Forest Products Association (UKFPA) are getting set to merge.

Says Confor Chair, Athole McKillop, “This is an exciting time for the forestry and wood processing industry. It’s vital that we make best use of the sector’s resources to promote our interests and to provide technical advice and services to businesses in the industry.”

Echoing that sentiment, Gavin Davidson and Rod Gordon, UKFPA Vice-Presidents, said: “In view of the challenges and opportunities facing our sector, we believe that the time is right to bring together the two trade associations, to provide a stronger and more effective voice for our industry, whilst at the same time maintaining focus on the needs of our respective members and the cost-effective delivery of services to them.

This is an ideal opportunity to build on the acknowledged strengths of the two highly regarded organisations, for the benefit of members.”

Following positive discussions between senior representatives of Confor and UKFPA, agreement has been reached on a proposed merger, with the aim of launching the merged organisation in January 2019.

A joint statement from the two organisations provides detail on the proposed merger and sets out how members would benefit from the coming together of UKFPA and Confor.

Confor members will be asked to vote on required changes to the company’s Articles of Association at its AGM at APF 2018 on Thursday, 20 September and UKFPA members will be balloted before APF 2018.

Looking forward to a successful merger, Confor’s Chief Executive Stuart Goodall and UKFPA’s Executive Director David Sulman said: “We are excited by the potential for a merged organisation to build on the complementary strengths of UKFPA and Confor. There is a lot more we can do for member businesses and this merger will help us deliver greater services and do more to promote their interests to politicians and in the media.”

Athole McKillop, Rod Gordon and Gavin Davidson agreed: “The time is right for the industry to come together. The sector has many opportunities and by working together, the industry should have a bright future. Businesses in the sector who have not in the past joined Confor or UKFPA should now come and join us, to work together for the common good and share in the success.”

Timber use in buildings for Health and Wellbeing debate

In Blog by Trevor


Health and Wellbeing, indoor air quality, use of healthy building materials rapidly becoming important topics in construction, are the key topics to be debated at a special ‘Wood for Good’ Marketing Seminar taking place this week .

While the main focus seems to be on office buildings where figures can be obtained on ROI from a productivity and retention perspective, things seem to be less clear for residential developments.

Yet, there are pertinent claims that this is a trend on the rise, especially in the emerging Build to Rent market. Another area for healthy building products including wood are healthcare buildings.

With the development of NHS Healthy New Towns, there should surely be more and more healthy homes and healthy healthcare facilities being built in healthy places.

The Seminar is set to cover a range of key matters including:-

To assess market potential, demand and drivers for healthy building products

To learn about healthy buildings standards and material databases like Google’s Portico

To establish requirements for healthy building products and how to meet them

To discuss innovative approaches and best practice in Marketing for the Health & Wellbeing agenda

To network with other communications and marketing professionals from the timber industry

OPSS launch key workshops for Timber businesses

In Blog by Trevor


There’s news out from the TTF reference a series of workshops to be held to specifically aid businesses with regards to key aspects of Risk Assessment and Mitigation. These workshops are to be held throughout the coming Autumn 2018 for the various different timber sectors. More are planned in early 2019.

The Government’s recently formed Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS) is behind these workshops. They are the key Authority responsible for enforcing Timber Regulation in the UK. The OPSS will be delivering a series of regional, sector specific workshops exploring risk identification and mitigation.

These workshops will be run in conjunction with various trade associations. Monitoring organisations and other interested parties will be assisting in delivering the workshops.

The key aim of the workshops will be to improve business ability to understand what risk identification and mitigation should look like in relation to EUTR The plan is, as a result, to help to improve businesses due diligence systems to assist businesses to comply with required legislation.

The workshops are open to all TTF members and the public.

No more than two attendees from each organisation may attend, this may be reduced to one where there is a high demand. While booking, please kindly advise your most commonly used species and country of origin.

A standard programme of the workshops can be found here. Please use the links provided below on this above link to register to attend to workshops.

Chinese Plywood sales, product quality and trading – the ins and outs!

In Blog by Trevor


The debate over Chinese plywood , its sales, product quality and trading practices along with the need for better clarity and transparency in the minds of numerous timber trade leaders in this key trading area, have been highlighted in a straight-talking blog post from TTF MD David Hopkins.

Says David, “The bright light that the Timber Trade Federation has been shining on the Chinese plywood trade over the past 12 months has shown up a variety of interesting practices, with a view to gaining extra clarity and transparency for all involved.

As we know, many players in the plywood trade routinely keep a beady eye on what their competitors are selling and how they are selling it.


These have been rife as to how other traders can make claims of high quality, while selling at such a low price. Especially when most of those involved know first-hand the mills which are producing these goods and exactly what to expect from them!

Many of the problems we’ve seen have come from importers not understanding and not adhering to the basic requirements of the standards they claim their products are meeting.

Our early stakeholder engagement workshops

These highlighted the disparity in understanding of performance standards between architects, contractors, merchants and importers. Let’s start with the obvious: the glue bond. The different technical classes of plywood require a different strength of glue bond depending on the performance claim the product makes. Samples of the product should undergo soak and boil tests ahead of a shear test on a regular basis to prove their quality.

Our testing regime

Operating during the panels review last year highlighted the difference in quality which can be experienced from Chinese imports and the need for thorough factory production control. Up to twenty per cent of the cost of making plywood can be in the glue bond. So, this is often where manufacturers know they can control costs. Yet it also the issue that defines the applications the product can be used for and therefore where a lot of attention should be focused.

Third party testing

The Timber Trade Federation requirement for all members to conduct third-party testing over glue bond, along with collection of all relevant paperwork concerning factory production control should go some way to bringing more consistency and confidence to the market. Members are using testing facilities in China, the UK and in the EU.

