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03 WINTER 2018/2019 ISSN 2517-26X (PRINT)

HOPPINGS THE BEAST FROM THE SOUTH EAST The family firm founded after the First World War outlines its ambitious growth plans for the future / 14 PORT REPORT


How UK ports are keeping the supply of timber flowing / 10

TTUK travelled to Sweden to see how Södra produces some of the world’s most sustainable timber / 17

01582 592707

CONTENTS WINTER 2018/2019 02



The latest news and developments from the sector including LIGNIA Wood Company signing a distribution agreement with Timber Connection and Beers Timber Holdings completing the purchase of Tonge Bridge Timber of Bolton


The UK’s growing demand for forest products has seen an increase in the volume of products passing through UK ports




The family firm has a rich history, having been founded after the First World War, but its focus is firmly on the future with ambitious plans for growth




Timber Trader travelled to southern Sweden to see how Södra – the country’s largest forest-owner cooperative – produces some of the most sustainable timber in the world


How the timber processing sector is overcoming significant challenges to ensure a steady supply (photo © Charles Ransford and Son)




The managing director of Snows Timber talks to Timber Trader about keeping up with increasing demand and the company’s plans for the future


The theme for this year’s UK Construction Week, ‘Future of Construction’ was evident throughout Timber Expo with a range of innovative organisations showcasing pioneering ideas


W Exhibition and sister show, Elements celebrated a record year, attracting people from across Europe and further afield

EDITOR Michelle Gordon 

SALES DIRECTOR Terry Hanlon   01925 270093

DESIGN Pete Awad 

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WINTER 2018/2019


SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE Modified timber manufacturer LIGNIA Wood Company has signed a distribution agreement with one of the UK’s leading timber distributors – Timber Connection. The exclusive five-year agreement will see Timber Connection distributing LIGNIA’s products across the UK and the Republic of Ireland from its 150,000ft² base in Kirkby. LIGNIA is a natural, modified timber. The company’s manufacturing process involves taking sustainably-sourced, FSC softwood and modifying it into high-performance timber. It is also enhanced to include greater durability, with a 50-year warranty against rot and decay in above-ground applications, plus improved performance for shrinkage and swelling. Established in 1991, Timber Connection is a leading supplier of commercially-imported hardwoods and premium grade softwoods to the importer/merchant sector within the UK and Ireland. LIGNIA’s commercial director Steve Rogers said: “We’re

Standing, left to right, Steve Rogers of LIGNIA, Keeley Baker and David Green of Timber Connection. Seated, left to right, Hans Ng of LIGNIA and Danny Catherall of Timber Connection

delighted to be working with Timber Connection in the UK and the Republic of Ireland for our LIGNIA products. They have both an excellent reputation and the ability to develop full national coverage into our chosen market sectors, so we’re

and believe we are the ideal partner to establish the LIGNIA brand in the

now looking to leverage the competitive advantage they bring to ensure

UK and Ireland. Having had the chance to follow developments over the

LIGNIA becomes the product of choice in these markets.”

last 12 months from their company’s inspiring base in Barry we are hugely

Timber Connection’s managing director Danny Catherall added: “Timber Connection is really looking forward to this exciting opportunity

impressed and look forward to working with the LIGNIA team to ensure success for both of our businesses going forward”.

NEW HEAD FOR FORESTRY SCHOOL Forestry commissioner Amanda Bryan

construction as well as further develop our

has been appointed head of the Scottish

research and outreach facilities.”

School of Forestry at Inverness College

Over the next six months, Bryan will

UHI, on an interim basis following the

work with colleagues to scope out the

departure of Elizabeth Barron-Majerik.

future direction for the Scottish School

Bryan, whose career spans over 25

of Forestry, the only provider of further

years in land management and rural

education and higher education forestry

and community development in the

and arboriculture courses in Scotland, and

Highlands and Islands, has been a forestry

set a plan for the next 10 years.

commissioner since 2012. She has also

Amanda has been a part-time lecturer

been chair of the Forestry Commission’s

at the school for over five years and leads

National Committee Scotland since 2015

on its BSc (Hons) Forest Management

and is chair of the board of Crown Estate


Scotland and a board member for Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Professor Chris O’Neil, principal of Inverness College UHI, said: “I am delighted

She said: “I am delighted to be given

that Amanda has agreed to become head

this opportunity to help shape the future of

of the Scottish School of Forestry and lead

the Scottish School of Forestry and build on

on its development plans for the future.

its already considerable heritage. The fact

She brings significant experience and

that the forestry sector is expanding at a

strong networks across the forestry and

time when it is facing an ageing workforce

rural sectors to the position and will be

means there are lots of opportunities for

a major asset as we look to enhance the

our current and future graduates at all

school’s offering, develop new areas of the

levels. We need to make sure that our

curriculum and strengthen its position as

courses remain relevant into the future.

one of the best forestry schools in the UK.”

There is also huge potential to expand links with timber processing and offsite


Elizabeth Barron-Majerik recently took up the post of Lantra Scotland director.


WINTER 2018/2019


PART OF THE FAMILY Family-owned Beers Timber Holdings has announced the completion of the purchase of Tonge Bridge Timber of Bolton. The Liverpool-based group, which celebrated its centenary in 2016, also owns Beers Timber and Building Supplies, MBS Plumbing Supplies and wholesale timber distributor Evans Bellhouse operating from 15 depots across Merseyside, Wirral, Manchester and Cheshire. The purchase of Tonge Bridge Timber will increase group turnover to £37m and the enlarged group will employ 160 staff across its depots in the North West. Tonge Bridge Timber is an importer and manufacturer of machined timber products, supplying to timber & builders’ merchants, and

many similarities in culture between the two

business. Previous co-owner Brian Kirkpatrick

large end users in the north of England from its


will ultimately be retiring from the business but is continuing in the short term as a consultant.

