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Scottish timber industry aims for long-term plan

Different players involved in the Scottish timber sector have underlined their continued commitment to the pursuit of sustainability.

Timber is seen by many in the private sector as a long-term investment, but the bulk of forests contain various tree species. The trees are not usually the same age as one another, and timber can be sold at different stages of the development of a plantation.

Nevertheless, Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) has been clear that sustainability of production is a major priority for the public body. This emphasis is relevant to economic sectors that use Scottish timber and may have implications for the future cost of woodblock flooring in Liverpool and other parts of the UK.

Hamish MacLeod, an executive at a timber company called BSW, has also come out in favour of a focus on sustainability. He has highlighted the fact that many modern forests are more varied than their predecessors during the 1960s. He has stressed that less dense planting is positive from a biodiversity perspective.

George McRobbie, head of timber firm UPM Tilhill, has backed the idea of long-term policy. Having commented on the resilience of the sector during the recession, he has pointed out that it takes around 40 years for trees to grow to maturity.

Cameron Maxwell, who works for FCS, has said:

“What we’re looking to do in woodland creation is to make sure we have more planting of productive species going forward and that’ll start to really help us from the 2050s, 2060s onwards.”

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