For us, timber is our lifeblood and naturally we look out for all news on timber and the growth in the industry, so we were keen to read the Grown In Britain report recently released (view a copy here).
Some have said that the report doesn’t go far enough in detailing solutions to the potential shortages of home grown timber but, in fairness to the report creators, they are looking at timber not just from the perspective of contractors, builders and retailers but also from the view of woodland managers and environmentalists. It’s not enough to focus on the production and usage of timber and associated products, the importance starts right from ensuring the sustainability of the forests, and the planting and management of the forests going forward.
One of the introduction points does, we feel, cover what we would hope to achieve throughout the UK – “Creating a stronger wood culture in our society: making it the norm that we use, buy and enjoy wood products, managing woods to achieve this; more people active in our woodlands with improved mental and physical wellbeing, and a sense of community inspired by woodlands.”
As a timber retailer it’s natural that we would want to see an increase in the purchasing and use of wood products, this is essential for our own continued growth. However, wood is a passion as well as a job, and with that in mind we do agree that it’s essential to get people involved and gaining a better understanding of the “great outdoors”. Ask any parent and they will be likely to tell you that their child spends a far greater amount of time at home on their laptop / tablet / phone than outside, which is a massive shift from even 20 years ago when it was less scary to send your child out to play, and building a den in the woods would have been a natural weekend pastime rather than a forbidden activity. So for us, the introduction of Forest School is a huge step in the right direction. A Forest School is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment and could finally be the answer to reintroducing our children to the outdoors and helping them to move away from technology and back towards nature.
We were also pleased to see that the Grown In Britain report detailed that “A website has been established, which is well visited, alive with new content and becoming a hub for people to go to for listing their events, demonstrating their commitment to the Grown in Britain cause, writing blogs and contributing to newsletters. A twitter account @GrowninBritain (linked to Facebook) has been established, which has its own ‘personality’ and at the time of this report has reached more than 4.5 million twitter account holders. More than 20 discussions have taken place within the Grown in Britain group on LinkedIn which has further extended outreach.” We have long been advocates of better marketing within the timber industry so it’s refreshing to finally see advances from this type of association, who are making use of social media to connect, engage and spread the word.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the report and it’s relevance to you if you are in the timber industry?