News & Events

eNews Current

We at Confor wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for a successful 2015! This is Confor's January 2015 e-news, to keep you informed before members receive Forestry and Timber News in February.  

Welcome to new members:

Premier Forest Products Ltd,
AJ Charlton & Sons Ltd
Charles Ransford and Son Ltd

Book your place at our Westminster conference!

2015's major conference will take the forestry and timber debate to the heart of Westminster, just weeks before the General Election.

At what is sure to be a sell-out event, politicians and industry experts will gather on 24 March to discuss Confor's election manifesto, Delivering Green Growth, which calls for specific action from the next UK government to ensure the forestry and wood sector can deliver its full potential. In the morning, Confor has also secured exciting, senior level speakers to provide new a perspective and prompt debate on certification.  Read more and sign up  

Send our manifesto to your politicians

With FTN December we sent you a glossy copy of the Confor manifesto for the general election. Please do send it to any politician (existing office holder or candidate) that you feel would benefit from reading it. We can send you further copies - email Liz Hughson - or refer them to the document on our website.  

Confor seeks fundamental improvement to UKWAS

The revision process of any standard is never that exciting - it's a bit like constitutional reform, initially everyone is excited but it always seems to take too long, with too many consultations and no-one is ever completely happy with the result. As part of its work to fundamentally improve certification, Confor is taking an industry lead on the revision to UKWAS. Read more  

Plant health update

A series of quick updates on a plant health awareness event, changes in access to online information on plant health, and a new publication on animal and plant health in the UK. Read more  

Revised grey squirrel policy

Following a review commissioned by Ministers our policy on grey squirrels has been updated. There will be further stakeholder engagement to discuss implementing the actions and how FC can help to facilitate a more co-ordinated approach, at a workshop in the New Year.  See the latest policy and action plan at 

The RHI and woodfuel land criteria

The Woodfuel Guidance, which sets out how to comply with the woodfuel land criteria when claiming the RHI, has been published online.  Confor will be meeting with DECC in the New Year.  

Propyzamide derogation consultation (by 09 March)

The use of Propyzamide (Kerb) in Forest Stewardship Council certified forests is subject of renewed scrutiny by FSC's Pesticides Committee in 2015.  The derogation for use of this pesticide, agreed in 2010, expires at the end of May 2015 and many forest owners and managers of FSC certified forests throughout the UK will be applying to extend the derogation. Read more  

Timber theft alert

Several major industry players, such as UPM Tilhill have recommended to send out an orange alert to all managers regarding a surge in timber thefts from harvesting sites, mainly as a result of a rise in demand for fuelwood and chip, and current prices that are bound to create a black market.

As a start, managers should be aware and liaise with other players. The tricks of the thieves are the usual ones: loading extra tons on harvesting sites and dropping them off on the way, plain Sunday theft etc. UPM has made their staff aware of the issue and regularly monitors dispatch using covert cameras. They have caught thieves stealing stake blanks from a site in Bangor about a month ago.  

Seminars on the Forestry Grant Scheme (FGS) 

Forestry Commission Scotland is running a series of seminar events for woodland owners and forestry agents to support the launch of the new Forestry Grants Scheme. The seminars are in two phases. Phase 1 seminars are designed to provide an introduction to the new FGS and specifically consider the woodland creation option. Phase 2 seminars will consider the Woodland Management Options. Seminar dates here.

Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England

Countryside Stewardship (previously known as NELMS) officially starts on 01 July 2015. Information events around this will be arranged in the spring. Read more 

Joint action on Welsh forestry

Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, Confor and the Wales Forest Business Partnership are working on an action plan for forestry in Wales, the plan will aim to bring together and address, in one document, recommendations and actions arising from different sources. Read more.  

Confor highlights need to consider needs of forest industries for Welsh Nature Recovery Plan

Confor gave a robust response to the recent Welsh Government Consultation on the Nature Recovery Plan for Wales, highlighting the need to ensure the nature recovery plan takes into account the requirements of the commercial forestry industry and the need to ensure continued supplies of timber, the raw material for a vital rural industry. This consultation is the Welsh Government's first step to defining the direction of travel for biodiversity action in Wales, in the context of our commitment to putting in place an integrated approach to natural resource management, and fulfilling our international commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) over the next five years. 

RFS travel bursary helps those studying abroad

The Royal Forestry Society can support those travelling independently to study woodlands or forests abroad through the Donald Randle Travel Bursary. Details of how to apply, by 28 February, and terms and conditions can be found here or by calling the RFS on 01295 678588.  

Participate in research: P ramorum and UK timber market

John Meredith is researching the effect of P ramorum on the timber industry in the UK, for his dissertation in Rural Property Management at Harper Adams University. He would very much appreciate if anyone who has had experience with the disease could complete the survey below, in order to help him collect the most relevant data. 


Sawdust - the fuel of the future?

The Working Forest Newspaper of Canada reported recently that, while the demand for newsprint may be in decline, it seems every day there is a new innovation in forest products added to the diverse roster of uses for trees. Your car may soon run on sawdust! Researchers have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for petrol. Read more  

Global pulpwood and timber market report

The wood fiber costs for the world's hardwood pulp-producing mills have declined in 2014, while softwood pulp manufacturers have seen stable wood costs, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.  Read more  

Innovation award for the European forest-based sector

The 2015 Schweighofer Prize is now open and calling for entrants who demonstrate outstanding achievements and innovative concepts in support of a strong and sustainable forest-based sector in Europe. The prize fund for this competition totals €300,000 and is open until 2nd February 2015.

Click here for full details of the competition


More details of all Confor events here.

South Scotland Forestry and Timber Regional Event
04 March 2015, Barony College

North-east Scotland Forestry and Timber Regional Event
11 March 2015, Banchory

Mid Scotland Forestry and Timber Regional Event
18 March 2015, Stirling Management Centre

Confor's 2015 conference - book now!
Delivering Green Growth
24 March 2015, Westminster
Read more

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

South-west AGM
10 September 2015, at Confor Woodland Show, Longleat Estate

South-west autumn meeting
07 October 2015, Fingle Woods 

Woodland Communications Day
13 October, Horringer, date for your diary


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