Forestry Commission research has revealed that many private owners of woodlands in Britain are unaware of the true value of their woodland resources.
A new video from Grown in Britain, produced with significant funding and collaboration from Woodland Heritage and advice from the Forestry Commission, was launched on 15th June to address this issue, providing guidance to smaller and potentially less experienced woodland owners.
Entitled ‘Realising the value of your hardwoods’, the 15-minute, multi-section film looks at all aspects of managing and valuing standing timber, plus benefits to wildlife and re-planting for the future. Featuring Chartered Forester, trustee of Woodland Heritage and managing director of Pryor & Rickett Silviculture, Graham Taylor, in discussion with forestry student Kelly Morss and Grown in Britain CEO Dougal Driver, the sections of the video start with the reason for management plans, and run through each stage from tree growth and selection potential for harvesting, to understanding and gaining a fair price for the felled timber.
Approximately 50% of privately-held deciduous woodland across Britain is currently under-managed. Increasing management levels could make a beneficial contribution to the country’s economy and ecology, says Grown in Britain CEO Dougal Driver: “It’s essential for owners to understand that they can reap a benefit from their hardwood resources at the same time as managing their woodland for wildlife and for a long-term sustainable future.”
Graham Taylor, trustee of Woodland Heritage, adds: “A hardwood tree managed for maximum yield for planking, beaming and fencing, can be worth a good seven times more than simply selling it into the firewood market. Larger estates usually have woodland management plans in place but smaller woodland-owners may not be as familiar with managing to meet market demands, or indeed how to select and sell timber from their woodlands. We’re pleased to join with Grown in Britain in providing this highly accessible guidance.”
Dougal Driver concludes: “As the marketing side of the Grown in Britain campaign develops, we are seeing increased interest in using British-grown timber, for everything from furniture to timber framing. Encouraging woodlands back into management grows the supply to meet demand. The present currency situation is also working in favour of British-grown timber, so even more reason for woodland owners to enjoy a sustainable harvest, for the present day and for the future.”
‘Realizing the value of your hardwoods’ was launched at Woodland Heritage’s Field Weekend starting 15th June at the Hampshire workshops of Gaze Burvill, and will be available via Grown In Britain’s YouTube channel, or www.growninbritain.org , and on www.woodlandheritage.org