Peel director leads new forestry group

Iain Taylor, partnerships director at Peel Group, has been appointed chairman of the newly established North West Forestry & Woodland Advisory Committee.

The committee is intended to help form partnerships with Forestry Commission local teams and help to create a new urban forestry network, which will link with other area committees. It will also advise the Forestry Commission on "how the public forest estate can become more valuable to the people, economy and environment of the North West."

The North West region has an estimated 70,000 people working in timber and forestry-related businesses, with a combined output valued at £435m according to research commissioned by the North West Forest Industries Action Group.

Iain Taylor has been instrumental in promoting the Atlantic Gateway programme for growth along the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal. He joined Peel from Mersey Basin Campaign in 2007. He said: "The number of jobs in forestry has continued to rise in the UK and there is still significant growth potential, whether that's protecting, planting and managing woodland, processing timber products or promoting leisure and tourism in and around woodland areas."

The Forestry Commission says investment in forestry can result in increased opportunities for sectors such as logistics and haulage, energy creation and developing new products.

Keith Jones, area director North West and West Midlands at the Forestry Commission, said: "Increasing collaboration on a landscape-scale to protect, enable and encourage sustainable, woodlands management is key to the future of our forests. Using innovation in the sector to drive improvements in the rural and urban environments will enable economic growth in the region. The committees provide Forestry Commission England with invaluable local intelligence bringing a wide expertise from the sector and beyond, as well as strong regional and local connections and networks."

Taylor and his committee will act as local champions for forests and woodlands, forming networks and partnerships with timber processors, local authorities and landowners to encourage growth in the sector.

Full details of the rest of the committee were not yet available.

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