Annual Forestry Conference 2019 to celebrate how the sector is about so much more than supplying timber

30 August 2019

Some of last year’s speaker panel

Demonstrating and celebrating how the sector is about so much more than supplying timber is the theme of the CLA, Forestry Commission and Grown in Britain’s Annual Forestry Conference 2019.

It will be held once again at Newbury Racecourse in Berkshire, from 8.30am to 3pm on Wednesday 9 October, 2019.

The conference aims to provide informative, practical advice for landowners, managers, foresters and farmers, kindly supported by Pryor & Rickett Silviculture, AECOM and Forest Holidays.

It is an exciting time for the industry, and the event will hear a keynote address from Sir Harry Studholme, chair of the Forestry Commission, about the opportunities and challenges facing it in a post-Brexit world.

The conference will bring together a range of voices from different backgrounds to explore how forestry offers a variety of benefits and services beyond wood.

It will:

· Review the current position of timber markets in the region

·Explore the strengths and limitations of supply chains

·Look at ways the sector can help tackle issues around clean air and water quality

· Consider what can be learnt from practices in other European countries

· Hear about the experiences of successful businesses operating in the industry.

CLA South East represents thousands of landowners, farmers, foresters and rural businesses in Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight.

Acting Regional Director Tim Bamford said: “This is an exciting time for forestry. From clean air to water quality, the sector offers many benefits and services on top of the production of timber, and this conference will celebrate this.

“We are delighted to be working with the Forestry Commission, Grown in Britain, Pryor & Rickett Silviculture, AECOM and Forest Holidays to hold an event with a very strong, varied line-up of speakers.”

Dougal Driver, CEO of Grown in Britain, said: “We are proud that the Annual Forestry Conference at Newbury is held in the heart of Grown in Britain week when our celebrations about the wonderful array of benefits well-managed woods and forests provide are in full swing.”

Craig Harrison, Forestry Commission Area Director for the South East and London, said: “The Forestry Commission is delighted to be involved in this conference. It is an opportunity to highlight the multi-purpose nature of modern forestry and demonstrate not only the well-recognised benefits it provides, but also those less commonly appreciated.”

The morning schedule will include a key note address from Sir Harry, followed by a session asking if supply can meet demand and another exploring how forestry supplies benefits beyond timber production. Each segment will conclude with a Q&A.

After lunch there will be a debate session, ‘Resetting the balance’, with each panel member setting out their thoughts before the discussion is opened up.

Speakers on the day will include Richard Baker from East Bros Timber, Yvette de Garis from Thames Water, Sarah-Jane Chimbwandira from Surrey Wildlife Trust and Susan Twining from the CLA.

Tickets cost £50 plus VAT for CLA members and Grown in Britain licence holders, and £80 plus VAT for others, including breakfast (available from 8.30am), lunch and refreshments. To book visit https://portal.clahosting.org.uk/MY-CLA/Events/Event-Details/eventDateId/3256

Media are welcome to attend the conference. To secure a place please contact Mike Sims, CLA communications manager for the South East, on 01264 313434 or email mike.sims@cla.org.uk

Picture: Some of last year's speaker panel.