“The purchase will enhance and complement

three-acre machining facility in Bolton. Tonge

The deal team for Beers consisted of

Bridge Timber has built a reputation with its

our position as suppliers of quality timber and

customers for supplying high-quality products

building materials in the North West. There is

Langtons Accountants, Liverpool, and Bermans

with excellent customer service.

great potential to grow the business and integrate

Solicitors, Liverpool, and The Bank Of Scotland

it within our existing businesses.”

(Liverpool office) provided funding.

Managing director of the Beers Group

The deal team for Tonge Bridge consisted of

The existing management team and staff at

Michael Beer said: “I am very pleased and excited to have completed the purchase of Tonge Bridge

Tonge Bridge Timber led by managing director

Pierce Business Advisory, Blackburn; Hill Eckersley

Timber, being a family-owned business, we see

Andrew Broddle will be staying on to run the

Accountants, Bolton, and KBL Solicitors, Bolton.















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WINTER 2018/2019


STUDENT WINS AWARD FOR BEST NEW PLANTING APPLICATION Inverness College UHI student Ryan Assal is celebrating after winning a prestigious award from Tilhill Forestry. The 33-year-old, who is in the third year of the University of the Highlands and Islands’ BSc (Hons) in Forest Management, scooped the award for Best New Planting Application following a report he prepared on

Julian Hollingdale, Ryan Assal and Amanda Bryan

woodland creation in his forestry policy and law module. He was presented with a specially carved wooden trophy in the shape

“It’s great to see students like Ryan excelling in their studies and learning

of an acorn by Tilhill Forestry’s Julian Hollingdale at Inverness College UHI’s

important skills such as how to draft a woodland creation plan. We run an

Scottish School of Forestry at Balloch.

awards programme with a number of universities across UK and Tilhill has a

As part of its work to strengthen links with future foresters, Tilhill Forestry

long association with Inverness College UHI. It’s an excellent university and

presents awards to top performing students at universities in the UK which

some of our past and present employees have studied there. I was delighted

offer degrees in forestry-related subjects.

to be able to present this prestigious award.”

Assal, who lives in Beauly, was tasked with developing a woodland

Amanda Bryan, head of the Scottish School of Forestry and programme

creation operational plan for a hypothetical site near Evanton, similar to the

leader for the BSc (Hons) in Forest Management, said: “The Scottish

plan most foresters will complete when trying to access grant funding for new

Government has a target of creating 10,000 hectares of new woodland

woodland projects.

every year. Foresters regularly work with land owners and managers to

He said: “I am over the moon to win this award. I wasn’t the most

develop proposals to create new woodland and completing this kind of mock

academic in school, but I always loved being outside. I’ve finally found a career

application is exactly the kind of work they will be doing when they leave

path I’m really passionate about so it’s such an honour to be recognised in this

university. Ryan has found his future at the Scottish School of Forestry and we

way by a company like Tilhill Forestry.”

are all incredibly proud of what he has achieved, developing a plan which was

Julian Hollingdale, Tilhill Forestry’s North Highland district manager, said:

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WINTER 2018/2019


SÖDRA REPORTS STRONG RESULT WITH RISE IN SALES Sweden’s largest forest-owner association Södra reported a sustained strong operating profit of SEK 1,277 million for the third quarter of 2018 with all business areas reporting good results. Net sales for the third quarter rose 22% to SEK 5,826 million compared with the year-earlier period, and the operating margin improved to 22% with market conditions for forest products remaining favourable for the immediate future. For the first nine months of the year net sales amounted to SEK 18,168 million and operating profit totalled SEK 3,533 million. Return on capital employed rose to 28% and a strong cash flow and healthy liquidity have significantly strengthened Södra’s financial

Lars Idermark, president and CEO

situation with the equity ratio rising to 59%. “In the third quarter, profit was very satisfactory, especially in light of the challenges

wood products was also favourable and is

important future player when it comes to solving

expected to remain strong for some time yet.

the major climate challenges.”

“Investments at the facility for cross-

for timber sourcing and production caused by

In the Södra Wood business area, operating

the summer’s extreme weather conditions,” said

laminated timber (CLT) production and the

profit for the period totalled SEK 162 million

Lars Idermark, president and CEO.

construction of the biomethanol plant in

and reflects the sustained favourable price

Mönsterås are on track. These long-term

level for sawn timber, as well as the continuing

restructuring over the past few years were timely

investments aim to strengthen Södra’s market

positive impact from the ongoing restructuring

and Södra’s production facilities are now more

position in both processed wood products


competitive. Demand for paper pulp remained

and liquid biofuel. The interest in timber

strong and we see no signs of a weakening in the

construction, with its positive effects on the

discontinued and the results since the second

medium term. Demand for sawn and processed

environment, has increased and forestry is an

quarter refer solely to the sawmill operations.

“The extensive investment programme and

The interior wood segment has largely been

BRIGHT FUTURE FOR SCOTTISH FORESTRY A bright future lies ahead for Scottish forestry if an integrated land use strategy undertaken by the Scottish Government is realised, said Scottish Land & Estates (SLE). Responding to Scotland’s Forestry Strategy for 2019 to 2029, which underpins forestry, farming and other sectors, Katy Dickson, head of policy at Scottish Land & Estates said: “Forestry is a key sector for landbased businesses and the rural economy, and the private sector has a vital role to play in helping the Scottish Government achieve its increased tree planting targets.” The organisation said it supported efforts to promote and develop sustainable forestry but recognised achieving consensus over different land uses was not

enabling landholders in making the correct choices for their business

always a simple process.

which will then go on to deliver for the economy, environment and

“We welcome the long-term approach taken in this new strategy document and believe the government’s vision for forestry is broadly in

community. “We would like to see greater acknowledgement from government

tune with the wishes of rural businesses such as estates and farms who

that there will be conflicts around land use choices rather than see

will work to deliver many of these goals,” said Dickson.

integration strategies developed which dictate what a land use should

“Where we would like to see the strategy enhanced is in decisions

be. We want to see an approach which creates a supportive framework

regarding land use and in particular, diversification from one type of land

to encourage land managers to achieve a mix of land uses and recognises

use into forestry. Many businesses want a mixture of farming, forestry and

that compromise will often be required in planting the right tree, in the

other activities such as energy or tourism on their land. We fully support

right place for the right purpose.”



