We have launched a survey to gather the timber industry’s knowledge and experience of working with different timber species – to inform our research and to feedback to industry to help make informed decisions for new planting.
Sitka spruce looks set to continue as the main commercial species in the British Isles. That said, there are reasons to consider other species for wider planting to better serve the aims of modern multipurpose forestry – not least a better resilience of the forest (and timber supply) to pests, diseases and climate change. There is also a desire to bring species that are present in the forest, but not currently managed, into the supply chain.
There are a number of “minor” species which could be candidates but little is known about the mechanical properties of these when grown in the British Isles, their suitability for different markets, and their suitability for industrial processing.
There is a great deal of very valuable information within the forestry and sawmill industries gained from years of experience of working with different species. As part of our SIRT work plan it was agreed to undertake a survey asking the people working within the sawmill industry of their experience and knowledge of processing and marketing timber from these less common forest species. We will gather this information and share the (anonymised) results to give a fuller picture of the various candidate species.
If you have experience of working with the different species then please help us by completing the survey.
The online version can be accessed via this link: https://survey.napier.ac.uk/n/TimberSpeciesSurvey.aspx
You can also download a printable copy that can be filled in manually: Printable version (pdf)
The survey will be open until 1 March 2017.
Please circulate this to anyone within your organisation that has useful knowledge and experience, and anyone else you know that might be able to help.
Tip: You can return to a partially completed online survey so long as you do it from the same computer, and your browser is accepting cookies (how it remembers who you are). It’s probably best to try and do it in one single go – and looking at the questions on the printable survey first may help with that. If more than one person wants to fill in the online survey from the same computer you should be able to do this by putting the browser in private browsing mode, or equivalent.
For hopefully obvious reasons, we are using Sitka spruce as the benchmark species, but even if you have no experience of working with Sitka, you can still tell us about the species you have worked with.
The data controller for this survey is Edinburgh Napier University. If you have any questions about the survey or its objectives, or would like to be emailed the printable version, please contact Steven Adams: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your help
You may also be interested in the survey on the forestry careers route map website
The SIRT (Strategic Integrated Research in Timber) network is interested in the physical and mechanical properties of wood, the factors that influence them, and how the properties affect performance in different applications. SIRT’s work is guided by a management board formed of researchers and industry representatives who ensure that the work is relevant, useful and reliable. The members include:
Forest Research, Edinburgh Napier University, The University of Glasgow, The University of Aberdeen, The University of the Highlands and Islands, Forestry Commission Scotland, Forestry Commission England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Enterprise, James Jones & Sons Ltd, BSW Timber Ltd, Glennon Brothers Timber Ltd, Buccleuch Woodlands, Confor, and UKFPA.
SIRT supports the forest and timber industries to get the most from the forest resource – avoiding wastage of energy and value from the nursery to the end user, and helping specifiers to achieve the technical performances they require. We also improve the resilience of forestry to commercial pressures, climate change, and pests and diseases. This helps ensure the future of economically, environmentally and socially sustainable forestry, providing incentive for afforestation and an ongoing supply of renewable material for construction and manufacturing.