Len Yull receives award as forest industry reflects on another good year

3 March 2014

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.

The annual dinner provides an opportunity for the minister to meet with industry representatives, and to discuss how to continue the success of an important, rural industry.

Commenting on the last 12 months, Confor chairman George Webb highlighted “another year of good performance”. He went on to note that the wood processing sector continues to grow, and that statistics should show that 2013 saw another year of record production. Recent investments in sawmilling and panel production are now getting up to capacity and further investment is planned.

George also noted that “demand for timber products continues to grow and as we exit recession we are seeing wood markets improving. The future is positive and the view is that we will see continued sustainable growth”.

However, one major concern was highlighted, the continuing reduction in commercial forestry and the lack of new commercial planting. In that regard, George welcomed “the Scottish Government’s commitment to work with Confor to support the further development of the sector, both growing and processing.”

Guest of honour at the Confor dinner was forestry minister Paul Wheelhouse, who spoke about the importance of forestry and wood products in helping meet Scottish Government’s carbon reduction targets, and the actions being taken, in response to advice from Confor, to protect and expand the forestry resource.

Confor’s award for distinguished service to forestry was presented by the minister to Len Yull. With over 50 years’ experience in the forestry sector, both in the UK and abroad, Len has been instrumental in shaping the industry. Working with investors, Len facilitated the planting of large areas of forestry, and then, as chair of the industry’s representative body FTA, he challenged successive governments to support the development of what is now a successful industry.

Noting his determination always to fight industry’s corner, Confor chief executive Stuart Goodall said: “Len Yull is a fighter and a campaigner. He is a great champion of commercial forestry – articulate and relaxed on stage and in the media.”

Len is due to retire at the end of January.

Confor Award 2014 - Len Yull