New future promised for Britainâ€™s forests and woodland
Grown in Britain has taken steps in three key areas: creating a new and stronger market pull for woodland products; developing a mechanism for a private sector funding stream that supports woodland management; and creating a stronger wood culture ‘that contributes to personal health and well-being, community engagement and encourages market demand for products’.
Six months in and significant progress has been made which will act as a platform for future growth and development of the sector, says Grown in Britain.
Some 30 companies, including major construction contractors with a collective materials and services purchasing power of £32 billion, have committed to a preference for procuring timber from UK woodlands, it adds.
B&Q and Travis Perkins are showcasing timber products Wppd fuel and products from all the UK’s woodlands now meet the government’s procurement standards, ‘because a new system has been recognised for smaller woodland owners’.
Hea’ls department store has launched a range of British-made English ash furniture, and a new framework has been established that allows UK corporate organisations ‘to report against their carbon’ by investing in UK based woodland projects. ‘This funding stream will enable the critical investment in our forests and woodland that is required to drive growth in the sector,’ claims Grown in Britain.
More than 250 public events have taken place in the past six months to publicise Grown in Britain, and an annual week of public events and training days under the badge was launched earlier this month. These range from bushcraft, fungi identification and seed collection events, to forest walks and woodland photography sessions.
‘Our country shows great passion for its woodlands and we are surrounded everyday by wood products in our homes, gardens and businesses,’ says Forestry Commission chair Sir Harry Studholme. ‘Wood supports the roofs over our heads, surrounds our gardens with fences and we see more and more premises built to high sustainability standards with wood at their core,’ he adds. ‘What’s often missing is the connection between wood, our woodlands and sustainable timber forests. Understanding that tree felling and replanting is good for woodland health, biodiversity and our economy should encourage more people and businesses to buy and supply wood Grown in Britain.’
The report is available online here.