Confor members welcomed the commitment to use home-grown timber, but stressed that the longest possible lead-in times were needed, especially to ensure quality hardwoods.
Tom Barnes, of Vastern Timber, which mills hardwoods and softwoods, said it was important to take time to look at what was out there - rather than specifying something 'perfect' for the Palace and then having to go abroad if it wasn't available in the UK.
Asked if the UK had a big enough hardwood resource to supply such a huge project, he said: "If you give us a few months' notice, absolutely not. We can do much more with a longer lead-in. But it's hard to say until we know exactly what's needed."
He encouraged the project team to "explore the supply chain, talk to the forestry industry and find out what's possible". Mr Barnes also urged the project team not to over-specify. "If we want British timber throughout, including for joinery, let's not over-specify. Let's allow a few defects and a few knots; let's use what's out there."
Lord Colgrain, one of the Vice-Chairs of the APPG and a member of the House of Lords Finance Committee, said he had seen the challenges of restoring the Palace first hand. He said that estates and landowners with hardwood timber, especially oak, should be encouraged to 'do their bit' and contribute timber to the restoration project.
Jez Ralph, of Timber Strategies, suggested that the Restoration and Renewal team linked up with those working on the HMS Victory conservation project and talked to suppliers about the availability of quality hardwood timber.
Dainis Dauksta, a Consultant at WoodKnowledge Wales, warned that it was likely to be difficult to get large quantities of high-quality hardwoods as it had been historically over-used in shipbuilding, causing much of London to be built with Baltic or Nordic timber. He said technology had a part to play, by creating facilities to make engineered timber products like glulam.
Caroline Ayre said forestry and wood knowledge throughout the last century was based largely on softwoods (because that was what had been planted) and that around 60% of broadleaf woods in England were unmanaged - making it more challenging to deliver large quantities of high-quality hardwood timber. When the oak beams were procured for the hammer beam roof in Westminster Hall in the 14th century, hardwoods did not have the same challenges from pests as today - because there were no grey squirrels in the UK and far more deer were eaten for their meat.
There were many challenges to overcome, but the forestry industry's door was open to support the project in any way and added: "It's our duty to do so." All parts of the forestry and wood sector should collaborate to start building a supply of hardwood timber for the heritage industry, she added.
Ben Lake, Chair of the APPG, revealed that after 18 months of virtual meetings, the group would gather in person again in the House of Commons on 2nd November. Look out for details.