WINTER 2018/2019

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WINTER 2018/2019


MERGER CREATES UK’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT TIMBER DISTRIBUTION COMPANY Arnold Laver & Co Limited has merged with The National Timber Group, creating the largest independent timber distribution company in the UK. The new, enlarged group has a combined revenue of almost £250m, 52 distribution and processing sites extending from the north of Scotland to London and the South West and over 1,300 employees. The National Timber Group is a collective of market-leading added-value timber distribution companies, including Thornbridge Sawmills, North Yorkshire Timber and Rembrand, which serve a diverse and varied customer base including joiners, regional housebuilders, commercial companies and infrastructure projects. Arnold Laver is the timber division of Arnold Laver Holdings Limited, a family-run company established in 1920. It imports, distributes and manufactures a wide range of timber, panels,

The merger was prompted by shareholders’ decision to focus on their

decorative surfaces and joinery products, serving public and private sector

existing property and leisure interests. Owners Andrew Laver and Mark

construction, house-building and commercial companies.

Bower will remain in the business to ensure an effective handover and a

With its annual turnover in excess of £130 million, it has 13 distribution and processing depots across the UK, a national production centre at Mosborough near Sheffield and a workforce of over 750 employees. The enlarged group will be led by Rob Barclay, group chief executive, who

smooth transition. “Once we had taken the decision to consolidate our interests, our priority was to find a partner with shared goals and values who would help our timber business to fulfil its potential,” said Laver. “Both companies have much in common in terms of heritage, outstanding product quality and a commitment

joined The National Timber Group in June. He said: “We are delighted to partner with Arnold Laver and welcome

to the highest standards of customer service, which makes this merger a very

them to the Group. The merger is highly complementary – together, we are

good fit. I am confident that the business is in very capable hands and that it

able extend our presence nationwide, pursue further growth and are well-

will continue to thrive and prosper.”

positioned to capitalise on the market-leading position we have established.

The transaction is being supported by further investment from Cairngorm

Additionally, our values, vision and commitment to customers are completely

Capital Partners LLP and was led by investment director Neil McGill, who

aligned, which creates exciting opportunities for us both.”

added: “The UK timber market remains highly fragmented and offers many

The group will have three divisions: a Scottish division, headquarted in

opportunities for well-organised, high-quality businesses such as The National

Grangemouth and led by Alex McLeod who joined as managing director,

Timber Group and Arnold Laver. As investors, we have been working hard to

Scotland, in September; one headquartered in Sheffield led by the Arnold

find opportunities to scale our timber interests rapidly, so we are delighted to

Laver management team and a third headquartered in Northallerton and led

be able to support this partnership. We believe we now have a great platform

by Nick Kershaw, managing director.

for further growth under the leadership of an exceptional management team.”

NEW APPOINTMENT FOR GALBRAITH FORESTRY DIVISION Galbraith, one of Scotland’s leading rural

said: “Denis will be a valuable asset to our team.

agencies, has appointed Denis Torley to its

He has over 20 years of professional forestry

forestry division.

experience in both the private and regulatory

Based in Inverness, it is one of the largest in

sector in the Highlands. In recent years Denis

the country, managing over 20,000 hectares of

has been especially involved in forestry agency

woodland ranging from commercial plantations

and investment purchases and in the creation

and restoration to traditional mixed policy

of new woodlands for private clients. He is


also an experienced negotiator in relation to

It offers advice and professional services

Environmental Impact Assessments, mitigation

to landowners nationwide and has conducted

arrangements, and consultancy agreements in

numerous applications to the Woodland Carbon

the forestry and renewable energy sectors. These

Code on behalf of clients.

are all of great relevance to our clients and we

Philippa Cliff, head of forestry for Galbraith,


look forward to having him in the team.”


WINTER 2018/2019


BUOYANT TRADE As demand for timber and timber products grows, there has been a continuing increase in the volume of material being imported into the UK, creating a booming trade for our ports The Finland Terminal at ABP’s Humber ports


ach year the UK imports over 5 million

amid a dwindling homegrown supply, the trend

tonnes of conventional forest products

shows no signs of slowing down.

(excluding biomass/wood fuel) and it is

UK ports have responded to the growing

tonnes through Clydeport. “Our ports are not simply a destination point where cargo is loaded and unloaded,”

estimated that an additional 10 million

market, by investing in their facilities to offer a

said Jason Mayor, group business development

tonnes of forest products are imported in

range of additional services from storage and

manager at Peel Ports. “We go above and

stock management to timber treatments.

beyond to ensure our services help customers


unlock value in their supply chains. This not only

According to Forest Research, the UK

was the second largest net importer of forest products in 2016, behind China, and wood

helps our customers, but it’s helped grow our

PEEL PORTS The Port of Sheerness, part of Peel Ports’

business to become one of the major players in the sector.”

products imported in 2017 were valued at £7.8

London Medway Cluster, imports and handles

billion, including 7.9 million cubic metres of

over 1.2 million tonnes of conventional forest

sawnwood, 3.4 million cubic metres of wood-

products annually. Over the past few years over

based panels, 6.9 million tonnes of wood pellets

200,000 tonnes of bulk product (plus at least

utilising in excess of 131,000m2 of internal

and 5.6 million tonnes of paper.

as much again in containers) has also passed

storage for paper, pulp, plywood and a timber

through its port, Liverpool and over 100,000

treatment facility, with 10 acres of external

As demand for timber continues to increase,

The Port of Sheerness provides a number of bespoke solutions for forest product customers,

timber storage. It offers stevedoring, storage (internal and external), stock management, pick and pack services, damaged reel repairs, outloading for onward distribution and in partnership with two timber customers – timber treatment. The Port of Liverpool can receive shipments in bulk and containerised form and containerised shipments can be unloaded and stored as bulk products to give flexibility to customers. It also offers a multi-user warehousing facility, where multiple customers can store cargo and scale the size of their warehousing footprint based on demand. It handles dispatch, labelling, sorting and repackaging, enabling its customers to ship directly to their customers, rather than London Medway, Peel Ports



transporting goods to a distribution centre

across the country.

