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Visitors to Moors Valley Country Park and Forest may see some real forestry activity if they go to the woodland this month.
Moors Valley is one of south’s most popular woodlands for recreation, attracting over 700,000 people a year, but it also plays an important role in the local economy. More than 4,000 cubic metres of wood is currently being harvested at Moors Valley for use in a range of ways – from woodfuel to construction.
Almost all the wood harvested at Moors Valley is sold and used within a 30-mile radius of the site and the wood sector is an important source of employment. During the harvesting period alone, a range of specialist skills are required, from harvesting machine operators and mechanics to engineers and supervisory staff.
Mike Abraham, the Forestry Commission’s Beat Forester for Ringwood said:
“Many people don’t realise Moors Valley Country Park is a working woodland and that it plays an important role in the economy. There is often a perception that tree felling is bad, but it’s a key part of good woodland management. Harvesting trees provides the wood that we all use in our daily lives and thins forests to promote new growth. At Moors Valley, what we harvest, we replant.”
The UK still imports a large percentage of timber, but there’s a fantastic opportunity to grow and actively manage more woodland here in the UK for use in heating our homes and building new ones.
Dougal Driver, Chief Executive of Grown in Britain explains:
“When Woodlands are well managed, they are incredibly important to the local economy, society and the environment, and Moors Valley Country Park is a really good example of this. Last year we launched ‘Grown in Britain’- an initiative designed to increase the use and supply of home grown timber, get our woods managed and build a culture where people understand where the wood products they use come from."
Wood harvesting is also an important source of income for Moors Valley. As a not-for-profit woodland, every penny generated through harvesting is reinvested to help protect and improve the woodland for people, wildlife and future timber production.
Harvesting and extraction of timber will take place into early April, and during this time visitor and staff safety at Moors Valley Country Park will be a priority. Warning signs are in place in areas where work is being undertaken, and it is important for visitors to keep a close watch on their group – including dogs – and pay attention to signs to ensure their safety and that of others.
Notes to editors:
• The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible for forestry in Great Britain. It supports woodland owners with grants; tree felling licences, regulation and advice; promotes the benefits of forests and forestry; and advises Government on forestry policy. It manages more than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of national forest land for public benefits such as sustainable timber production, public recreation, nature conservation, and rural and community development. For more information, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/newforest.
• Moors Valley Country Park and Forest is a joint venture between East Dorset Council and the Forestry Commission. For more information on Moors Valley, please visit www.moors-valley.co.uk
• Grown in Britain brings together everyone who values our forests, woods and trees and the products we can make from the wood they produce.
Our aims are:
• Generating more demand for the wide array of quality products generated from productive woodlands, and in so doing strengthening considerably the economic engine that underpins the sector.
• Establishing a mechanism to allow businesses more readily to exercise their corporate responsibility through funding woodland projects in the UK and thereby to demonstrate to customers and shareholders the carbon, societal, and other ecosystem service benefits achieved. There is great willingness on the part of companies to do this and the framework will significantly increase the amount of funding available to support UK woodland projects.
• Creating a stronger wood culture in our society: making it the norm that we use, buy and enjoy wood products, managing woods to achieve this; more people active in our woodlands with improved mental and physical wellbeing, and a sense of community inspired by woodlands.
• More information is available at www.growninbritain.org or email: email@example.com
Libby Burke at the Forestry Commission, tel 023 8028 6832
Simon Gill at Camargue PR, tel 01242 577277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org