Britain uses about 50 million cubic metres of timber, paper, boards and other wood products each year. Around 85% of this has to be imported at a cost of about £8 billion as the UK is not self sufficient in timber resources.
The development of the British timber industry, using wood from Britain's forests, has been a major success story. Over £1.6 billion has been invested in sawmills and paper and board mills over the last 15 years, and a further £2 billion is expected to be invested over the next fifteen years, creating many new jobs.
The volume of wood supplied from Britain's forests each year has more than doubled from 4 million cubic metres in the 1970s to nearly 9 million now. This will increase to 15 million cubic metres by 2020. The Forestry Commission in Britain currently harvests and markets over 5 million m3 of round timber per year, currently over 60% of GB softwood production.
The Forestry Commission in the West Midlands produces 72000m3 of sustainable timber from local woods, for supply to local processing mills. This sustainability has come about by managing our forests to the UK Forestry Standard. Moreover, timber arising from Commission managed forests has the right to carry the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) label. This label, often seen on DIY products, is a guarantee that harvesting and processing maintains the forest’s biodiversity, productivity and ecological processes.
The Timber pages contain up to date timber sales and market information including timber price indices and current timber prices, auction announcements and results, and Production forecast information for both the Forestry Commission and private forestry sector.
The Forestry Commission are major suppliers to the GB wood-panel, pulp and paper and saw-milling industries, as well as the emerging wood-energy markets. Over one third of our annual production is sold on the open market. Since mid 2004 the majority of these sales have been conducted electronically through the e timber sales website. There are currently 6 Market Zones, the geographical areas that our sales events are centred around.
Use of our electronic timber sales service is governed by our user terms and conditions. These must be accepted as part of the registration procedure for electronic timber sales. For more details on our sales events please use the e timber sales website.
The FC timber and wood product research programme
The research funding available under this programme supports the processing end of the forest wood chain and is undertaken in close partnership with other funding bodies, the UK timber processing industries and research institutes.