WINTER 2018/2019

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WINTER 2018/2019

PORT REPORT and an on-site wood treatment plant for sheet materials and timber. It also has the facilities to handle products that have been domestically produced. Dundee, Grangemouth, Methil and Burntisland are its principal paper and forest products ports in Scotland, offering facilities to handle the full spectrum of products from both containerised and breakbulk cargoes. Grangemouth has a dedicated Forest Products Terminal offering devanning, loading, warehousing and stock management. Products are handled by a fleet of forklift trucks, fitted with various clamp types for paper and pulp. Dundee has been a forest product specialist for over 35 years, handling newsprint, pulp and timber products and offering a significant timber

Hull Humber Port, APB

terminal. Its facilities have also been extended to include full timber treatment and additional

ABP ABP has a network of 21 ports across

FORTH PORTS Forth Ports, the third largest port operator

storage. Methil is an important hub for a major timber

England, Scotland and Wales, including the UK’s

group in the UK, owns the Port of Tilbury on

importer and provides cargo handling services, a

biggest port complex – Grimsby, Immingham,

the River Thames and seven ports in Scotland –

stock management system, and a pick and pack

Hull and Goole – the Humber ports.

Grangemouth, Dundee, Leith and Rosyth – and

service for onward deliveries to customers.

“The Humber is critical in driving the economy, handling a total of £75bn of trade each year and supporting 34,900 jobs

the smaller ports of Methil, Burntisland and

Burntisland is home to a dedicated timber manufacturing facility within the port with its

Kirkcaldy. Over 500,000 tonnes of timber pass through

nationally and locally,” said Matthew Boyle,

its ports each year, as well as significant volumes

commercial manager and trade sector specialist

of pulp, woodchip and logs. It handles a wide

in timber.

range of forest products across the group; sheet

imports going directly into its yard. SHOREHAM Shoreham Port, a commercial port on the

materials, specialist timber products, plywood,

south coast of England, handles over 420,000m3

softwood timber port and has several

doors, mouldings and softwoods, coming from

of timber/forest products per year, including posts,

dedicated terminals for timber products,

Europe, Baltics, South America, North America, Far

fencing, stakes, telegraphs and decking, as well as

occupying more than 75,000sqm of

East and Africa.

wood chip, from Sweden, Finland and other Baltic

“The port of Hull is the UK’s leading

warehousing.” Roll-on roll-off shipping operator Finnlines

Tilbury has excellent links throughout the supply chain, including shipping lines, importers,

states. Timber accounts for 15% of its annual

has traded from the terminal since 1973 with

merchants and distributors, offering services

tonnage and it works closely with the entire

its Baltic Sea call every week to Helsinki and

including both breakbulk and container services;

supply chain, offering a full stevedoring service

the Finland Terminal has trading routes from

over 25 acres of undercover storage including

with a state-of-the-art stock control system.

Northern Europe, Russia, the Baltic States, and

transit sheds and distribution facilities, a choice


of de-vanning facilities for containerised product

Over the last 10 years, the volume of timber products passing through the port has continued to rise, leading to investment in new sheds and cranes and more staff on the ground. It has also increased its outside storage areas by about 16 acres and undercover storage for timber by about 130,000 square feet. STATE OF TRADE The general state of trade across the UK has been healthy throughout 2018 and ABP will continue to invest in infrastructure, equipment and employees, said Boyle. “ABP believes timber/forest products is an important and buoyant sector which is why it continues to regularly invest in its infrastructure and personnel training to offer a premier option on the East Coast of the UK,” he said. “ABP envisages an increase in the amount

Tilbury, Forth Ports


of timber/forestry products passing through the


WINTER 2018/2019

PORT REPORT But while the UK’s growing demand for forest products has generated robust import volumes for Forth Ports, significant growth has been constrained by a global supply and demand imbalance, said its chief operating officer Stuart Wallace. BREXIT All ports are confident of a bright future, despite Brexit looming on the horizon, and they are continuing to invest in their facilities to streamline services and ensure that enough timber is imported to meet demand. “Handling of timber products is very important to Forth Ports and we are keen to work with our customers to ensure their supply chain is as streamlined and efficient as possible,” said

Shoreham Port

Wallace. “We have the facilities and space across the

Humber ports as we have a strong and established

has been refurbished and additional facilities

group to handle more timber products and our

presence in the East Coast of the UK facing major

developed for new customer Rowlinson Timber.

strategy is to invest in supply chain solutions for

supplier markets such as Scandinavia.

With phase two coming online, Peel Ports is

our customers.”

“Trade through the Humber Ports remains

providing a new timber treatment and storage

Forth Ports has discussed Brexit with

buoyant and we are confident that this trend will

facility, with up to 10 acres of external storage

customers and the relevant authorities, said

continue as we invest in our infrastructure. The

space, and the possibility for a further 14 acres in

Wallace to ensure that plans are in place to

Humber Ports play a vital role as a gateway for

phase three.

minimise disruption to supply chains and volumes.

trade across the North of England, the Midlands

In addition to the Wellmarsh development,

While there is obviously some uncertainty

and beyond, and we are committed to seizing the

the group is undergoing a reconfiguration

over the effect that the UK’s exit from the

opportunities that lay ahead of us.”

programme at the port of Sheerness and

European Union will have on trade, Evans-Gay,

investing in existing facilities such as new mobile

believes that the impact on services at Shoreham

in infrastructure at its ports and its Wellmarsh

harbour cranes, grain stores, warehousing and

Port will be minimal.

