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Storm Arwen Citizen Science App

The map suggest a Storm Arwen windblown area across GB of around 5500ha but it is assumed this is an underestimate. 

A Citizen Science App has been developed to enable and encourage feedback on the map. Windblow Assessment (arcgis.com)Feedback will improve the map data and improve the algorithm that processes the satellite data to improve the method for future storms. 

The App is very easy to use with simple questions to enable feedback.  Area corrections can be made and photos added. When areas are validated the colour code of the map changes from pink to blue.  15% of sites have been validated so far.  The public forests will work with Forest Research to add their validation.  A review of the data will be made after 23rd January but it is expected validation can continue thereafter.

Forest Haulage Induction Video

The Forest Industry Safety Accord (FISA) have produced a great new online resource for the sector – a forest haulage induction video. This video is aimed at new entrants who have HGV experience, but who may not have previously driven on forest roads. The content of the video applies to drivers of fuel tankers, low loaders and other in-forest HGV drivers, as well as timber trucks. 

Neil Stoddart (Creel Consulting Ltd), Chair of the FISA Forest Haulage Working Group commented, 'Driving an HGV in the forest presents many additional challenges compared to highway work. This video provides an efficient induction covering some of these kay factors. This type of training can save time, reduce employee turnover and ensures operational efficiency while at the same time providing the new start with baseline safety critical information, hopefully making them feel valued and helping them establish good communication with their employer and forest managers alike'.

Click Here to watch the Video >>

Timber Transport Survey 2021

Timber Transport Survey logo

During the first half of 2021 a GB-wide Timber Transport Survey was carried out by Creel Consulting Ltd. Ninety-four firms across Britain participated in the survey, which gathered data on truck type, numbers of trucks and employees, driver training requirements and other relevant data. The survey has provided our industry with some very useful information. The report and related documents can be downloaded via the link below. 

Alistair Speedie, Chair of the Timber Transport Forum, said:

"We have a thriving industry which has grown to meet the demand, and we must prepare for future years. Volumes of timber are set to increase as more timber becomes available, so we need to ensure, as an industry, that we are ready for this in a sustainable way."

App 1 TTF PRESS RELEASE Dec 20.pdf

App 2 Full Timber Transport Survey data 2021.pdf

App 3 Survey infographic summary 2021.pdf

App 4 Number of lorries and employees per company.pdf

TTF Timber Transport Survey Executive report May 2021.pdf

Rannoch timber rail project “on track” says Ewing

Timber By Rail

A project which could move over 500,000 tonnes of timber out of Rannoch Forest by rail has taken a major step forward.

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Scottish Government and private sector interests to construct a log stacking and timber loading facility, north of Rannoch Railway Station.

The new facility will greatly reduce the need for up to 4,000 lorry trips that are estimated to take place each year using one fragile road that provides access to the forests in the area. This action is estimated to save on around 650 tonnes of harmful CO2 emissions annually.

Hailing this milestone in the project, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“This is a tremendous achievement by all concerned.

“Over the next 10 years there is forecast to be up to 50,000 tonnes of timber due to be moved every year from Rannoch Forest. This timber is important as it will boost the economy and safeguard jobs, but we need to extract the timber in a way that minimises the impacts on local people and the environment.

“The new rail facility should help achieve these goals and is a good example of the modal shift to using rail as a viable means for transporting timber.”

The MoU has been signed by Scottish Forestry, BSW Timber Ltd, Fountains Forestry UK Ltd, Lord Pearson of Rannoch and Ferguson Transport and Shipping.

The proposed timber loading facility is to be located on Lord Pearson’s land, north of Rannoch Station.

BSW Timber Ltd will lead the construction and run the loading facility with the co-operation of the other partners.

Speaking on behalf of all the private sector partners, Tony Hackney CEO of BSW Timber said: “A tremendous amount of work has gone into the project to date and there is still a lot to do, however our ambition has always been to rejuvenate the rail access to the site and with support from all parties this will happen. The benefits to road users in general will be great utilising a forestry resource which at this time is inaccessible.”

Fountains Forestry will act as agents for the owners of a very large tract of commercial forestry which is located in the surrounding Rannoch area.

The next step in taking forward the project will consist of final discussions on the commercial deals and design of the siding, followed by submission of the detailed planning applications and subsequent approval. Work will then be tendered and agreements put in place which should be as early as this summer.


Scottish Forestry News Article

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