Scottish Timber Market Impacts Group plans for industry future

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Forestry Commission Scotland hosted a meeting of all the major players in the timber industry in Scotland on Wednesday (24 October) at the inaugural meeting of a new timber markets group.

The group has been established to consider how to tackle two major issues which will impact on our timber markets; pests and diseases and a potential increase in softwood availability over the next 25 years.
The meeting – at the Commission’s Edinburgh HQ - focussed on the potential short and long term impacts of increased volumes of timber coming onto the market as a result of Dothistroma needle blight and Phytophthora ramorum, as well as the additional work required to get a more detailed understanding of the recently published 25 year softwood availability forecast for Scotland

Hamish MacLeod, chair of FCS’ National Committee and Director of Public Affairs at BSW, who also chairs this group, said:

“The new 25-year forecast of potential softwood availability highlighted that we have more timber than we previously thought.  However we need to carry out further analysis to understand what realistically could come to market.  We also want to produce a forecast over a 50 year time period as this longer term forecast will be crucial for continued future investment in the industry.

"The industry is already beginning to see the impact of pests and diseases on our forest resource with significant volumes of Dothistroma timber now hitting the markets.  Both the public and private sectors will have to work together to ensure that we manage the potential impact of larger volumes of material from diseased forests coming onto the market as well as considering what this means for future crops.”

The group will report to FCS’ National Committee in 2013 with an analysis of the situation and recommendations going forward.

Notes to Editors
1) Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate

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3) Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde.

4) The Scottish Timber Market Impacts Group has the following membership and remit:


Hamish MacLeod (chair)
David Leslie, James Jones
Jim Colchester, Buccleuch Group
George Webb, Norbord
David Symons, Euroforest
Stephen Stanley, Scottish Woodlands
Stuart Goodall, Confor
Gavin Davidson, Iggesund
John Paterson, Egger
Rod Gordon, Gordon Timber
Richard Palmer, Jenkinsons
David Sulman, UK Forest Products Association.
Mike Green, Forest Enterprise Scotland
Cameron Maxwell, Forestry Commission Scotland (secretary)

In the context of the results from the 2011 forecast of potential softwood availability in Scotland, to assess:

(i) likely production forecasts for the next 25 years, taking account of such issues as access and management objectives;

(ii) the implications of tree health issues for the production and marketing of timber from Scottish forests in the short term and over the next 25 years; and

(iii) longer-term potential availability of softwood over the next 50 years, taking account of such issues as management objectives, restocking practices, new woodland creation and tree health issues.