Ground Truthing the Marches Timber Study

27/06/14 0 COMMENTS

The Marches Timber Study Ground Truthing Report provides confirmation of the extent and nature of the undermanaged woodland resource in the Marches and provides further information highlighting the potential for the creation of a Marches Woodland Enterprise Zone (MWEZ). There are an estimated 28,000ha of undermanaged woodlands in the Marches, they consist of mostly mature and over-mature broadleaved trees. The volume of standing timber contained in these woods is estimated to be in excess of five million cubic metres and most of it is ideally suited to meet the growing demand for woodfuel – the renewable, locally sourced, low carbon alternative to fossil fuel. An annual target to thin 5% of the undermanaged area amounts to 1400ha per year being brought into active management and this will produce an additional 77,700 cubic meters of timber per year. Barriers exist which prevent this potential being delivered. Most of the barriers are associated with the skills, knowledge and objectives of woodland owners. The other main barriers are access related, and the current capacity of the woodland management and timber harvesting sector to mobilise this additional quantity of timber.