News & Events

eNews Current

This is Confor's July 2015 eNews, to keep you informed before our members receive Forestry and Timber News in August.  

Welcome to new members  

Devonoak Ltd, Devon
Drax Group Plc, North Yorkshire
Forest Sawmills Ltd, Lockerbie
Fountain Timber Products Ltd, Bristol
Midlands Woodchip Ltd, Shrewsbury
Tom Haynes, Cumbria 

Confor's all-party group relaunched
Confor's All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry (APPGF) was relaunched on 23 June to highlight the urgent need for more investment in the forestry and wood-processing sector. The group will focus on the need for increased levels of sustainable forestry, helping to drive UK support for the wider forestry and wood-processing sector. Read more 

Confor calls on governments to protect important services
As the starting pistol is fired on the process of full devolution of the Forestry Commission in Scotland and England, Confor has flagged up to ministers the importance of services currently provided by the Forestry Commission at a Great Britain level. Read more

What's happening at the Confor Woodland Show 2015
The Confor Woodland Show will be held on Thursday 10 and Friday 11 September 2015 at Longleat, Wiltshire.  Remember that members have free entrance. Over the two days Confor and others will be holding a series of events, demonstrations and seminars.  The Minister is expected to visit the show on Thursday.  Also on Thursday Confor will be holding a breakfast briefing where a panel taken from the industry will be discussing and taking questions on future planting and wood supply in the south west.   The Confor south west region AGM will be held at lunchtime.  On Friday Confor will be holding a second breakfast briefing where a panel of experts will take your questions on Pine marten and beaver introductions.  At lunchtime the Royal Forestry Society and Forestry Commission will present the new forestry sector careers website.  Alongside these events Forestry Commission plan to run a series of seminars on tree health and resilience.  Off-site there will be the opportunity to view a demonstration of small-scale harvesting equipment.  Finally, for those forestry workers at the wood face it is planned to have training events on health and safety, ergonomic felling, negotiating contracts and finance and business advice. 

Forestry's great opportunity for hill farmers
Hill farmers have been urged to consider diversifying their operations by planting woodland after new figures produced for Confor showed a significant increase in the relative benefits of forestry to farming in the Southern Uplands of Scotland. Read more 

Forests and Climate Change Accord and the British Woodlands Survey
A grouping of industry bodies have developed a high level statement (Accord) to take action against the impacts of climate change.  Confor has signed up to the Accord. The Accord steering group have  commissioned the Sylva Foundation to undertake an additional online survey to form part of their existing suite of British Woodland Surveys. This survey will be officially launched at the CLA Game Fair at Harewood House on Friday 31 July and will then be live on the Sylva webpage 

New online tool to help small woodland owners get certified
PEFC UK has launched a new certification system designed to enable small and medium-sized woodland owners to participate in forest certification. Read more 

Grown in Britain obtains Innovate UK Funding
A Grown in Britain consortium, led by English Woodlands Timber, has been awarded funding by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK, to explore how hardwood supply chains in the UK could be improved. Read more

EU adopts new sustainable forestry strategy
Employing over 3.5 million people, the forestry sector is Europe's third largest employer, sitting directly behind the metal and food industries. The EU's new forestry strategy has its roots in both sustainability and cutting red tape. Read more. 

Acetamiprid Derogation Application - Stakeholder Consultation
The UKWAS Steering Group is facilitating a consultation by the UK certification bodies, Control Union, SGS Qualifor and Soil Association Woodmark, on behalf of FSC certificate holders. The consultation concerns granting a derogation from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to permit the use of Acetamiprid, which is legal to use in the UK, but was classed for the first time in March 2015 as ‘highly hazardous' by FSC so can only be used in FSC-certified woodlands if there are no practicable alternatives. Read more 

Big Lottery Fund awards over £1m for communities to transform unmanaged woodlands
Fifty communities across the UK will receive support to transform unmanaged woodland into opportunities for jobs, leisure, education and services and to improve the health and wellbeing of local people.   The Big Lottery Fund is awarding £1,151,111 to the Plunkett Foundation for its Making Local Woods Work project. Read more

Forest Economics prize launched
A new award has been launched by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) and Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research, to celebrate research on forest economics. The Forest Economics Prize will be awarded to the best paper on this subject accepted for publication in Forestry. Read more 

Think Forests video competition
The Centre for International Forest Research (Cifor) wants you to tell the world how forests fit into the bigger picture. Make a video - of no longer than 2 minutes - showing why forests are vital to a sustainable future. Deadline for entries is 31 August 2015. Read more

SCOTLAND

FC Scotland publishes report on public opinion on forestry
The latest report published on 25 June includes some interesting findings:

  • 83% of respondents agree or strongly agree that ‘a lot more trees should be planted'
  • Around three fifths of respondents would like to see more woodland in their part of Scotland.
  • Around nine in ten respondents believed that there was at least one benefit of forestry worth supporting with public money

Read the full report here  

Land Reform Bill now published
The Land Reform Bill was published by Scottish Government on 24 June 2015. Key measures in the bill include:

  • Ending rates exemptions for shooting and deerstalking estates;
  • Creating a Tenant Farming Commissioner as part of the Scottish Land Commission, along with other modernising elements of Scotland's tenant farming legislation;
  • Encouraging better information and greater transparency on the ownership of land, through the land register
  • Strengthening the regulators hand in instances where land owners are failing to take their deer management responsibilities seriously;
    Improvements to both systems of common good land and right to roam.

