Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 13th January 2009.

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Photo of Martyn Jones Martyn Jones Labour, Clwyd South

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will instruct the Forestry Commission to conduct a comprehensive survey of wood availability and use in the UK in 2009 in conjunction with the wood processing industry.

Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Marine and Natural Environment)

The Forestry Commission is already working with the wood processing industry and private sector growers to generate robust estimates of wood availability and use. This ongoing work includes a new inventory of British woodlands, to be undertaken over the next five years, in order to define how much wood is potentially available and how fast it is growing. In addition, data will be collected on both current timber harvesting and deliveries to the wood processing sector.

It will be important to ensure that the final outputs provide a sound evidence base for both policy formulation and also to help to inform future private sector investment. To achieve this, it is essential to have good quality inventory work, which takes time to complete. Nevertheless, the Forestry Commission is planning to publish details of softwood availability and use, which is the area of most immediate interest to the wood processing industry, in 2011.

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