Development, adjacent to the Port of Sheerness,

infrastructure improvements.

Peel Ports Group has continued to invest

“With construction booming in the South

be very little impact,” she said. “Feedback from

supply the nation’s capital, the port is continually

customers has been positive and overall they are

investing to improve our customer experience and

very confident that little will change, although

provide strategic access to key markets for some

there is still some uncertainty, as would be

of the biggest players in the industry,” said Mayor.

expected with such a substantial change.” For ABP, Brexit has provided an opportunity

in volumes at Liverpool, boosted by a thriving

for growth, as many companies look to find

construction sector in the North West and Midlands.

alternative routes to ports such as Dover.

Enquiries continue to come into Shoreham

“The Port of Immingham is already the biggest

Port at a steady rate said Beth Evans-Gay,

port in the country by tonnage, but signs are

commercial and operations director and it will

indicating that we have the potential to grow

continue to make long-term investments to

significantly in the coming years,” said Boyle.

manage and develop the port for stakeholders and customers. “We have seen an increase in timber products

“A shift in trade volumes has been noticed, with cargoes originally destined for ports such as Dover, moving increasingly north as trade partners

passing through the port in recent years and this

look at alternatives to mitigate any difficulties the

can be seen in our throughput figures, particularly

more traditional routes may experience in future.

over the last five years” she said. “We are pleased that enquiries are still coming

“We know also that for many customers they can see the logic that it is quicker, cheaper and

into the port at a steady rate and we are always

better for the environment to ship directly from

looking to increase throughput.”

the continent to the Humber Ports and then to

The Port of Grangemouth has experienced


service we offer at Shoreham Port, there will

East and London, and Sheerness ideally placed to

The group is also seeing a continual increase

APB Ports

“We are confident that due to the excellent

access regional distribution centres in the North

a steady increase in timber imports, as well

and the Midlands than for lorries to arrive in the

as an increase in woodchip and log imports,

UK in ports in the South East of England and then

due to a growing demand from panel product

drive up through our already congested roads to

manufacturers and biomass-fired power plants.

reach their final destinations.”


WINTER 2018/2019


HOPPINGS THE BEAST FROM THE SOUTH EAST! Family firm Hoppings Softwood Products has a rich history, having been founded after the First World War, but its focus is firmly on the future with ambitious plans for growth


oppings Softwood Products plc was

The Epping site is also home to a high-pressure

established in 1920 in Whetstone, North

preservative impregnation treatment plant.

London, and while the company has evolved

Over the years the company has continued

“With a machining capacity over 30,000 m3 both manufacturing mills have automatic infeed and take off and are designed with flexibility in

and grown over the decades, it remains

to invest in its facilities with purpose-designed,

mind,” explained Alcoe. “Automatic measuring

family run with Chairman Charles Hopping

efficient, modern high-speed automated mills, at

and end marking identifies the length, grade

both sites.

and environmental certification of each product,

at the helm. As well as being actively involved in the

“Hoppings is well placed to increase production

company, Charles continues to influence the wider

and improve the quality of its machined softwood

industry through his current role as president

products,” said managing director Geoffrey Alcoe.

of the UK Timber Trade Federation and his son

A new Weinig moulder with the latest

making selection at point of sale convenient at their merchant customers premises. “The majority of the sawn softwood purchased for conversion into high sales turnover machined

James Hopping, joined the family business in 2008,

technology was installed at the Lingfield site

products such as skirtings and planed all round

currently holding the role of Epping sales office

early this year and automated bagging lines for

sections, is European redwood sourced from top


the creation of baled wood shaving residue

Swedish mills. Careful consideration to procure the

were installed at both sites to accommodate

right quality softwood is important. This coupled

operates from two sites in Epping, Essex, and

the company’s ‘StableBed’ brand. ‘Stablebed’

with an ability for Hoppings wood machinists

Lingfield, Surrey. Both sites, which are within easy

wood shavings are sold in significant volumes

to visually monitor grades and reject anything

reach of London, sitting north and south of the

to wholesale distributors who supply break bulk

substandard during manufacture is key to the

M25 motorway, have manufacturing capability.

quantities to the equestrian market.

company’s drive to supply more consistent qualities

The company, which employs 60 staff, now

Modern high speed efficient maching facilities at Epping & Lingfield sites


Grade monitoring Epping


A selection of profiles machined from slow grown european redwood

WINTER 2018/2019


Lingfield depot

allows the features and grain of the wood to show

activity and most profitable revenue stream and

through providing an appealing rustic look.

this is where the company is focusing its drive

Q-Clad is a small range of high sales turnover, fine sawn, featheredge cladding, pre-painted in an opaque satin black or white finish. Hoppings’ most recent success story in product Epping depot and Headquarters

than its competitors.” Hoppings’ success over the years has in

Q-Garden colour washed screening - Pebble Grey shades

to increase market share over the next couple of years. Hoppings’ merchant customers want regular just in time deliveries and the company is ready

development is SmartBoard, a wood plastic

to meet more and more merchants’ stocking

composite decking board. Manufactured from

expectations by offering a comprehensive range

90% recycled products with a 25-year residential

of consistent quality products in both picked loose

warranty against decay, SmartBoard is reversible,

quantities and competitively priced trade pack

solid and its brushed matt finish results in a more


natural, less plastic looking deck surface.

