This was the theme for the exhibition at the Great Yorkshire Show in July 2003. The aim being to present as many items made from timber grown in British and European managed forests.
To this end we set up a variety of stands showing different usage, both obvious and surprising. From pulp to a range of paper products, newspapers and packaging, children’s toys, musical instruments, house construction, furniture, garden items, fencing and industrial viscose which converted timber into clothing. In fact we depicted everything from the cradle to the grave.
Coupled with all this, was a Children’s Quiz, the answers to which were to be found both in the Exhibition and outside in the woodland. This was very popular and three tree books were awarded as prizes at the end of each day.
The response from the visitors to the Show was very gratifying. They were astonished at the way in which the forest plays such an important part of their lives. The compliments were indeed overwhelming.
Visitors were encouraged to walk through the woodland behind the pavilion so that they might appreciate how the source for timber in the displays enriched the environment, enhanced the landscape and was ecologically important. All these aspects are compatible with timber production.
It was indeed a real benefit to have sponsorship from Woodland Heritage. The Yorkshire Agricultural Society is grateful for the help and encouragement it receives from them. Also through Woodland Heritage, we were able to use the expertise of Gary Olsen of the ‘onetree’ project. His organisational skills were vital to the success of the Exhibition.
These exhibitions are vital if we are to get the message across to people about the realities of the forest and woodlands in this highly technological age. Whatever the concept of a forest may be, production should not be confused with exploitation – but be an integral part of sound, continuous management for the benefit of mankind.
Sally and I spent two days at the Great Yorkshire Show, manning the Woodland Heritage stand, from where we could judge the reaction of visitors, both young and old.
It was very evident that Keith and Gary had put on an exhibition which really hit at the heart of our environment and the vital role which trees and good forestry play in our everyday lives. Children were stimulated to think afresh about their environment. Their keenness and knowledge shone through.
Keith Rawling is to be congratulated on staging an inspirational event. He plans a similar exhibition at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2004. He will have the full support of our trustees.