EGGER was pleased to be the main sponsor of this year’s Royal Scottish Forestry Society (RSFS) Annual Tour to Argyll.
The party was based in Dunoon and gathered on Sunday 12th May for an introduction to the area. This included a presentation from EGGER Forestry’s Simon Hart on the development of private forestry in Argyll. Simon reflected on the huge efforts of both state and private sectors in taking Argyll from a relatively treeless county with 4% woodland cover in 1924 to a wooded area of over 30% at present. He highlighted the boom years of the 1970’s and 80’s when huge areas were planted, encouraged by Government policies of creating a strategic reserve of timber and rural employment. Simon predicted we are entering another “golden age”, this time with climate change mitigation driving Government policies.
The RSFS group was its normal eclectic mix of professional foresters from the State and private sector, woodland owners and this year included the Scottish Government’s Chief Forester, Jo O’Hara, who heads the newly named Scottish Forestry, formerly known as Forestry Commission Scotland.
A wide range of topics were covered with good interactive debate at the various stops. Highlighting the value of the trip, Simon Hart said: “The real value in these tours lie in the debate. It is a great way for young and old to develop their understanding of the many issues a modern forester needs to consider. This is why EGGER is keen to promote these events and for our staff to attend them.”
The tour covered a range of topics over the three days. These included large scale upland commercial spruce woodlands, the role of shared, in forest, timber haul routes (in this case avoiding timber traffic passing through Dunoon), the pros and cons of community woodlands, island forestry (a visit to the Isle of Bute where EGGER Forestry manage Bute Estate’s woodlands) and species trials in the search for something that can compete with the dominant Sitka spruce.
This was a well worthwhile tour that EGGER was pleased to support. A detailed report of the tour will appear in the next RSFS journal.