Gordon Timber

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Forestry Industry to focus on pollution challenges

8 March 2015

Around 90 representatives from the North’s forestry sector heard about the latest thinking on pollution prevention and control in the Highlands and Islands this week.

The Highlands and Islands Forest Industry Cluster (HIFIC) is behind the event which was held at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium in Inverness on Thursday 26 February at 5pm. Timber processor John Gordon & Son Ltd which employs around 100 people in Nairn has kindly sponsored this week’s event. Scott Gordon, Johnny Dean and Scott Grant attended to represent the company.

The event, which had guest speakers from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and a local timber harvesting contractor, attracted a wide range of forestry workers, harvesters, processors and contractors to estate personnel and public sector employees.

Chairman of HIFIC Neil Stoddart said: “The forest industry makes a significant contribution to the economy and environment of the Highlands. The sector is well aware of the need to plan and manage our forestry operations carefully to protect water courses and the wider environment.

“However, whilst the industry is already well regulated, the event on Thursday helped make sure we are up to date on this important subject. We heard from speakers who have a wealth of experience in this field and also stimulated some practical debate. Maintaining good communication with stakeholders such as SEPA is essential in keeping forestry in the Highlands as a vanguard of good practice.”

John Gorman from SEPA outlined the key findings from SEPA’s ongoing Forestry Project involving the forest sector. He also provided guidance on how forest operators can best engage with SEPA to comply with legislation and best practice as well as outline the economic benefits of good environmental practice.

Local harvesting contractor Bruce Douglas also provided a valuable first-hand insight into the pollution risks being faced by the sector, challenges he has faced and action he has taken to overcome these.