We need to plant more trees in this country, and that must include commercial timber. That is the strong message coming from businesses like Egger, our antique and wood panel businesses, and many more, or there will be no such businesses here in the UK in the near future. Kielder, for example, is fundamentally a commercial conifer forest.
It is wonderful.
I have strongly backed the Roots to Prosperity campaign [pictured at Egger with many of the business and local leaders], and support the farmer who sought to make his farm more viable, by planting a woodland of 77 acres of conifers, and 29 of broad leaf timber.
Northumberland National Park objected to the application. I have great respect for the Park officials, and their management team, but on this occasion I am against their approach and right behind the Forestry Commission. The simple lesson is that the Park cannot exist in isolation to its surrounding community. The UK, and in particular Northumberland, needs more Forestry - something wholeheartedly backed by the public.
For my part I would support the planting of a small forest the size of Wark or Slaley, and am right behind applications for further planting both locally, and with the pressure I am putting on government agencies and quangos.
The reasons why this is so necessary are well set out in this report: its conclusions are unanswerable if we wish forestry, timber products and businesses like Egger, and the smaller producers, to thrive and survive in this country: http://www.confor.org.uk/NewsAndEvents/News.aspx?pid=23&id=2641