Environment secretary launches Grown in Britain Week
Secretary of State celebrates Grown in Britain week by announcing record home-grown timber production
The British forestry industry produced a record 12 million tonnes of wood in 2014, increasing wood production in the UK by a third since 2008 and fuelling the country’s one nation economy, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss announced as the third annual Grown in Britain Week got underway.
The trend spells good news for the 40,000 people employed in the £1.9 billion British forestry and timber industry. The new statistics show that the industry is expanding with 58 per cent of woodland in England now in active management, up from 53 per cent in 2013.
“These figures show how a healthy environment goes hand in hand with a healthy economy and why our £14 million investment in tree health research is so important. Managing our woodlands is already generating over 40,000 jobs a year, but there is huge potential for growth from the building site to the furniture show room.
“Grown in Britain is a fantastic initiative which means we can be confident of the local provenance of the wood and furniture we buy and know that it is legal and sustainable.”
Earlier in the day the Secretary of State visited a construction site at One Bedford Avenue, a £33 million development run by major contractor MACE, a company at the forefront of promoting Grown in Britain and shaping London’s skyline using British timber.
The Secretary of State made her comments during an event set amongst the Grown in Britain display in Heal’s Tottenham Court Road flagship store which traces the journey of a sustainably grown ash tree from the forest to furniture. The display reached 20,000 city folk visitors and 250,000 on line…a great initiative that gets the need for managed forests into the heart of societies thinking in our capital city
Grown in Britain CEO Dougal Driver added:
“Grown in Britain is flying the flag for British timber and getting the public to think about where their wood comes from.
“Over 250 thousand hectares and millions of tonnes of licensed Grown in Britain timber is working its way into the marketplace, thanks to the ambitions of UK construction and retailers who are backing homegrown timber and our great British Forests.
“By increasing the demand for British timber destined for use by local people and businesses, real innovation is starting to add value to the supply chains replacing imports and helping many of our woodlands to thrive.”