News & Events

eNews September 2010


..once again to this latest issue of ConFor's eNews.  We are pleased to welcome new members who have joined since our last issue:

Donald Barker, Fife
David Brackley, Lancashire
Neil Dyson, Dumfriesshire
Clive Ellis, Suffolk
Dara Mullen, Carmarthenshire
J I A Robertson, Stirlingshire

Remember, the eNews is just one part of the ConFor communications package.  It is circulated between issues of our industry-leading magazine Forestry and Timber News - now published six times a year.  All ConFor members should receive a complimentary copy of FTN. Non-members can subscribe to eNews by sending your details to and we will add you to our mailing list.

ConFor submits proposal for Deregulation Task Force

Following a very successful meeting with the new England forestry minister, Jim Paice, ConFor has formally submitted its proposal for an industry led task force to explore deregulation in forestry. In the meeting with the minister, ConFor set out a series of actions that government could take to help deliver increased growth in the forestry and wood sector. The first of these actions is deregulation. It is hoped that the minister may say something about the task force at APF 2010 where he is launching a new film promoting the industry that ConFor has produced.

Phytophthora ramorum

With the first cases of P ramorum in larch found in Northern Ireland, owners and managers are urged to be extra vigilant along the western half of the UK. In Wales, the disease has now been found in a privately owned woodland in Denbighshire. ConFor has briefed Jim Paice and met frequently with FC, and will soon with the NI Forest Service, to ensure that industry's views and needs are communicated. As well as advising on eradication, ConFor has raised issues around the impact of increased supplies of larch on to the market and the need to plan for replacement planting of productive forests.

ConFor's successful meeting with GLA

ConFor facilitated a constructive industry meeting with senior representatives of the Gangmaster Licensing Authority, at which proposals for improving the licensing system for forestry businesses were discussed.

"We were keen to explore ways of significantly reducing the burden on forestry businesses given the industry's view that it is a low risk sector", said ConFor chief executive Stuart Goodall. "I was pleased that the GLA was prepared to talk constructively with us and some good ideas were identified and discussed."

Forest carbon projects code

ConFor has pressed for some time for action by government to promote carbon trading for forestry and now participates with FC on a forest carbon group. The latest development is testing of a new quality assurance scheme for tree-planting projects designed to sequester carbon.

FC leasing

FC Scotland launched its leasing land for woodland creation project on 18 August 2010. It has been met with some resistance by the Scottish Tenant Farmers' Association.

ConFor prepares for Welsh elections 2011

Rupert Pigot, ConFor's head of policy, and Kath McNulty, ConFor's national manager for Wales, met with Anna Nicholl at the Senedd in Cardiff. Anna is a special adviser to the Plaid Cymru ministers in the Welsh Assembly Government. Although she is a civil servant, her appointment is political.  Despite her little experience of forestry, she took a keen interest in the points that ConFor made.

Defra forestry policy unit visits the southwest

ConFor member the Duke of Somerset and AJ Charltons sawmill kindly hosted a visit of FC England and Defra's forestry policy unit.  The forestry minister, Jim Paice, is interested in commercial forestry for timber yet this is not where Defra's main focus has been in recent years. Following information requests from Defra and Jim Paice on increasing the use of home-grown timber, this visit aimed to inform Defra about the complexity of supply and demand interaction in forestry-related markets.  A full report of the day will follow in FTN.

Don't forget ConFor's APF2010, 23-25 September 2010, Cannock, Staffordshire, Free entry for ConFor members.  Not a member?  Then join now at 2009/10 rates - contact

ConFor has contributed to the development of myForest, a free service for woodland owners, forestry businesses and wood-users, providing mapping and management plan facilities, as well as, market information and opportunities. myForest is now beginning to take off having exceeded 3000ha of woodland, with 200 woodland owners on board in August, plus 125 businesses. myForest will be represented at ConFor's APF2010 in the ConFor marquee - a great opportunity to come and find out what it has to offer and how it works.  The Private Sector Production Forecast Working Group, seeking information from woodland owners, will also be represented, as well as, the Timber Transport Forum which also has its own demonstration site.

