The trend spells good news for the 40,000 people employed in the £1.9 billion British forestry and timber industry. The new statistics show that the industry is expanding with 58 per cent of woodland in England now in active management, up from 53 per cent in 2013.
Commenting ahead of the opening of the Grown in Britain exhibition at Heal’s, which traces the journey of a sustainably grown ash tree from the forest to the shop window of its iconic flagship store, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss, said:
“These figures show how a healthy environment goes hand in hand with a healthy economy and why our £14 million investment in tree health research is so important. Managing our woodlands is already generating over 40,000 jobs a year, but there is huge potential for growth from the building site to the furniture show room.
“Grown in Britain is a fantastic initiative which means we can be confident of the local provenance of the wood and furniture we buy and know that it is legal and sustainable.”
Grown in Britain CEO Dougal Driver added:
“Grown in Britain is flying the flag for British timber and getting the public to think about where their wood comes from.
“Over 250 thousand hectares and millions of tonnes of licensed Grown in Britain timber is working its way into the marketplace, thanks to the ambitions of UK construction and retailers who are backing homegrown timber and our great British Forests.
“By increasing the demand for British timber destined for use by local people and businesses, real innovation is starting to add value to the supply chains replacing imports and helping many of our woodlands to thrive.”
Earlier in the day the Secretary of State will visit a construction site at One Bedford Avenue, a £33 million development run by major contractor MACE. The company is at the forefront of promoting Grown in Britain timber in UK and shaping London’s skyline using British timber.