Read more 

Changing face of modern forestry
Public sector forestry is benefiting from a new driving force with four top jobs now being held by women. For the first time, women are now in leading forestry roles in both Forestry Commission Scotland and at the Scottish Government.
In an industry traditionally managed by men, the new team demonstrates that this is now changing, and exemplifies the public sector commitment to achieving greater diversity in workplace at a senior level in Scotland. Read more 

Winners of Finest Wood Awards
Environment Minister, Dr Aileen McLeod, presented this year's Scotland's Finest Woods Awards on Friday 19 June during a visit to the Royal Highland Show. Run by independent charity, Scotland's Finest Woods, the awards celebrate the contribution that woodlands make to the people, environment and economic prosperity of Scotland. Read more 

New forest manager for Dumfries & Borders
Forestry Commission Scotland has appointed Dr Sallie Bailey as the new Forest District Manager for the Dumfries & Borders region. In her new role she will be in charge of the area's National Forest Estate, ensuring that the forests and woodlands contribute towards the local and national economy. Read more

WALES

Royal Welsh Show tree felling competition
The Tree Felling Competition 2015 was held on the weekend of 13/14 June 2015 at Coed Sarnau Forest, near Abbeycwmhir, Llandrindod Wells. Read more

RFS Excellence in Forestry Awards uncover the wonders of Welsh woodlands
"Outstanding", "inspirational", "needs to be seen to be believed" - say judges of this year's winners of the Royal Forestry Society ( RFS ) Excellence in Forestry Awards.

The awards are the premier woodland management competition for England and Wales and in 2015 were held across Wales. The judges, all experts in their field, were faced with strong entries in all woodland categories with winners coming from north, south, west and mid Wales. Read more

ENGLAND

The Countryside Stewardship Manual published
It provides all the information applicants need to know about the scheme, including:

  • How it works
  • How to apply
  • How to build a successful application
  • Agreement management
  • Where to find help to claim Countryside Stewardship

The information is likely to be subject to updates, so if you print any of the information please ensure you have the latest version. The Higher Tier application form will be published at the beginning of July and all other supporting scheme guidance material can be found on GOV.UK. 

Wildlife Licensing
Please note that there are a number of changes to licence forms for species listed below.  Natural England will accept old forms but may contact you for additional information, extending an already lengthy process. Read more

PLANT HEALTH

Confirmed finding of oriental chestnut gall wasp
Oriental chestnut gall wasp (OCGW) was discovered in a woodland in Kent, England, in June 2015, the first time this pest has been confirmed as present in the UK. Read more

BBC Radio 4 Farming Today
Ash Dieback is a disease which has been devastating woodlands across the UK for over three years. BBC Look North's Environment Correspondent Paul Murphy visits one of the nurseries involved in a scheme to source seeds and grow replacement trees as an alternative to Ash. Read more

New ash dieback cases confirmed in Scotland
New cases of the tree disease ash dieback have been found in a "sheltered area" set up to halt its spread to mature woodlands. The large area in the western Highlands was designated in 2013 by the Forestry Commission and has been monitored by experts for the chalara infection, but cases have now been found in three areas. All around Oban, two of the locations where the disease has recently been confirmed are in Morvern while the third is in Glen Nant, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserve.

Reconstitution Scheme: (Chalara Ash Dieback)
The Reconstitution Scheme supports the reconstitution of ash plantations which have suffered from or are associated with ash dieback disease.The objective of this scheme is to:
- Restore forests affected by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus by supporting the removal and destruction of trees and leaf litter affected by the disease.
- Reconstitution of the forest with an alternative species to ash.
- Ensure that all leaf litter is adequately destroyed. Read more 

Look out for Chalara symptoms now
Now is an excellent time to look for symptoms. Without significant undergrowth getting close to young ash, regeneration growth and characteristic stem lesions are easier to spot without too many leaves. Fera plant pathologist Charles Lane explains 

Resumption of aerial application of fungicide trial in Millbuie forest, Black Isle
Forestry Commission Scotland is to resume its assessment trials of an aerial application technique to help reduce the impacts of a serious fungal disease of pine woodlands. Read more 

EVENTS

The Royal Welsh Show forestry day event
21 July 2015, 10.45am, Confor marquee
The Rural Development Programme and its impact on Welsh forestry
RSVP by 13 July to Wales Forest Business Partnership (timber.info@wfbp.co.uk) or Martin Bishop (martin.bishop@confor.org.uk)

Confor Woodland Show 2015
10-11 September 2015, Longleat Estate
Read more 

Southwest AGM
10 September 2015, at Confor Woodland Show, Longleat Estate
Read more 

South-west autumn meeting
07 October 2015, Fingle Woods - date for your diary
Read more  

Woodland Communications Day
13 October 2015, Horringer - date for your diary 
Read more

APF 2016
15 September 2016, Ragley Estate
Read more

Biopesticides - Innovative technologies and strategies for pest control
07 - 09 September, Swansea University
Read more

 

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