Heartwoods Newsletter Sept 2014

26/09/14 0 COMMENTS

Welcome to the Heartwoods Newsletter Sept 2014 and I hope that this run of favourable weather carries on well into the autumn, allowing unhindered work in the woods for as long as possible. A bit of dust is always preferable to mud!

Timber prices and strong demand are holding up, and in some cases continue to rise. Hardwood firewood lengths suitable for firewood processors are now being advertised nationally at £60/tonne at roadside. Standing conifer crops with good sawlog content are regularly fetching well over £30/tonne.

I think timber prices, the good weather and a general upsurge in activity explains the positive and buoyant mood evident amongst the majority of exhibitors and attendees at the recent APF demo event held at Ragley Estate in Warwickshire. The Small Woods Association had a stand at the show, in conjunction with the Deer Initiative, promoting the benefits of consuming more wild venison as a measure to help encourage deer control.

As an aside, if you hear of a life-size willow sculpture of a deer being offered for sale please let us know – someone stole it from our stand on the Friday evening, with witnesses even reporting they saw site staff helping to carry it on the understanding it had been purchased! Equally, if you hear anyone offering a second hand IW tipping trailer with cage sides please get in touch – we had one of these stolen from the Greenwood Centre a few weeks ago.

As a reaction to the growing risk of equipment theft the Arbtalk website has launched the industry’s first asset management and stolen equipment register. An intuitive user interface makes it possible for anyone to register and add any manner of equipment within minutes. The secure new website allows provision for managing business assets privately, as well as displaying your stolen assets publicly. Check it out: www.arbtalk.co.uk

I look forward to meeting many of you at our next event on October 24th or at the Wyre forest event on 17th October (see page 3). Please also remember we still have capacity to conduct woodland advisory visits so do get in touch with Will Tomkins or Harriet Wood on 01952 435860 if you would like to arrange a free visit.

Mike Bentley
Heartwoods Project Manager

Support for Forestry Businesses from FC England

17/09/14 0 COMMENTS

Forestry Commission England are promoting free support to forestry businesses in relation to new grants within the new Rural Development Programme, set to start in 2015.

Details of future schemes are yet to be decided or announced but if arrangements are similar to the last programme, the most obvious interest for grant support might include kit (timber harvesting, extraction and primary processing equipment), but potentially also storage, tracks and hard standing, specialist timber and woodfuel haulage, venison processing, training, business support, and advisory services.

The Forestry Commission is offering free support to forestry businesses with an idea to expand their business but which struggle to pull the necessary paperwork together. This support, provided by a consortium of forestry initiatives and specialists throughout England, who will help with business planning, financial forecasting, legal agreements, identifying the right technical solutions and the best fit grant.

Experience from previous rounds of these European Rural Development Grants shows that it will be important for forestry businesses to have good quality “oven ready” applications in time for the official opening.

FCE are encouraging businesses to register their interest in receiving this support as soon as possible. Please choose from the appropriate regional contact below

What’s your idea?