Addressing Members and guests at the UK Forest Products Association AGM and Lunch, held at the House of Commons on 8 May 2017, newly elected President, Frank Riding made an impassioned plea for more trees, noting the wide divergence of forest policy in England, Wales and Scotland and the differing emphasis on productive woodland creation. “The statistics on new woodland creation across the UK, especially for commercial conifer crops, make depressing and very worrying reading. However, at least steps are being taken by the Scottish Government to address these concerns north of the Border, which are welcomed. I hope that similar moves may be taken in England and Wales. Much is at stake and time is of the essence if we are to ensure the continued success of the domestic forestry and forest products sector” said Frank Riding.

“Continuity of wood supply is now the single most important issue for businesses in the UK sawmilling and wood processing sector” said Frank, “It is imperative that domestic forestry policy recognises the value of forestry and forest products and that urgent steps are taken in all three Countries to ensure timber supply is maintained for generations to come”.

At the AGM, Frank Riding (Riding Sawmills Ltd, of Cardross, Dunbartonshire) was appointed President, in succession to Phil Higginbotham (James Callander & Son Ltd), who had completed a two year term of office. Lancashire born and bred, Frank is a well-known and respected member of the timber trade and has actively supported UKFPA since its establishment in 1996.  Frank also highlighted the wide range of work undertaken by UKFPA on behalf of its Members, noting that  the Association represents remarkable value for money, continues to ‘punch above its weight’ and ensures the cost-effective delivery of value for money services that focus on the practical issues facing businesses in the sector.