ConFor helps launch England woodfuel implementation plan
Robert Bland, chair of ConFor’s woodfuel suppliers group, joined Forestry Commission Chair Pam Warhurst in launching the FC England’s woodfuel implementation plan.
“There is real potential for woodfuel to grow and to contribute to meeting renewable energy targets. In doing so, it is vital that we have initiatives such as this by the Forestry Commission to develop the woodfuel supply, which in turn will bring huge benefits to woodlands”, said Robert.
The implementation plan will increase wood supply, an increasingly important objective shared by all working in forestry, by bringing more privately owned woods into management. It will also focus on supporting the development of local scale woodfuel use, a key objective of ConFor and the new suppliers group.
The WSG was formed earlier this year to represent and coordinate the views and interests of newly formed businesses actively involved in the distribution of woodfuel for across the UK.
The funding for the implementation plan comes from an under-spend elsewhere in the government’s funding to develop supply in the rural sector and ConFor participated alongside FC and others in lobbying for this money to be allocated to forestry. ConFor was also influential in advising on the operation of the grant for bringing woods into management, including support for access routes and hard standing.
“We felt it was vital that grants supported investments in the forest to help bring woods into financially sustainable management, so that the benefits of well-managed woods can be secured for the long term”, explained Caroline Harrison, ConFor’s England manager.
“Woodfuel is a new and exciting sector with great expectations for a greener future. For the WSG, it is essential the FC succeeds in realising the well considered objectives and strategies within the woodfuel implementation plan.”