The Institute of Chartered Foresters North England came together with ConFor North England to hold a seminar titled ‘Productive Woodland Creation: Challenges and Opportunities’, with a specific focus on their area.
As the headline sponsor, EGGER Forestry Limited, like other organisations invested in the forestry and timber industries, is confronting the issues of sustainable employment and stable economic growth throughout the sector.
One very real concern highlighted was the sustainability of raw material to feed the timber market beyond the year 2030. Whilst demand for wood is increasing, production from existing forests in Northern England is decreasing and productive woodland creation is at an all-time low.
Planting new woodland now with highly productive and desirable species will ensure a steady supply of timber to the market in future years. In order to meet current demand beyond 2030 more than 2,000 hectares of new commercial woodland needs to be created each year for at least ten years. Last year saw England create approximately 500 hectares of new woodland – well below what is required.
Whilst the Government already provides financial incentive to landowners to plant and manage trees delegates recognised that investment must also come from private and charitable organisations to meet tree planting targets.
On a positive note, there was an acknowledgment that woodland creation planning and policy, ground preparation and tree planting are continually being adapted, improved and combined with efforts to produce trees capable of faster growth and better form. This has the potential to provide the demanded level of raw material to the UK timber market in to the future whilst achieving a more stable revenue for the grower.
Katherine Evans-Smith, Forest Manager for EGGER Forestry commented: “These events provide a perfect opportunity for those in the sector to exchange views and ideas. Whilst there are certainly challenges ahead, we all had the same desire to find viable solutions and I am hopeful for the long-term future of woodland creation in northern England.”
To find out more information about woodland creation, watch our Sorn Estate, East Ayrshire case study on YouTube: watch video here.