Scottish Woodlands attends All-Party forestry group meeting in London
Scottish Woodlands Ltd is looking forward to clear actions from the UK Forestry Minister after she reinforced her strong support for increasing productive forestry in England.
Trudy Harrison MP made the comments to a group of 50 representatives from the industry and politicians at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry and Tree Planting in London this week.
She confirmed her commitment to plant more productive forestry to increase the amount of home-grown wood used in the UK. Currently, the UK imports 81% of the wood it needs to make wood products, the second largest net global importer of wood after China.
The Minister said she was “absolutely” committed to planting more productive forests, adding: “I can’t send out a stronger message than that we back everything you are doing to create a profitable and sustainable future.”
She supported the idea of a Timber Sector Deal, proposed by forestry and wood body Confor and Friends of the Earth, to address this challenge - and said she wants to work with the industry as it develops its National Wood Strategy for England document.
David Robertson, Director of Investment and Business Development at Scottish Woodlands Ltd, attended the meeting in The Churchill Room at the Houses of Parliament.
He said: “It was great to attend the All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry and Tree Planting meeting in London and hear that there is broad support for revitalising productive planting across England."
“It's concerning that there has been a decline in the area of productive woodlands at a time when more timber is needed to lock up carbon in the built environment. It's also important to address the issue of offshoring the timber problem elsewhere by importing over 80% of all wood-based products into the UK."
“I agree that there must be more balance in the timber supply and demand in the UK. With the commitment from Forestry Minister Trudy Harrison, it's important to now see clear actions being taken to address this issue.”
Confor’s CEO Stuart Goodall, who spoke at the event, said: “It was great to hear the Minister’s continued positivity about increasing productive forestry, to secure future timber supplies and avoid an ever-increasing reliance on imports. She was also very supportive of the National Wood Strategy, and asked for a meeting, which we will arrange to discuss the Strategy and the Timber Sector Deal.”