A recent in-house survey identified that the

part been down to marketing initiatives aimed at assisting its merchant customers with the selling process, creating distinct product brands, supported by targeted promotion tools such as consumer facing websites, consumer helplines and an array of in-store point of sale assets including, brochures, displays and samples. Product development has become an increasingly important ingredient to Hoppings’ continued success, where the aim to add value and or raise product standards is key. Products

Careful consideration to procure the right quality softwood is important. This coupled with an ability for Hoppings wood machinists to visually monitor grades and reject anything substandard during manufacture is key to the company’s drive to supply more consistent qualities than its competitors.” Geoffrey Alcoe, managing director

developed by the company over the years include its ‘Q-Grip’ range of grip-enhanced, softwood treated, decking products which are popular for

Less than 18 months after its launch

average delivery is completed within 2.2 days of

use in public use spaces and slip-sensitive areas of

SmartBoard was stocked by over 170 merchants

receipt of order, but the company is not one for

domestic decks such as border edges and steps.

throughout the UK and simplicity has been the key

resting on its laurels. “Although this is an already short timescale

Hoppings also applies ‘Shades,’ a pigmented

ingredient to sales success to date. The fact that a

translucent colour wash in pebble grey and autumn

merchant only needs to stock two components –

as a service, support and product-focused timber

brown, to a wide range of softwood decking

a board and a screw – coupled with single length

distributor, Hoppings is seeking to further improve

and cladding products. They are preservative

availability in only three colours simplifies the sales

on this,” said Alcoe.

impregnated after coating with ‘Shades’ creating

process at merchants’ trade counters.

distinctive colour washed exterior timber with an affordable price tag. Shades being translucent

To find out more, please contact Hoppings Softwood Products on 01992 578877


While Hoppings has continued to diversify as it grows, machined wood ranges remain its core

With such ambitious growth plans to improve, Hoppings could well become the new beast from the south east!


WINTER 2018/2019

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WINTER 2018/2019



Timber Trader travelled to southern Sweden to see how Södra – the country’s largest forest-owner cooperative – produces some of the most sustainable timber in the world


imber’s ability to enable quick and

from seedling to harvestable tree. This allows

one of the most versatile and renewable raw

efficient construction is clear, but

plenty of time to replant and plan ahead.

materials on the planet. It is Södra’s mission to

this can’t be at the expense of

When you receive Södra’s timber it already

offer a truly sustainable timber supply from some

sustainability. With timber now an

has a long history and a lot of care and attention

of the most responsibly-managed forests in the

increasingly important resource for

given to it. They put the time and hard work in


ensuring sustainable construction, it’s crucial to

to give its customers and end-users peace of

understand exactly where it comes from. We

mind that they’re using the very best, sustainable

another three and operates according to a tree’s

were lucky enough to be invited to southern


natural lifecycle. This means that it only cuts a tree down once it has stopped absorbing harmful

Sweden to see how Södra – Sweden’s largest forest-owner cooperative – produces some of the most sustainable timber in the world. Here, we’ll take you on a journey of what we discovered.

That’s why for every tree Södra fells, it plants

PLANTING AND NATURAL REGENERATION Södra’s care for the forest is as genuine as the raw material it uses, because it recognises that when looked after carefully the forest is

carbon dioxide. This process of sustainable harvesting and natural regeneration is really important, because the benefits of healthy forests are so significant. Firstly, growing trees store carbon, which

STARTING IN THE FOREST The forest itself is, of course, the jewel in timber’s crown. All two million hectares of Södra’s forests are owned and cared for by over 51,000 members in southern Sweden, who all receive personal and professional help to manage and develop their forestry in the best possible way. Many of these forests have been in the forest-owners’ families for generations and will remain in these families for generations to come. That’s why Södra, together with its forest-owners, is dedicated to making sure that this precious environment is sustained for many, many years to come. After all, it takes around 70 years for its most common forests to mature


Södra’s nurseries are where the growing process starts


WINTER 2018/2019

FOCUS ON SÖDRA means that the higher they get, the greater the absorption of otherwise harmful carbon dioxide. When various products – like houses – are then made from the wood that Södra harvests, CO2

is locked into the wood forever. The third and

perhaps most important benefit is that its timber is increasingly being used as a substitute for many other building products that would have required the use of fossil fuels. This long process begins at one of Södra’s nurseries, like the one we visited in Falkenburg, where around 36 million saplings are planted and nurtured each year. Being chemical-free is at the heart of this process, so Södra utilises its own cutting-edge, chemical-free pest deterrent called Cambiguard. Ingeniously, it also lines the pots that its saplings grow in with copper to ensure

Before deciding which trees to fell, Södra’s flies drones over the forest to get a good idea of what the land looks like

that their roots grow strong and spread far and wide when planted. Failure to do so could mean that roots corkscrew, leaving trees susceptible to storm damage.


AT VÄRO SAWMILL Logs are stored in a clearing or in the forest until they’re needed at one of Södra’s six Swedish

material of the tree, which becomes timber. It’s then re-sawn to a more precise cut and finish by planing and further machining before kiln-drying.

sawmills, the biggest of which we visited in Värö.

Södra grades the quality of its timber by

They’re then picked up and placed at the side of

closely following clear rules that specify strength,

the main road so that logging trucks can easily

quality and appearance. The cold Swedish climate

flies drones over the forest to get a good idea

transport them to the sawmill where the entire

means that Södra’s spruce is naturally slow-

of what the land looks like and what sections of

log is processed.

grown, which results in tighter growth-rings,

Before deciding which trees to fell, Södra

land can be left as nature strips following felling.

Approximately half of the log becomes sawn

Nature strips are important areas of woodland

timber, while the other half is provided to the

specifically geared toward ensuring the forest’s

paper and wood board industries. Bark, wood

eco-system continues to thrive.

chips and sawdust are provided to the biofuel

The entire process of felling a tree, trimming

sector or used as energy in the sawmill. All of

giving its timber its strength and stability.

