News & Events

eNews Current

This is Confor's November 2015 e-News, to keep you informed before our members receive Forestry and Timber News in December.

Welcome to new members:

Angus Gray, Perthshire
Howard Jones, Llangollen
James Hamiton, London
Paul Manson, Aberdeenshire
Rodney Pimm, Inverness-shire
Gary Rooke, Wiltshire
Achentoul Farms Limited, Argyll
Carbon Compost Company, Devon
Mark Hamilton Landscape Services, West Lothian
Say it with wood, Herefordshire
Valley Forestry Ltd, Gloucestershire

Last few spaces available at our conference on Tuesday!

Forestry on prime-time TV

Confor took the forestry and timber message to more than 4 million viewers when The One Show carried a feature on the importance of productive forestry.

The Confor team organised the filming for the BBC crew and chief executive Stuart Goodall was the main contributor to a piece on the early-evening BBC magazine programme The One Show. Watch the link here (min 2:40). Goodall said the coverage on the BBC1 show was "a tremendous showcase for the sector". Read more.

Confor in the news

The feature on The One Show was the culmination of a series of high-profile media appearances for Confor in the last few weeks, including a positive feature in The Independent and coverage on Radio 4 in the Farming Today forestry week.

Stuart Goodall said: "Recent media coverage has given mainstream exposure to positive messages about productive forestry and wood products - and highlighted the desperate need for new planting. It's vital that we get positive stories about productive forestry into the media and take those positive messages to key politicians to turn the tide and get many more trees planted in England and across the UK."

Ministerial praise for sector

Forestry and timber is "unbelievably important to Britain", the UK Government minister responsible for the sector has told a Westminster committee.

Rory Stewart told the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs committee: "It [forestry and timber] is a £2 billion industry; there are 40,000 people employed in this 2008, we were only producing 8 million tonnes of timber; we are producing 12 million tonnes now."

Confor's Chief Executive Stuart Goodall said: "Rory Stewart took part in a Confor Fringe event at Conservative Party conference in October and this positive engagement is feeding back to Westminster." Read more here.

Confor at the conference

Confor hosted a successful Fringe event and dinner debate at the Conservative Party conference, explaining the modern face of forestry and wood to key players - including forestry minister Rory Stewart, MP and all party chairman Chris Davies, MP. Read more 

Westminster conference

A very strong political line-up is the centrepiece of Confor's Westminster conference this Tuesday, 10 November. Forestry minister Rory Stewart is joined by all-party chair Chris Davies MP, Labour's newly-appointed forestry spokesperson Alex Cunningham, the SNP's Environment spokesperson Calum Kerr and the Lib Dems' House of Lords spokesperson on the environment and rural affairs Baroness Parminter.

All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry

Confor and the Woodland Trust presented a joint aspiration for much greater tree planting in England to MPs and Peers on Wednesday, 4 November. The call for an increase in productive and native woodland planting builds on recent media coverage of the issue, secured by Confor, and has prompted questions in the House of Commons. The joint aspiration will be explained in more detail at Confor's conference.

Important update: wrong contact number published for Confor taxation helpline

We apologise for publishing an incomplete contact number for the Confor helpline in the October issue of FTN and the Confor 2016 diary. The information on the Confor website remains correct.
Remember that if you have any taxation enquiries, you can contact David Gittins on Tel: 01242 262490 or e-mail

Grown in Britain week 2015

Grown in Britain grabbed the nation's attention and UK headlines as the public and industry celebrated our forests and woodlands as part of the third annual Grown in Britain Week in October. Read more

Woodland owners missing out on millions of pounds in revenue

A multi million pound hole in the rural economy has been uncovered by a recent FC survey, which reveals farmers and landowners across England are missing out on millions of pounds of untapped income. Read more


Catch up on developments with the UK Plant Health Risk Register and an outbreak of P ramorum in Angus.  Read more


Calling all young foresters! 

Confor is looking for interested individuals to join Confor's regional Committees.  Confor has five regional Committees in Devon and Cornwall, Wessex, The Marches, North of England and East of England.  Committees meet up to four times a year and guide the work of Confor in England.  Regional Secretary posts are available in The Marches and North of England.  Liaising with the England Manager and regional Chairs to organise Committee meetings, distribute meeting papers and write meeting notes.  The posts are unpaid but will contribute to ICF PME hours. 

