This month the Forestry Commission will be releasing 2013 statistics. Provisional figures back in May highlighted that nearly 11 million tonnes was harvested from UK forests, an impressive figure when you consider that the UK is one of the least wooded nations of Europe (13% of our land is covered in trees compared to a western Europe average of 32%).

What is even more impressive is comparing our forest productivity to our steel making and cement making industries. Comparable figures for 2012 show that the UK produced 10 million tonnes of steel and 9 million tonnes of cement.

Output from UK forests is set to increase over the next few decades (due to historical planting in the 1980’s) peaking at 18.4 million m3 in 2030…30% more than current output. The question is will we be in a position to put the timber to a high value use such as construction instead of burning it for fuel?