SUSTAINABLE AND ETHICAL TIMBER PRODUCTION At the heart of everything Södra does is

its branches and cutting it is done with a machine

Södra’s industries are self-sufficient in energy

sustainability, but this means much more than

called a harvester. The harvester cuts the tree

thanks to its utilisation of waste products, and

just responsibly managing its forests. It is an

at the very bottom, then lifts it and removes

any surplus energy generated by production is

integral part of the overall business strategy,

its branches and cuts it to lengths. This is all

distributed onwards as heat or green electricity.

and sustainable forestry makes up just one of

The process begins by taking the bark off the

its six pillars. Other key focus areas are resource

many trees have been felled and the lengths of

tree, before passing it twice through large circular

efficiency, climate-positive business, sustainable

log that have been cut.

saws. This produces boards and the centre cut

innovation, responsible business, and being a

recorded on a computer to keep track of how

responsible employer. Södra’s port in Mönsterås, Sweden, currently leads the way. All the work-vehicles and cranes at the port are using Hydrotreated Vegetable Diesel (HVO) – a completely fossil-free alternative to standard diesel. It’s a real landmark in Södra’s mission for Swedish production to be completely fossil-fuel free by 2020 and transportation by 2030.

THE FINAL RESULT? When you’re next specifying or working with Södra wood, you know that sustainability has been at the forefront of each and every stage. You know that its timber is the by-product of a continuous cycle of planting, growth and natural regeneration; the dedication of everyone at Södra; and the hard work of its 51,000-plus forest-owners. Södra’s timber production is geared toward providing the The entire process of felling a tree, trimming its branches and cutting it is done with a machine called a harvester



highest-quality timber, but never at the expense of sustainability.

WINTER 2018/2019


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WINTER 2018/2019

The future of Materials @FuturebuildNow

Introducing Futurebuild 2019 The new Materials Hub at Futurebuild 2019 will showcase the latest innovations and emerging new products from all aspects of materials, including concrete, timber, steel and masonry. A dedicated seminar theatre will provide visitors to this Hub with the opportunity to learn about the latest research emerging from this sector. The TRADA Bookshop will give construction professionals the opportunity to view the work created as part of the TRADA University Challenge competition, and a place to read the latest timber publications. The Future of Concrete, in collaboration with The Concrete Centre, will showcase the



very best in concrete design, its usage in construction and its sustainability credentials, whilst Natural Building UK will bring together forwardthinking organisations, who will provide educational talks and product demonstrations on natural material usage within construction.

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In partnership with



WINTER 2018/2019


PERFECTING THE PROCESS Photo © Charles Ransford and Son

There has been significant investment in the UK timber processing sector in recent years as it continues to increase its market share, but can it overcome the challenges posed by a future supply shortage and the rise of biomass?


he domestic timber processing sector,

fencing and garden products’ market and also

planted in environmentally important areas with

especially the softwood sector, which is

pallets and packaging,” said Sulman. “It has a

very little consultation.

far larger than the hardwood one, has

reasonable share of the construction market, but

Also, the grants and incentives available

a good story to tell,” saidDavid Sulman,

the bulk of timber supplied into the construction

to landowners during this period were skewed

executive director of the UK Forest Products

sector, particularly the higher grades, is inevitably

towards planting native broad-leaf trees, which

Association (UKFPA)*, which has since been merged

imported from Scandinavia and the Baltic states

are good for biodiversity, rather than commercial

with Confor.

and that is largely to do with the type of species and

softwood species which have a greater economic

the quality and strength.”

value, explained Sulman.

“It is a story of increased market share, it is a

“We stopped planting trees in order to

story of continuing investment and a story of import

Alongside the UK sawmills there are panel

substitution, which I think is good news for UK plc”.

board mills, with three main facilities across the UK.

produce products and what planting did take place

According to the 2018 forestry statistics from

Panel boards are used in housing, in areas such as

was basically of broad-leaf trees, because they were

Forest Research, there were 164 active sawmills in

flooring, walls and kitchens, as well as in furniture

seen to be beneficial to wildlife,” said Stuart Goodall,

the UK in 2017. The vast majority of these (67%)

such as tables.

chief executive of Confor (Confederation of Forest

process softwood only, with 27% processing both

Business is buoyant for the UK timber

Industries). “If you look back to the 1980s the amount of

softwood and hardwood, and the remaining 6%

processing sector, with UK timber producers having

processing only hardwood.

doubled their market share from 20% to 40% and

timber coming out of UK forests has more than

the UK has some of the most modern mills in the

tripled and you could draw a direct a line beside the

sawn softwood production in the UK have

world with strong investment in recent years in

amount of UK wood, sawn timber, panel timber for

increased by around one third between 2008 and

equipment and advance technology, focused on

example, that is consumed.”

2017,” says Forest Research, with sawmills in the

getting the best possible yield out of logs.

“The levels of softwood consumption and

UK consuming a total of 6.8 million green tonnes of

But despite the rising demand for UK sawn

Our mills make use of all of the timber that they have available to them and can provide a

softwood in 2017, a 2% increase from 2016, and a

wood and heavy investment in the sector, there

market for all of the timber that is available, so we

further 0.1 million green tonnes of hardwood. Most

could be some clouds on the horizon.

are only constrained by supply.”

of the logs, 6.6 million green tonnes of softwood

The main limitation for the UK is supply, and

Trees take around 40 years to reach maturity

and 0.1 million green tonnes of hardwood, were

the amount of available raw material that the sector

and it is expected that the UK timber processing

grown in the UK, which produced a total of 3.7m

has access to.

sector will see a drop in raw material in the 2030s,

cubic metres of sawn wood in 2017. UK-produced softwood serves three principle

While significant planting took place in the

as a direct result of a lack of planting in the 1990s.

UK during the 20th century, it had tailed off by the

“We know we have got a future significant

markets – construction, pallets and packaging and

1980s. There was very little planting in the 90s

forecast of a reduction in supply from the mid-

fencing and garden products.

and the start of the 21st century, amid a culture

2030s onwards and what we are experiencing

of opposition, due to trees previously having been

already is some tightening of availability in the

“British timber has the lion’s share of the



WINTER 2018/2019

TIMBER PROCESSING the challenge is if there is a tightening of supply in

mills have been able to cope with that because

five years’ time there is nothing we can do about

they have been able to push their output prices up

planting for the raw material for that, that just

because of the weak pound but if the pound starts

because of the minimum length of time – 15 to 16

to strengthen then that will squeeze their margins

years for faster growing and 30 years or more for

significantly so there is quite a bit of concern about

mature forests.”

that,” he explained.