If you are interested please contact Caroline Harrison on 01837 82222 or 07500 927482 or email

FC England grants and regulations update

This month FCE outline the next steps for those who have applied for Countryside Stewardship funding to improve or create woodland. Advice is offered for customers about the annual claims process and photographic evidence requirements. Read about upcoming events on funding opportunities and FCE plans to speed up woodland management plan approvals. Read more

Crimestopper's Campaign 'STOP Poaching

Police teams across Devon and Cornwall are asking for the public's help to report poachers in rural areas of the region. Read more


Grampian Regional Forestry Forum seeks new members

Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) is seeking to recruit four new members for the Grampian Regional Forestry Forum to advise on the development and implementation of the Scottish Forestry Strategy. More details here

Scottish regional meetings

During the month of October, another successful round of meetings for the forestry and timber industry have been held in north-east, south and mid Scotland. Topics covered included regional forestry and woodland strategies and the impact of global trade on future forestry prospects, the opportunities for more woodland creation under the changed CAP regime, and on whether we can afford to dilute the country's spruce resource with alternative conifers to produce "resilient" forests in the future.  Around 150 delegates also heard industry updates on certification and new & emerging market opportunities.  The meetings are supported by Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, and the presentations can be seen at here:
North-east meeting

South meeting

Mid Scotland - Autumn 2015 event will be uploaded soon here

Review of consultation proceedings

Stakeholder meetings have been held around the Conservancies to discuss a review of consultation proceedings and how the public register can be made to work better.  FCS will develop proposals for wider dissemination in the New Year.


Glastir Woodland Restoration applications to reopen

Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans has announced that a second Expression of Interest (EoI) window in the Glastir Woodland Restoration scheme will open on 19 October and close at midnight on 13 November 2015. This Expression of Interest window is targeting areas where re-planting can be completed by 31 March 2016. Confor welcomes this round of EOI for the Glastir Woodland Restoration scheme which is vital for both disease management and woodland management in Wales. More details here

A Forestry Manifesto for Wales

We at Confor have recently been campaigning to influence all the political parties in Wales to get forestry onto their election manifestos. A small part of it is the Forestry Manifesto for Wales: Forestry and wood can deliver for the Welsh economy, its environment and society - and deserves to be afforded a much greater priority in policy-making. This short report highlights the wide range of benefits forestry and wood can deliver, links to resources making the case for the sector and highlights key actions needed to unlock its full potential. We hope the political parties will include these actions in their manifestos for the 2016 Welsh Assembly elections.

Cwm Rhaeadr Forest open again

A West Wales forest has been reopened after a two-month-long felling operation was completed.

The work at Cwm Rhaeadr Forest near Llanymddyfri involved thinning 3000 trees, around five per cent of the forest, where Douglas fir, Norway spruce and Sitka spruce were felled and removed. Read more


Forests can help prevent floods and droughts
A new report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) provides an overview of the water-retention potential of European forests.


Update to Forestry Commission First Aid Policy

Forestry Commission has updated its First Aid Policy for those that work on FC land. The update includes information on:

  • selecting training providers
  • "+F" qualification as a requirement in core operations
  • what to record for your first aid provision


Water Framework Directive Directions

The document was issued in September to the Environment Agency. Read it here.

If you have any comments or queries please reply to this mailbox at   

Non-Domestic RHI quarterly update

The issue published in late October includes details on the new sustainability requirements, changes to the way you submit your periodic data and details about workshops on heat pumps. Read the update here.  


There are a number of open calls for feedback at the moment. Confor has already responded to the FSC Chain of Custody and Transactional Verification and The Northumberland National Park Management Plan Review for 2016-21.
Calls for feedback are open for a "pest risk analysis for pests of significance to the forestry and woodland sectors" (deadline: 02 December 2015).

See all consultations here


Conference: Modern Forestry - unleashing the rural potential
10 November, Westminster
Read more

Woodland Communication Day 2015
13 November, Horringer Community Centre
Read more

APF 2016
15 September 2016, Ragley Estate
Read more  

ICF Workshops to Aid Countryside Stewardship Grant Success

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) has partnered with Forestry Commission England (FCE) in delivering a series of grant application-boosting workshops, taking place this November. The Better Management Plans, Faster Approvals workshops aim to improve applications coming forward for the Countryside Stewardship grant schemes, and increase the application success rate among its delegates.  Read more  

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