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Forestry news relevant to WH members

Press Release - August 2016

Charity secures mill’s future

National charity, Woodland Heritage, has become the new owner of Whitney Sawmills, a business established by local craftsman, Will Bullough, over a quarter of a century ago in the charming Herefordshire village of Whitney-on-Wye. In those days Will was a craftsman who became increasingly frustrated with the quality of the timber available. So he decided to try milling and drying his own materials little realising what this experiment would eventually lead to.

The sawmill grew steadily to become a UK wide supplier of timber to businesses of all sizes from the grand Dumfries House project in Scotland to one-man boat builders in Cornwall. Over the years the mill has supplied many exciting, prestige projects such as fine oak for the Kings Dining Room in Edinburgh Castle, or sweet chestnut for the royal row barge, Gloriana. It is currently milling oak and elm for the restoration of H.M.S. Victory and more locally the rebuilding of Grade 1 listed LlwynCelyn just over the border in Wales.

Woodland Heritage is a charity established in 1994 by two cabinet makers ‘keen to put something back’, with a key aim for the charity to promote the growing of trees and the use of wood. Working with Will Bullough, the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses were established nearly a decade ago, all of which have been run from Whitney Sawmills and which have attracted well over two hundred students over the years, all from some part of the timber supply chain.

“Whitney Sawmills has long been a part of Woodland Heritage’s way of working”, said the charity’s co-founder and Chairman of trustees, Peter Goodwin. “A sawmill is at the centre of the timber supply chain, being the crucial link between grower and user and which is the very reason why we have always held our ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses at Whitney. And whilst there has been a huge reduction in the number of hardwood sawmills in the UK in recent decades, Woodland Heritage believes that with the right approach a healthy future exists for those that remain, something that we want to demonstrate by taking on and running this excellent business”.

Will Bullough added: “It has been a great pleasure establishing and then developing Whitney Sawmills, helping not just to supply the varied demands of our customers, but also to keep rural employment and skills alive. Whitney Sawmills isn’t just a supplier it’s also a customer, buying timber from local landowners and helping to secure the jobs that they in turn offer. It has also always been a priority at Whitney to aim to benefit woodland wildlife wherever possible, as so often it is lack of woodland management that is creating the greatest threats to many endangered species”.

Woodland Heritage has established a trading subsidiary called W H Timber Limited which took over Whitney Sawmills on 1st August. All existing staff have become employees of W H Timber Limited. Whitney Sawmills will remain the trading name.

Editor’s Notes

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’. A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber. As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal. A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline.

For more information on this release, please contact Guy Corbett-Marshall on 07816-384221 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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WH member celebrates 20 years’ trading

September 6th will be the 20th anniversary of specialist woodturning suppliers Stiles & Bates opening their shop in Kent.

To celebrate these twenty years of buying, milling and selling UK timbers, under the stewardship of Woodland Heritage they are donating £100 for each year they have traded to be spent on planting a selection of native timber species with the stipulation that the trees will be planted for harvesting and subsequent re-planting- the bottom line of all good forestry management.

Updates on progress with this project between Stiles & Bates and Woodland Heritage will appear in the ‘News’ section of this website over coming months.

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Press Release - July 2016

Top researcher is tenth winner of Peter Savill Award

Dr Joan Webber, Principal Pathologist and Head of Tree Health Research Group at Forest Research, has become the tenth winner of the Peter Savill Award. Sponsored by Woodland Heritage, the award recognises significant contribution to the British Forest Industry and this year was presented at an event attended by Sir Harry Studholme, Chairman of the Forestry Commission, at Forest Research’s offices at Alice Holt, near Farnham.

The criteria for the Peter Savill Award are that the contribution to forestry made by the individual selected annually by the trustees of Woodland Heritage must be in sympathy with the charity’s objectives and in one of five areas of forestry: silviculture, marketing, education, wood processing and research; Dr Webber is the first recipient from the field of research.

