Industry News

Confor Chief on Brexit: 'Engaging effectively to shape the future of new UK forestry sector'

In the aftermath of the EU Referendum vote, Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor), has expressed his vision of the UK forestry sector in a blog post significantly entitled 'All change, all change!'.

"During times of change it is those who engage most effectively who shape both the destination and the means of getting there. For the forestry and timber sector we're not going to determine what the trade relationship is with the EU, but we can and should get out there and explain to politicians and those who advise and influence them on how to protect and promote the sector", wrote Mr Goodall.

"For that we need clear messages and priorities, and a co-ordinated effort to get those points over through repeated activity. Confor produced an analysis of the key issues ahead of the referendum and is now updating that to identify what the sector needs - the questions that need answered, the actions that need to be taken."

"This will take a little time, and we have that, not least because Labour and the Tories are engulfed in leadership speculation. But the sooner we can begin the better", Mr Goodall concluded.

In this context, the next meeting of the Westminster All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry (APPGF) on July 12th will discuss what the Leave vote means and office-bearers from the APPGF have been briefed by Confor.


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'UK Trade organizations will work together to address post-Brexit vote', says BMF MD

The Builders Merchant Federation (BMF) has issued a statement on the result of the EU Referendum

"The BMF fully respects the democratic decision that has been made by the British people and in which our members, their employees and customers have participated", said BMF Managing Director John Newcomb.

"Our priority now is to work together in the BMF and with other trade bodies to make sure the construction industry is properly consulted and engaged in discussions with the government about the implications of the vote to leave the EU. There are many important issues to raise on behalf of BMF members about future changes that impact on jobs and the future of projects and funding that are linked to the government and in some cases to the EU." 

"Next week the BMF will enter a period of detailed discussions with other leading Trade Associations such as the CBI, CPA and FMB about the impact of today's decision on our sector and a more detailed statement will be issued from the BMF Board to all Members following these discussions",
Mr Newcomb added.


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TTF held Summit to debate Panel products quality and standards

On Wednesday 15 June 2016 the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) held a Panel Products Summit at the Building Centre in London.

The Summit aimed to find an adequate response to widespread concerns about quality of panel products imported to the market from non-EU sources not meeting the requirements of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). 

The meeting attracted a wide range of stakeholders including manufacturers, importers, distributors and merchants from member and non member companies. The participants discussed the thinking and principles behind the project, namely to address issues relating to standards, quality, sustainability, performance and compliance of panel products arriving in the UK from non-EU sources.

David Hopkins, Managing Director of the TTF said: “This was an excellent opening meeting. The sheer number of stakeholders present shows the importance of this project and the depth of feeling throughout the trade. The consensus in the room gives us a clear mandate to move on. The first steps are to fully scope out the terms of the review and find an independent chair to oversee and report on the process. We will be updating members throughout and look forward to continued engagement and participation.”


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Winners of RFS Excellence in Forestry Awards 2016 unveiled

The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) has revealed the winners of RFS Excellence in Forestry Awards 2016.

The awards - recognizing exceptional woodland management and education - cover a different region each year, and this year the focus was on the north of England.

The list of winners includes:

  • Duke of Cornwall’s Award for Resilient Woods: Helmsley Estate, Duncombe Park, near Helmsley, North Yorkshire, owned by the Rt Hon Jake Barnaby Duncombe.
  • Award for Excellence in Silviculture: Zetland Estates' Woodland Carbon Code woodland, near Richmond, North Yorkshire, owned by Earl of Ronaldshay
  • Small and Farm Woodlands Award: Sawrey Ground Plantation, near Hawskhead, Cumbria, owned by Gary Primrose and Derek Hook.
  • Urban and Community Forestry Award: Churwell Environmental Volunteers for the Clarksprings and Daffil Woods owned by Leeds City Council.
  • Education and Learning Award: Bill Hogarth (MBE) Memorial Apprenticeship Trust (BHMAT), based in Carnforth, Lancashire.

"The exceptionally high standard of entries across all categories of the Excellence in Forestry Awards 2016 proved a challenge for the judges", said the Royal Forestry Society.

Winners will receive their awards at Lotherton Hall Estate near Leeds on Wednesday 6 July 2016.

For more information click here.


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James Latham supports Bristol Community Project for park redevelopment

[Photo courtesy of James Latham and Accoya]

James Latham’s depot at Yate has supplied a community project with Accoya – the high performance, modified and long life wood – that has transformed an abandoned, overgrown area in Bristol into a thriving pocket park designed for storytelling.

The Accoya was used to create an eye-catching piece of sculpture in the form of a snaking bench which was designed by architecture students from UWE (University of the West of England) and was made by contemporary furniture makers Ooma Design of Corsham (

Through consultation with local residents in Bedminster, it was decided that sharing stories is a group activity that can be enjoyed by all ages and provide a platform for communication.

Dr Rachel Sara, Associate Professor in Architecture at UWE commented: “The team wanted to create a piece of sculpture, that when placed on site, transformed the area into a space tailored for storytelling.  The sculpture is expressed as a continuous curved bench containing and sheltering a focused story circle and the seating can accommodate small groups and individuals."

“It has been a really rewarding project and we are extremely grateful to James Latham at Yate for having supplied Accoya wood. Accoya is an extensively proven and high performance wood and because of the modification technique that is used, it is ideal for outdoor use and challenging applications.  I know both the students and the team at Ooma Design have been really impressed with it.”

Andy Duffin, Operations Director of Lathams Limited said: “By creating this park, the team has inspired the community to engage with and maintain a unique area of green space within the urban street scape of Bedminster which otherwise would have remained an overgrown, disused space that was being used to store building waste.  We were delighted to help and to see how Accoya had been used in such and imaginative and original application.”


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