News & Events

eNews Current

This is Confor's regular March e-news to keep you informed before our members receive the next Forestry and Timber News in April.

Welcome to new and re-joining members:  

Dochfour Estate, Inverness
Harrington Woodfuel Co.
Ewan Batchelor

Len Yull receives Confor award

At the third Confor industry dinner, attended by over 60 industry leaders, Len Yull was presented with Confor’s award for distinguished service to forestry, by Paul Wheelhouse, MSP, Scotland’s minister for environment and climate change.

Confor studies options for the future of certification

Following growing concerns from within its membership, Confor commissioned an important analysis of UK forest certification. The analysis, undertaken by Sandy Greig of Sandwood Enterprise, outlines options for improvement which Confor will now discuss with members. Certification will be covered more in detail in FTN April.

New team member at Confor

Confor is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Heald, on a temporary basis, as a technical advisor on a wide range of forestry and timber issues, particularly certification.

Confor seeks reduction in red-tape for treatment plant

Confor has been active within the UK IED Technical Work Group responsible for drafting the sector guidance note (SGN) for timber treatment installations.

Calls for a more balanced UKWAS

In response to its Initial Stakeholder Consultation, Confor has asked that UKWAS reflect key criteria from FSC and PEFC, and place economic sustainability equally alongside environmental and social sustainability. Confor members are encouraged to submit their own comments.

Confor welcomes the appointment of Sir Harry Studholme as Chair of Forestry Commission

Her Majesty the Queen, acting on the advice of Ministers, has appointed Sir Harry Studholme as Chair of the Board of Forestry Commissioners. He will serve a term of three years.

Britain's forest area hits almost 3m hectares

The Forestry Commission has published new maps and statistics showing that Great Britain has about two and a half times more forest and woodland than it had 100 years ago. Read a summary


Confor presents to England National Forestry Forum

At the Forum, Dan Rogerson MP, minister for forestry introduced a ‘one year on’ progress report to the Government’s policy statement on forestry and woodlands published last year. Caroline Harrison, Confor’s England Manager, presented an update on the significant work undertaken by Confor. The report is now available online along with an update.

Windblow survey

Forestry Commission England is keen to work with woodland owners and managers to understand the cumulative impact on England’s forests and woodland of the storms during the 2013-14 winter.


Confor update on wood supply campaign

Confor has been lobbying hard to protect Scotland’s commercial resource and to drive up new planting since 2010, with some notable successes. The campaign stepped up a gear in 2013 and now it is set to change tack to do more to protect the existing resource. An update on progress is available at

Scotland’s Finest Wood Awards

Again in 2014, the SFW Awards will be seeking out Scotland’s finest woods and rewarding the pursuit of excellence. There are four award categories – community woodlands, new native woods, quality timber and schools. The deadline for entries is the 31st of March.


Building in wood conference – half price for Confor members
Book now for “Building in wood – the future for timber growers” and get a 50% discount by quoting “Confor”. This NDG James Memorial conference is organised by RFS and RASE and supported by Confor, Grown in Britain and TRADA. It brings together timber growers, processors, buyers and users. It takes place on 01 May at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. Dr Ed Suttie, Director of Sustainable Materials, BRE, is the keynote speaker, and he will be joined by other high-profile industry leaders and opinion formers to discuss the exciting opportunities created by innovations in timber engineering, processing and procurement.

Pesticides update seminars for forest managers – April and May
Wednesday 9th April (revised date). Ludlow, Shropshire.
Thursday 17th April. Taunton, Devon.
Wednesday 23rd April. Farnham, Surrey.
Wed. 30th April. Peterborough, Cambs.
Tuesday 6th May. Penrith, Cumbria
Thursday 8th May. Dunblane, Perthshire
Friday 9th May. Inverness (provisional)  

Regional meetings

South East Scotland Forest Industry regional meeting – 12 March 2014
SRUC Barony Campus, Dumfries

Central Scotland Forest Industry regional meeting – 18 March 2014
Productive forestry, what’s the alternative to Sitka? Stirling Management Centre  

Confor North region members day and AGM – 1 April 2014
“Managing for public access and profit” Cliburn Village Hall and Whinfell Forestry by kind permission of the Lowther Estate and Center Parcs  

Confor south west region members day and AGM – 13 May 2014
“Managing for multi-purpose at a landscape scale” Boconnoc Estate by kind permission of Anthony Fortescue  

Confor east of England region members day and AGM – 12 June 2014 (tbc)
“Managing for added value” Boughton Estate by kind permission of the Duke of Buccleuch  

APF 2014 18-20 September 2014
Ragley Scottish attendees: this date coincides with the Scottish Independence Referendum on 18 September, please organise your postal vote  


Continuous forest cover conference 03-05 June 2014, Keswick, Cumbria

More events


Defra seeks comment on rapid risk assessment for Elm 
FERA, on behalf of Defra, are undertaking a consultation on a rapid risk assessment and the current policy for Elm yellows phytoplasma (Candidatus Phytoplasma ulmi) in the UK.Documents may be found on their website at:  

Information request for research on potential use of downy birch and aspen
The Future Trees Trust (FTT) have grant-aided Dr. Scott McG Wilson to undertake a scoping review of tree improvement and silvicultural research requirements in relation to potential use of downy birch (Betula pubescens) and aspen (Populus tremula) for upland woodfuel production in the British Isles. By the 31st of March he seeks to collate information from any organisation potentially (a) involved with the sourcing, propagation and deployment of reproductive material of these species for woodfuel production, (b) involved with the management of stands of these species for woodfuel production (or related seed/ basic material supply) and (c) involved with processing of woodfuel of these species (especially on an industrial basis). More information and questionnaire

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