“I have known Joan Webber almost since she started at Forest Research, in 1989. Since then the number of diseases that affect trees has increased tremendously; it is these recent arrivals that she concentrates on particularly,” said DrSavill, who presented the award this year and who had been a longstanding trustee of Woodland Heritage until his retirement in June. Continuing, DrSavill said: “Forest Pathology is likely to remain one of the most significant areas for research by FR for the foreseeable future, and the trustees are convinced that it will thrive under Joan Webber’s leadership.”

A graduate of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Dr Webber studied for her PhD in tree pathology at the University of Wales and the Forestry Commission. After a decade of lecturing and research focussed on Dutch elm disease and the interplay between tree pathogens and insect vectors, Dr Webber joined Forest Research in 1989. Principal Pathologist since 2001, Dr Webber is currently responsible for leading and managing research into the health of trees.

Past recipients of the Peter Savill Award reflect the breadth of the criteria and include influential foresters such as John McHardy and Bede Howell OBE, dynamic landowners such as Miles Barne and the late Felix Dennis, champions of wood processing such as Will Bullough and Gavin Munro, and renowned Bangor University lecturer and the inspiration for a generation of young foresters, Dr Christine Cahalan.

Editor’s Notes

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’.  A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber.  As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal.  A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline.

Forest Research is the research agency of the Forestry Commission and Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree related research. Forest Research is internationally renowned for the provision of science, research, evidence, data and services in support of sustainable forestry. Forest Research works for many Government departments, the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, forestry and land management stakeholders, environmental non-Governmental organisations and in projects across Europe and internationally. Forest Research has 230 staff located in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information about Forest Research see www.forestry.gov.uk/forestresearch

Editor’s Notes

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’.  A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber.  As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal.  A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline.

Forest Research is the research agency of the Forestry Commission and Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree related research. Forest Research is internationally renowned for the provision of science, research, evidence, data and services in support of sustainable forestry. Forest Research works for many Government departments, the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, forestry and land management stakeholders, environmental non-Governmental organisations and in projects across Europe and internationally. Forest Research has 230 staff located in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information about Forest Research see www.forestry.gov.uk/forestresearch

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Press Release - May 2016

Bursary boost for popular training course

A new bursary scheme has been created by Wood-Mizer UK to help people already working in, or considering a career in the timber supply chain. The bursary is administered by Woodland Heritage and helps to subsidise a place at its popular, ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses, held twice a year at Whitney Sawmills in Herefordshire.

The first bursary was awarded to David Hammond, an employment engagement director, who was able to attend May’s ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ course to assess its suitability as a training resource for ex-service personnel keen to get into the wood chain. David was recommended to attend the course by the Armed Forces’ charity, HighGround.

“Having attended the ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ course myself last year, I could see the tremendous benefits that all participants gained from it, regardless of where they work in the wood chain,” said Wood-Mizer UK’s General Manager, David Biggs. “The course reaches out to people wanting to start processing wood, whether as new entrants to the industry or as existing professionals keen to diversify and to add value to their current business operations. For Wood-Mizer, the new bursary is a sound investment to reach potential customers, all of whom also have the chance to try our LT-40 as part of the course’s itinerary.”

Speaking for HighGround, David Hammond added:

“Ex-service personnel are often used to and enjoy working outdoors, as well as having a rich variety of skills, many of which lend themselves to developing a career in forestry or timber processing. With the wood chain full of so many different options to developed employed or self-employed careers, I certainly see ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses as a sound introduction to the overall sector and very complementary to existing HighGround Rural Weeks which provide serving and ex-services personnel with an overview of the land-based sector, how their military skills and experience map into it, and what training and qualifications they will need for their chosen area.”

The nineteenth ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ course is due to be held at Whitney Sawmills between 26th-28th September 2016 with a dozen places available.

“Whilst we already have a list of potential attendees, we would be keen to receive expressions of interest from ‘end-users’ - particularly furniture designers and makers,” said Woodland Heritage’s Belinda Moore.