The seminar programme, run by FC England, may help you to decide which day(s) you attend.

FC Scotland grants

Some new elements are now available through SRDP.

Survey of RDPE beneficiaries

Telephone questionnaires are being carried out for 'beneficiaries' of RDPE during September, including around 200 holders of EWGS contracts.


ConFor will be responding to the Defra discussion document, An invitation to shape the nature of England, which contains wide-ranging, open-ended questions seeking ideas, all of which offer opportunities for forestry to have its say.  Please take a look and send your ideas to by 15 October 2010. 


Don't forget ConFor's APF2010, 23-25 September 2010, Cannock, Staffordshire, Free entry for ConFor members.  Not a member?  Then join now at 2009/10 rates - contact  

ConFor and the Small Woods Association joint workshop - De-mystifying woodland insurance and liabilities, Alice Holt, Farnham, 2 December 2010.

ConFor southwest England
20 October 2010 - Devon & Cornwall committee at Boconnoc and afterwards at Rawnsley Woodland Products.
14 December 2010 - Wessex committee at Gasper Mill.
Chris Roberts, tel: 01548 810403.

ConFor's north England regional meeting, continuous cover forestry in Sitka spruce at Kielder, 14 October 2010.  All welcome.


Flexible forestry - adapting forestry and woodland management in southeast England to the impacts of climate change, interactive workshops to provide research information on the implications of climate change; organised by High Weald AONB and Forest Research.
Wadhurst, East Sussex - 13 September 2010
Petworth, West Sussex - 23 September 2010

Free seminars on wood-fuelled heating systems - business, environmental and
cost issues of woodfuel. 
For buyers - 16 September at Guildford, Surrey; 7 October at Nr Newbury, Berkshire; 14 October at Flimwell, East Sussex.
For sellers - 28 September at Lower Basildon, Berkshire; 06 October at      Lyndhurst, Hampshire;12 October near Ashford, Kent.
Information:  and

East England: Open habitats policy. FC briefing on government policy on how to decide when to convert woodland to open habitat in England (, 17 September 2010,  at the Government Offices, Eastbrook, Shaftsbury Road. National and regional perspectives of the policy, with questions to a panel made up of senior representatives from FC, Natural England, CLA, ConFor, RSPB and Plantlife. Contact:

HETAS roadshow, 22 September at the Hampshire Court Hotel, Basingstoke, for boiler installers, specifiers and architects, with information on HETAS registration and training programmes; exhibiting the latest solid fuel and biomass technology and seminars on the building regulations.    

Forest Research forest health days in Scotland
Dunoon, Argyll - 29 September 2010
Kiltarlilty, Inverness-shire - 06 October 2010
Cardrona, Peebles - 07 October 2010

Free workshops run by Woodland Renaissance and MAS (Manufacturing Advisory Service) for wood-processing businesses' operational personnel, to improve efficiency and reduce waste.  29 September 2010 - Roadford Lake, Okehampton; 30 September 2010 - National Self Build & Renovation Centre, Swindon. The workshop can be followed up with half a day free review of processes onsite, and a further four days at a subsidised rate.  Tel: 01722 446124; email:

ICF National Study Tour, 19 - 21 October 2010, Discovering the South Downs: The role of woodlands in the National Park area, sponsored by: South Downs National Park Authority. Full details/online booking at or tel: Allison Lock on 0131 240 1425.

The British and Irish Hardwoods Improvement Programme (BIHIP) annual meeting at Ross-on-Wye, on 21 October 2010, includes talks on forest policy of improved and non-local seed, seed stand management, and IP and branding of BIHIP-improved material, plus visit to seed stands in the Dean, hosted by Kevin Stannard, deputy surveyor of the Forest of Dean.  

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