Industry News

Grown In Britain begins tree planting in Sylva Foundation’s Future Forest, Oxfordshire

On Friday 10th February, Grown in Britain staff, supporters and licence-holders came together to begin planting the Grown in Britain Grove, part of the Sylva Foundation’s Future Forest, in Oxfordshire.

Some 300 productive tree saplings were planted during the day, which also included a tour of the Sylva Centre. The Centre is clad in thermally-modified home-grown sycamore and ash, financed through a research grant from Grown in Britain (GiB).

“The Grown in Britain Grove is a focus point for celebrating the future of British timber,” said Grown In Britain CEO, Dougal Driver. “Many of our licence holders are forest owners and sawmillers in their own right, already contributing to the future of Britain’s productive forests through their re-planting programmes. We want the Grown in Britain Grove to be somewhere that licence-holders further along the supply chain, in joinery manufacturing, construction and retailing, can come, participate in planting, and feel part of the continuing story of sustainable British woodlands and timber production,” Dougal Driver added.

The Grove is financed through donations to Grown in Britain, and the campaign is particularly grateful to Orpago bespoke furniture and Vastern Timber for their contributions.

Left to right in the picture are: John Weir, Forestry Commission; Laura Sceal, GiB; Judith Millidge, Small Woodland Owners Group; Helen Bentley-Fox, GiB; Dougal Driver, GiB; Tom Barnes, Vastern Timber; Dr Gabriel Hemery, Sylva Foundation (seated); William Jackson, Certainly Wood; Jen Hurst, Sylva Foundation.


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One third of tropical timber traded worldwide is illegally sourced, new report finds

A new report presented at the Conference of the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP13) in Cancun last month indicates that one third of tropical timber traded globally comes from illegal deforestation.

As underlined by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), "the significant number stems from an increase of timber traded on domestic markets, which are less regulated and strict than international, export-oriented markets."

The study - coordinated by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) on behalf of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) - shows that bilateral trade agreements between producer and consumer countries- like the European Union’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Action Plan (FLEGT)– have prompted shifts in the timber trade from industrial export-oriented markets to small-scale logging operations for the domestic market.

"This pattern can be readily observed in Cameroon, Africa's largest exporter of tropical hardwood to the EU", explain CIFOR researchers. "Due to a lack of government regulation concerning the domestic wood sector, almost half of the country’s timber is sold on the black market."

Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, one of the partner organizations supporting the assessment, comments: “Forestry crime including corporate crimes and illegal logging account for up to $152 billion every year, more than all official development aid combined."

Paolo Cerutti, one of the study’s key authors and a scientist at CIFOR, adds: “Illegal logging is complex. Before measures can be taken to curb it, preliminary work is needed to further assess the activity’s causes, complex dynamics, impacts and trade-offs. This was the mission behind our report."

The report - entitled "Illegal Logging and Related Timber Trade - Dimensions, Drivers, Impacts and Responses" - can be downloaded here.


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PEFC UK releases information sheet on Modern Slavery Act 2015

PEFC UK has produced a information sheet designed to help certified companies demonstrate compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. 

Section 54 of the Act entitled Transparency in Supply Chains is relevant to companies with a global turnover of over £36 million and which conduct business or part of a business in the United Kingdom.

All businesses which meet these criteria must publish a Slavery and Human Trafficking statement on their website with a prominent link to it from its home page. The statement should show the steps it has taken during the past financial year to ensure that slavery and human
trafficking has not taken place either in the company’s operations or its supply chain, both in the UK and abroad.

The information sheet shows how PEFC-certified companies and users of PEFC certified products (who may also have to comply with the legislation) can refer to PEFC’s certification standards to help demonstrate that forced labour has not been used in their certified products supply chain.

The publication can be downloaded from the PEFC UK website or can be obtained by e-mailing [email protected].


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Berkeley Professor Kevin O’Hara wins ICF Silvicultural Prize 2016

Kevin O’Hara, Professor of Silviculture at the University of California, Berkeley, has been awarded the 2016 Percy Stubbs, John Bolton King and Edward Garfitt Prize for Silviculture - for advancing our knowledge of silviculture.

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) honoured Professor O’Hara with this prestigious award in recognition of his paper entitled: What is close-to-nature silviculture in a changing world?, published in Forestry, volume 89(1): 1-6 – ICF’s respected international journal of forestry research, produced by Oxford University Press.

"The Editors believe this is an outstanding paper which demonstrates our knowledge of the subject. The paper is a model of clarity and has provided a real challenge to the policy and practice of silviculture." 

Professor O’Hara commented: "I'm very pleased and honoured to receive the 2016 Silvicultural Prize from the Institute of Chartered Foresters. I'm also gratified that the journal Forestry gave me the opportunity to present the science to challenge the status quo regarding emulating nature with silviculture."

Dr. Gary Kerr, Editor-in-Chief of Forestry, added: “Kevin’s paper is an important contribution because it challenges the doctrine of ‘close-to-nature’ silviculture and presents a vision for how silviculture can respond to the changes man has made to the natural environment.”

2016 Silvicultural Prize-winning paper is available to read in full on the Forestry website.

[Photo courtesy of Berkeley ESPM]


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Forestry Commission note explores alternative species for structural timber

The Forestry Commission has released a research note - entitled ‘Timber properties of noble fir, Norway spruce, western red cedar and western hemlock grown in Great Britain’ - exploring alternative species for structural timber.

According to the note, noble fir, Norway spruce, western red cedar and western hemlock grown in Britain could all produce acceptable returns of structural timber.

The recent increase in outbreaks of tree pests and diseases specific to particular species has led to an interest in diversification by planting a wider range of tree species to mitigate any risk to the softwood resource.

The note reports on the structural timber properties of these four species, which can produce merchantable volumes in reasonable time frames when grown in Great Britain, and compares the results with published values for British-grown Sitka spruce. It also notes that of these four species, western red cedar has the least desirable structural timber properties.

These species could therefore play a role in mitigating the British softwood timber industry’s exposure to the risks of relying on a small range of species.


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