BBC News interviews Confor CEO about tree planting in NI

24 May 2022

Following on from the publication of our Northern Ireland Assembly Election manifesto, BBC NI Agriculture & Environment Correspondent Louise Cullen spoke to Stuart Goodall about what needs to be done.

"Planting productive forests creates additional employment and, because of the strength of the market for wood, we're seeing timber prices increasing significantly," explained Stuart. "That's an opportunity for the farming community to gain some value from marginal land, as well as the jobs associated downstream."

He was one of several figures in the industry to comment on the need for an updated forestry strategy in Northern Ireland.

Ross Jamieson, Confor Member and Director at RJ Woodland Services Ltd, also said: "Northern Ireland has the capability of growing much more timber that can be used in this country.

"The ground we really want to plant in Northern Ireland is the marginal, the upland ground that's not just completely environmentally sensitive but it's not the prime agricultural ground either.

"We want to be hitting the middle ground and the financial incentive on that sort of ground is not as good as it could be."

Confor is delighted that our manifesto, The Future is Forestry, is being recognised as an urgent call for action on trees and timber in the region.

Read the full article on BBC News: Tree planting 'must triple to hit environment aims'

Confor's view on planting in Northern Ireland has also been reported in the Belfast Telegraph: Call for new forestry strategy for NI as body claims planting targets fall short