In The Spotlight
Simon Place, an RFS member and UK sales Manager for Tubex contacted the RFS and committed to supporting the project with 2500 tree guards of a variety of different types and sizes.
The Royal Forestry Society educational and research project, Conifers for Colleges, brings together foresters of the future with specialist tree nurseries and industry experts.
The unique Conifers for Colleges programme has gone live with a launch at Moulton College in Northamptonshire and praise from across the forestry sector.
Conifers for Colleges recognises the risks that climate change, pests and diseases represent to woodlands, as well as the need for a wider range of tree species and a greater supply of skills to ensure that the UK nurtures resilient and productive woodlands for future generations.
Speaking at the launch, Director of FC England Ian Gambles described Conifers for Colleges as playing an important part in the forestry sector\'s response to the challenge of resilience.
Launching the project, RFS President Sir Jack Whitaker says: "It’s time to recognise that conifer plantations are the engine-house of the UK forestry industry which employs 40,000 people and generates some £8bn of GDP - 90% of that can be attributed to conifers. Yet we still import 80% of our timber needs, and we are still felling conifers without replacing them.
"With the generous support of our sponsors, Conifers for College will raise the low awareness of this important resource, and opportunity, which should be contributing far more to our national economy.
Ian Gambles added: “We must make our forests more resilient to the pest and disease threats we face now and the future challenge of climate change.
”For decades we limited our choices to just a few species, leaving our forests and timber supplies vulnerable. “Conifers for Colleges” is one important part of the sector’s response to the challenge of resilience, and I warmly welcome the initiative. This is a time of change where foresters and nurseries, including on our own public forest estate, are specifying a greater range of species and provenances for their stock.
Each college will receive 400 coniferous trees and 100 additional broadleaf trees donated by project sponsors Alba Trees in East Lothian, Cheviot Trees Ltd of Berwick on Tweed, and Prees Heath Nurseries of Whitchurch, Shropshire and 500 tree guards to protect trees from damage donated by Tubex.
For Prees Heath Nurseries, David Gwillam says: "We are pleased to support the RFS. initiative to raise the profile of conifers and their importance in not only there commercial value but also the diversity they bring to wildlife.
Grant Murray, Sales Director, Alba Trees says: "We are delighted to be helping our industry look to the future and gather knowledge on new species for our woodland resource. We hope that our support of the Conifers for Colleges project will spread that knowledge and allow forestry students to develop their skills."
For Cheviot Trees, Jonathan Cameron, Sales & Marketing Manager said: "Cheviot Trees are delighted to donate our cell grown trees to a project which enables hands on learning for the foresters of the future."
Welcoming opportunities for the forest supply chain to become involved in the project Simon Place, Tubex UK, Sales Manager, says: "Tubex are proud and excited to be a sponsor of the Conifers for Colleges Project. The idea of involving young industry students and helping them to understand the importance of coniferous species diversification and future woodland resilience is a very worthwhile project. Tubex is keen to follow the progress closely and assist where we can with our product range, while giving our support to the invaluable work of the Royal Forestry Society and their partners."
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