Today myForest Wales is being launched at the Royal Welsh Show.
The forestry sector employs more than 16,000 people in Wales and puts £1.7 billion into the economy. The new myForest Wales service is aiming to boost these figures with the ambitious goal of almost doubling the number of managed woodlands across the country.
“Across Wales there are more than 90,000 ha undermanaged woodlands – almost half the tree cover – with management we can improve these woodlands for wildlife, growing firewood and quality timber in the future ,” said Kath McNulty of ConFor, who is leading myForest Wales.
“The best way of achieving this, we believe, is by setting up an information and knowledge hub to pull together the supply chain. Our aim is to support and expand a balanced market for woodfuel, quality timber and coppice materials.”
Part funded by Forestry Commission Wales, it supports new approaches to sustainable management of woodlands and is a significant opportunity for increased woodland biodiversity; carbon sequestration; timber and woodfuel production for local use and additional income for landowners.
Businesses can sign up easily to a directory to promote their services and products. Woodland agents and independent managers are able to create a specialist agent account to assist with the management of their client’s woodland information and link them with the wider wood community.
Bringing woodlands into an appropriate and sustainable management regime is an objective shared by the Welsh Government, Forestry Commission Wales, WFBP, ConFor and the Sylva Foundation.
“The Sylva Foundation is delighted that we can now offer a bilingual myForest service to the woodland community in Wales. Our experience in England is that myForest has helped woodland owners understand the potential of their woodlands and helped them market their woodland products in new and exciting ways,” said Alistair Yeomans, Director of Forestry for the Sylva Foundation.
myForest promotes and works with national forestry organisations and woodland management initiatives, many of which offer vital outreach services to woodland owners and support the development of a sustainable forestry sector.