The new plywood framework

Audited as part of the RPP – this contains several other criteria, and Members are using different means of providing evidence. Some have opted to invest in one single third-party verification scheme, such as the TFT Diamond Mark, Q-Mark and others, to cover all aspects of factory production control, product testing and verification. Others are choosing to gain separate third-party evidence themselves for each individual criteria.

All systems are acceptable, it depends what works best for the companies involved. Over time we hope this will have positive impacts not just in the UK, but across the globe. This is not to say that problems do not still exist. There is clearly a high degree of ignorance in the market – particularly within merchant groups – about the different classes of plywood and their applications.

Adds David firmly, “We need to take steps to ensure this is not exploited and that merchants are not selling sub-standard goods into applications for which they are unsuitable. On this the TTF has started an education programme for our members and for Merchants which we will roll out across the country.”

Pack marking

All packs should have clear identification of the species involved and the technical class of the product – ideally printing all of the information from the CE Mark – to aid transparency and clarity with the buyers.

Terms such as ‘MLH’ or ‘As per Invoice’ are just meaningless smoke and mirrors and no longer allowed. Yet, time and again we are still seeing these marks used. This has to stop.

In conclusion

The process the TTF has put in place has done an excellent job in bringing greater transparency into the market. However, there is still work to do to make sure we are addressing problems not looking straight through them”

TTF July Stats and FLEGT Newsletter – Your Information Update

In Blog by Trevor


Highlighted here on our blog, two key information update items for your review – The Timber Trade Federation July stats bulletin and a Summer newsletter from ‘the game changing’ FLEGT organisation (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade).

The TTF statistical bulletin reports that imports of timber and panel product to the UK are on a pronounced downward trend with each month in 2018 to date lower than in 2017.

In the first four months of 2018, solid wood imports by volume were around 13% lower than in the same period in 2017 and imports of panel products were just under 1% lower.

Speaking by volume, imports in the first four months of 2018 were lower than in the same period in 2017 by around 324,000m3.The Bulletin also includes a focus on ‘Construction output falling in early 2018’.

TTF data shows that “the poor start to the number of housing starts in England in Q1 2018 resulted in over 5,000 fewer homes being started in the first part of the year compared to 2017.The decrease was due in major part to the severe weather conditions in the winter months.”

The FLEGT newsletter highlights a vital report on the recent trade consultation held during the Nantes’ Carrefour International du Bois (CIB). At that meeting, TTF Managing Director, David Hopkins, told delegates that FLEGT could be a ‘game changer’ in driving legal and sustainable timber market share in the future.

The Timber trade industry – in conjunction with EU and member state governments, has a lot more to do on FLEGT communication, promotion and brand building – but it has the potential to play a key part in convincing the market that our trade is selling timber you can trust,” said David

This latest Summer edition of the Newsletter includes a summary report on the IMM Trade Consultation in Nantes as well as a reports on the three Nantes workshop sessions on “Impacts of FLEGT VPAs on trading with Central African countries”, “Purchase dynamics for companies sourcing from Indonesia” and “Market trends for tropical timber in Europe”.

Moreover, the newsletter features a summary of findings of the IMM 2018 EU Furniture Sector Scoping Study, an EFI report on Ghana’s Timber Transparency Portal, and an update on Indonesia and the EU’s approach for dealing with FLEGT-licensing teething issues. The full report of the Furniture Sector Scoping Study is available for download here.

The Market News section contains an updated analysis of EU/VPA partner country trade, while the Country Focus section updates on preparation of VPA implementation in Vietnam, including an analysis of EU-Vietnam timber and timber products trade.

Download the newsletter here

This year’s high-flying Wood Awards shortlist chosen

In Blog by Trevor


The shortlist for this year’s always eye-catching Wood Awards are now out. There are  twenty exceptional buildings and twelve furniture and product projects have been selected each with each own particular originality,uniqueness and inventive style.

The shortlist will be showcased at the London Design Fair (Stand: 13.3, Hall: H13), Old Truman Brewery, 20th-23rd September. Winners will be revealed at the annual Wood Awards ceremony at Carpenters’ Hall on 20th November, by ceremony host David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation.

Established in 1971, the Wood Awards is the UK’s premier competition for excellence in architecture and product design in the world’s only naturally sustainable material. The Awards are free to enter and aim to encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation using wood.

The Timber Trade Federation is among the main sponsors of the event confirming its commitment in promoting ‘excellence in wood’ to architects, designers and the wider public.

View the short-listed projects here


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New Timber Trade Federation website

In Blog, Nicks Timber Information by Nicks Timber

The new Timber Trade Federation website is now live!

The brand new web site of the Timber trade federation is now live at 

Nicks Timber are of course proud to be full members. Our profile

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) is the UK’s foremost membership body for the timber supply chain. Our members constitute of timber importers, merchants, agents and manufacturers and account for around two-thirds of the £10 billion UK timber industry.

We offer a host of services to our members including technical, trade and sustainability advice alongside political and industry representation. We aim to put our members and their businesses at the heart of the UK construction and industrial strategy.


We have over 125 years of heritage and expertise behind us, but we are constantly moving with the times, adapting our services to members in response to changes in the market, new product development and to customer needs.

The TTF has a highly qualified team at its core. Our governance is conducted through a Governing Board comprising representatives of our product divisions of Softwood, Hardwood and Panel Products and representatives of all our regional organisations plus our major members.

Within the Governing Board also sits a Sustainability and Compliance committee, Forests Forever.

Buying from a TTF Member means buying timber you can trust.