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July 2021 Newsletter

Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to our July 2021 newsletter. 

The new Welsh Government has certainly hit the ground running with the Lee Waters MS Deep Dive into Trees and Timber. The resultant action plan and statement in the Senedd give plenty of cause for optimism. See my article below for a short summary.

The success of our timber frame manufacturer group has inspired us to set up further communities of practice. We now have a designer group led by architects exploring the design community response to the climate emergency and the use of timber. We have held the first meeting of the housing association development group where there is a strong commitment to share knowledge to accelerate learning. Our small timber processor community is also starting to gather momentum. There are about 50 small companies all over Wales that have a huge amount to offer the Welsh forest nation agenda, but they largely fly beneath the radar. A key concern of this community is access to timber, a topic we'll be working on. If you’d like to join any of these groups then please contact us.

In this newsletter you will find:
  • New research on the climate change mitigation potential of conifer forests recently published in Nature Communications. The policy implications of the findings have been shared with decision makers across the UK. The work was conducted by Bangor University and sponsored by Woodknowledge Wales.
  • Climate change is already impacting on forestry and timber supply in hard to predict ways, not least on the future suitability of different tree species. We collaborated with Bangor University and a wider stakeholder group to explore potential alternative species for the UK. 
  • Given that we want farmers and other landowners to plant trees, we felt it was important to make the economic aspects of conifer tree planting more accessible. We collaborated with Bangor University to develop a series of guidance notes.
  • We’ve got a fantastic new podcast for you. It’s a little long at 90 minutes but we felt it was so good and informative we didn’t want to cut it down.
After the summer break we will be launching our autumn webinar programme of events and masterclasses to inspire and share knowledge. One particular highlight will be new guidance on how housing associations can successfully procure for Net Zero Whole Life Carbon outcomes and importantly, get what they intended.

Finally, I’d like to welcome Arfon Timber, Benfield Timber Buildings, Celtic Offsite, Hammond Architectural and Willow Joinery as new members. The alliance for change continues to grow!

Gary Newman
Chief Executive, Woodknowledge Wales Ltd

Carbon, Trees & Timber

The new Welsh Government and reasons for optimism

Three months into the new legislative period, it’s time to look at the political implications of this year’s elections. With an effective majority, Labour could implement their stated commitments to forestry and timber. Reason to be cheerful? Read more.

Climate change mitigation potential of conifer plantations

Expanding commercial conifer forestry is the most efficient strategy for achieving climate change mitigation through woodland creation, according to a new study published in Nature Communications. What does this mean for policy makers? Read more.

Top five alternative conifer tree species review

Forests are as much part of the mix of solutions for the Biodiversity and Climate Emergency as they are themselves under threat from it. What alternative conifer species would be suitable to meet timber demands in light of increasing potential pest and disease pressures? Read more.

Investing in afforestation

Adoption of a forestry enterprise within a farming unit represents a change in land use and a long-term investment of land, labour and resources. Financial evaluation provides a structured and objective means to inform the decision and allows comparison of afforestation with other economic uses of land. This series of guidance notes is designed to help with some preliminary assessment. Read more.

WoodBUILD Podcast

Trees and Timber: Tom Barnes and Andrew Bronwin

The debate around trees and planting is often quite polarised. There’s broad agreement that we need to grow more trees; which trees and for what purpose is less clear. Tom Barnes and Andrew Bronwin talk about the impact of the pandemic, climate change, productive woodlands, the role of government and policy, pests and disease, tree species and how we can add value to the timber our woodlands produce. Listen here.

New Members

Welcome ! 

A very warm welcome to our most recent members Arfon Timber, Benfield Timber Buildings, Celtic Offsite, Hammond Architectural and Willow Joinery

Get Involved

Woodknowledge Wales is an independent for-public-good membership organisation committed to the development of wood-based industries to benefit the economy, the environment and the people of Wales. Our work would not be possible without the support and collaboration of our our members.

To get involved and to find out about member benefits please contact us today at
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