“The course fee is £750, but thanks to Wood-Mizer UK’s bursary one fortunate student will be able to attend for just £250, which is great value for a three-day course of this breadth and depth.”

More details about September’s course can be found at www.woodlandheritage.org.uk with the Wood-Mizer bursary open for applications from 1st to 31st July via the same website.

Image shown: David Hammond gaining experience of the Wood-Mizer LT-40 under the watchful eye of David Biggs;

Editor’s Notes

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’. A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber. As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal. A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline.

For more information on Wood-Mizer UK, please go to www.woodmizer.co.uk.

HighGround is a charity based in London which works with Service Leavers, Reservists and Veterans all over the UK to help them find jobs, careers and vocational opportunities in the land-based sector.   for more information on Highground, please go to www.highground-uk.org.

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Press Release - April 2016

Hill top ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ student for 2015

Forestry@Bangor graduate, Nicholas Hill (MSc Environmental Forestry, 2015), was the top student from the two dozen who took part in Woodland Heritage’s ever-popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ training courses in 2015.  The unanimous choice of the expert tutors on last year’s courses, Nick received The Prince of Wales Award at an event held recently at Bangor University.

This year the award was presented by Woodland Heritage trustees, Geraint Richards (Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall) and Graham Taylor (Managing Director of Pryor & Rickett Silviculture), who are also course tutors and had been speaking at the university’s event.

The Prince of Wales Award is given each year to the student who is felt to have made the most significant progress on the ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses, held annually in May and September at Whitney Sawmills in Herefordshire.  With participants selected deliberately to try to achieve the best mix of skills and interests along the timber supply chain from grower to harvester, to processor to end-user, the selection of The Prince of Wales Award winner is always a difficult job.

“Participants in the ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses always come eager to learn and to see how their own individual role fits into the overall supply chain”, said Guy Corbett-Marshall, Development Director at Woodland Heritage.  “Even if they are very familiar with their own sphere of working, it’s amazing how much they learn from the tutors and from the other participants, so everyone leaves with horizons broadened and new outlooks on the whole timber sector.  Because everyone is so positive, it’s always hard to choose the winner of The Prince of Wales Award, so special praise is due to Nick Hill for his achievement”.

Reflective of the diversity of the sector, past winners of The Prince of Wales Award, introduced in 2010,have included including forestry consultants, sawmillers and woodworkers, all of whom remain working actively in the forestry and timber sectors.

More information about ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses, including a downloadable leaflet, can be found by clicking here.

Picture shows (L-R): Geraint Richards, Nicholas Hill and Graham Taylor.

Editor’s Notes

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’. A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber. As well as running the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, Woodland Heritage produces an annual Journal. A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline

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Press Release - March 2016

Corporate Membership moves with the times for Woodland Heritage

Corporate membership numbers at Woodland Heritage have received a boost this month with the welcome addition of two forestry-based businesses.  Wood-Mizer UK and Sussex-based Artizans of Wood have continued a trend for the charity of an increasing number of corporate members coming from the growing and processing parts of the timber supply chain, replacing businesses from the furniture-making sector, where the charity has its roots.

‘Woodland Heritage was created in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’’, said Guy Corbett-Marshall, Woodland Heritage’s Development Director.  ‘Whilst many furniture makers and retailers still support the charity, changing demand has seen many others shrink in size or disappear, so it is really encouraging to see our supporter base move with the times and for businesses like Wood-Mizer UK and Artizans of Wood to join us instead’.

Wood-Mizer UK has been supplying and servicing sawmills to customers in the UK and Ireland since 2004, many of whom are mobile sawyers who have well established businesses.  Other customers include tree surgeons looking to diversify and woodworkers keen to mill timber in their workshops to meet their precise needs.

Artizans of Wood specialise in constructing Roundwood timber buildings which can vary from outdoor classrooms, garden offices and barns through to bespoke constructions that are crafted to meet a customer’s exact requirements.  Artizans are keen to share their knowledge too, running courses in Roundwood Timber Framing from spring to autumn this year.

