Confor presents forestry jobs case to Owen Paterson, Westminster Secretary of State.
Westminster Secretary of State Owen Paterson heard first-hand from Confor and other partners about the future of forestry and its potential to create at least 7000 new jobs on a visit to Shropshire and Staffordshire.
This meeting came fast on the heels of a briefing Confor gave to forestry minister David Heath and a very successful conference near Westminster that stressed the potential for forestry to be an engine of rural growth.
“The Secretary of State was very interested in the jobs potential of forestry and wood processing”, explained Confor board member Tim Kirk “and the meeting also provided an opportunity to brief him on ash dieback and woodfuel”.
Robert Bland, chairman of Confor’s Woodfuel Suppliers’ Group, also gave a presentation on woodfuel at this series of meetings organised by the Forestry Commission on 29 October 2012.
Owen Paterson’s constituency is North Shropshire and the meeting included an introduction to the work of woodland initiative Heartwoods, Midlands Woodfuel and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership.
One of the central messages in Confor’s report, Forestry: 7000 green jobs and growth, is the potential of forestry to create thousands of new jobs, which was well received. Keith Jones, FC’s Regional Manager North West & West Midlands, who arranged the event, said, “Owen Paterson both appreciated the opportunity we created for a direct plant health briefing and the chance to take stock of the forestry opportunities, especially economic growth on his doorstep”.
Confor promoting forestry and wood represents around 2000 forest and wood-using businesses across the UK and for more information, contact Mrs Caroline Harrison:
Woodland Place, West St
NE70 7QA BELFORD / England
Tel. +44 (0) 1668 213937.
Mobile +44 (0) 7500 927482.