‘Becoming a Corporate Member of Woodland Heritage brings benefits to a business and to the forestry sector’, said Mr Corbett-Marshall.  ‘As well as receiving a copy of the ever-popular Woodland Heritage Journal, members can join the annual Field Weekend which always brings stimulating debate set in the finest forestry estates in a different region of the UK each year.But membership also enables the business to ‘put something back’, as its support helps Woodland Heritage to subsidise young foresters to attend training courses each year, including its own ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses, and to help fund research into major issues facing the industry such as Acute Oak Decline.  Corporate Members can also use Woodland Heritage’s logo on their publicity materials as a way of showing they support the charity’s principles in their day-to-day work’.

Corporate Membership of Woodland Heritage starts at just £100pa with details available at www.woodlandheritage.org.uk, a website that also provides latest news on the annual Field Weekend, the forthcoming ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ course in May and with the latest copy of the Journal available as a free download.

Editors’ Notes

For more information on Wood-Mizer UK, please go to www.woodmizer.co.uk, or for details about the work of Artizans of Wood, please go to www.artizansofwood.co.uk.

Picture shows David Biggs, General Manager, Wood-Mizer UK and Liza Niedduof Artizans of Wood with their certificates of membership of Woodland Heritage.

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Press Release - February 2016

Woodland Heritage grant helps launch of new Irregular Forest Management Group

A grant of £2,764 from Woodland Heritage has helped the new group, Atlantic AFI (AAFI), to welcome leading members of its sister organisation in France to a landmark event on 9th March.  Julien Tomasini, President, and Max Bruciamacchie, Scientific and Technical Director of Association FutaieIrrégulière (AFI), the ‘Irregular High Forest Association’, will be at the AAFI’s inaugural Management Board meeting, during a visit that will also include the third re-measure of the first English AFI Research stand at Stourhead (Western) Estate in Wiltshire.

Since 1991 the AFI have established a large network of research stands that monitor the performance of irregular forests across all parts of France, as well as in Belgium, Switzerland, Ireland and England.

Over the last ten years, a group of British and Irish foresters who have long been convinced of the effectiveness of continuous cover forest management have formed an alliance with their fellow practitioners of irregular high forest management in the AFI network, which has now led to the formation of the autonomous branch called AAFI.

AAFI will be the membership organisation in countries where English is the first language and will be open to managers, owners and scientists interested in using the monitoring methodologies developed by AFI to measure biological and economic performance of the best developed stands; the new group will be complementary to existing groups such as Continuous Cover Forestry Group and Pro Silva Ireland.

The economic performance measures are obtained by integrating price-size curves and records of costs of operations and overheads. Performance in one stand can be calibrated against similar stands across the Network.

Acceptance into the AFI Research Network is recognition of the special qualities of the irregular stand and also provides a direct link to the expertise of experienced irregular forest managers across Europe.

The AFI have also devised an Abbreviated Methodology that can be used by individual managers independently of the Network. The Abbreviated AFI Methodology is cost-effective and can be used at the estate level to show the link between structure and increment and to investigate the economic performance of the best developed stands within a woodland enterprise.

The inception of the AAFI could not have taken place without the assistance of a number of important donors who have very generously funded the start-up and the support of the owners of the pioneering Irish and British AFI Research Stands. Also key to the process has been the encouragement and support provided by Woodland Heritage, which dates back to 2005.

If you would like to get involved with the AAFI, or assist with a donation, please contact Phil Morgan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Editor’s Notes

Woodland Heritage was established as a charity in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to ‘put something back’.  A membership-based organisation, the charity supports the resilient management of woodlands, the development of the timber supply chain, the furthering of knowledge and skills within the forestry and timber sectors as well as within the general public, and the tackling of threats to the future supply of high quality UK timber.  As well as working with bodies such as AAFI, Woodland Heritage runs the popular ‘From Woodland to Workshop’ courses and a Field Weekend each year, in addition to producing an annual Journal.  A current priority for the charity is supporting research into Acute Oak Decline.

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