Forestry today is very different to what it was in the past, said Sulman, and far more care

and Goodall are optimistic for the future of the

and consideration is given to the surrounding


environment with modern-day planting programmes. “In the past there were mistakes made, trees Stuart Goodall

There is increasing recognition of the benefits that trees bring, said Sulman, from providing an economic crop to improving biodiversity and

were planted in some parts of the country, where

assisting in health and wellbeing, as well as a focus

quite frankly you wouldn’t today, and they may

on carbon capture.

have been planted in such a way that didn’t really respect the landscape,” he explained.

market place,” said Goodall.

But despite the shadow of Brexit, both Sulman

“Now, before anyone gets anywhere near

“We think the market for producing wood will continue to grow significantly in the UK and we are hoping that there will be further interest

planting a tree, you have forest plans that have

in delivering tree planting because trees soak up

exacerbated by the ever-expanding biomass sector,

to be carefully considered by the Forestry

carbon and wood is a low-carbon material and we

which has benefitted from Government subsidies,

Commission, planning authorities and so on.

have seen so many reports coming out, both in the

Pressure on supply has been further

such as the Renewable Obligation Certificate and Renewable Heat Incentive. “Wood supply and demand in the UK is pretty finely balanced and it doesn’t take much to knock it

“Gone are the days where someone could mark

UK, people like the Committee on Climate Change,

up a big square on a hillside and fill it with a species

and internationally, which have said we will not hit

of dark green conifers and leave it for 50 years.

country or global targets unless we plant more trees

“Sustainable forest management is enshrined

and use more wood so generally speaking we are

off balance,” explained Sulman. “In recent years, the

in the whole approach that we have now, so you

operating in the right environment and we have got

advent of the biomass sector, wood fuels, has had

are planting trees to ensure that for subsequent

a product that society needs,” said Goodall.

a huge impact on the sector, and for many parts of

generations you will be continuing to deliver

the sector an adverse impact.

economic, social and environmental benefits and

ground and to look to set what we need in place for

the needs of those three objectives are reflected

the future.”

“Good news if you are a timber grower because there is another market that wants to buy

in what is planted, how it is planted, and where its

your products but for traditional wood processors,


sawmillers and producers of panel products they

“It is just trying to actually deliver things on the

There is more work to be done to promote the benefits of forests and forest products, and

The UK’s impending exit from the European

scope for getting more British grown timber into

are now having to fight really hard and are seriously

Union will, of course, have an impact and concerns

the construction sector, said Sulman but despite

up against it because of competition from the

have been raised over the potential for a rise in

the clouds on the horizon, the future for forestry

biomass sector which is supported by generous

the value of the sterling, which would be likely to

and forest products in the UK continues to look

public subsidy.”

impact negatively on the domestic timber market,


said Goodall.

*Since these interviews have taken place UKFPA

There is a place for wood biomass said Sulman but it makes more sense to use wood that has

“At the moment we have record demand

already been used and potentially recycled, that

for UK timber and that has pushed prices of UK

has come to the end of its useful service life, rather

harvested timber up to modern-day highs and

and Confor have merged and David Sulman is now technical director – wood processing at Confor.

than trees that have taken 50 years to grow and ordinarily would have gone into construction or to make chipboard, MDF, or OSB. The sector is experiencing far greater demand than ever before, as a result of the focus on renewables, said Goodall, with wood that has always been in demand by sawmills and panel board companies now also in demand to produce renewable energy. “We have been working with governments, at least in Scotland and we are trying to in England and Wales to increase the level of tree planting that is taking place,” he explained. “We are also trying to grow a mixture of trees that take 30-35 years to grow, and which will end up in high-end sawmilling, and faster growing trees, that might be used for panel board or energy and will be available in say 16-17 years’ time.

Photo © Douglas Wheeler

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WINTER 2018/2019













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WINTER 2018/2019


SEASON FOR CHANGE Snows Timber has grown from a small coal and wood merchant to a national importer, processor and distributor of timber. Its managing director Ian Church talks to Timber Trader’s Michelle Gordon about the company’s modernisation programme and bright future


radfords and Sons acquired Snows

Towcester, offering an end-to-end consistent

focus of offering our customers and potential

Timber of Glastonbury, a small coal

service; our sales function is supported via

customers the best possible service.”

and wood merchant, in 1985 and over

our three distribution centres in Glastonbury,

Over the past year Snows Timber

the years the company has grown

Andover and Mansfield and we now import,

has opened a new national sales office in

organically with further acquisitions to

process and distribute over 1,000 timber

Towcester, Northamptonshire, bringing

products to our merchant and manufacturing

together all of its regional sales offices in one


location, providing customers with a single

improve its supply chain network. In 1996 it acquired timber merchant

FJ Reeves and in 2008 W J Hanrahan and

Snows Timber operates two mills out of

point of contact. The sales team, which includes some new

Sons joined the fold, with facilities opening

Mansfield and Glastonbury, running high-speed

in Dudley and Mansfield, making up the

lines that turn raw material into products such

recruits, now handles around 400 calls daily,

company’s network of distribution centres

as skirting, architrave and decking. It also offers

processing an average of 150 orders and

and transforming the business from a timber

two timber treatments providing long-term

receiving an average of 75 customer emails.

merchant to a national importer, processor and

protection against fungal and insect attack and

distributor of timber.

increasing the timber’s shelf life.

“We previously operated out of four sales offices, one at each distribution centre, which resulted in varying levels of service

It now has an annual turnover of £38

“Essentially, we import a wide variety of

to £40m and employs 150 – 200 people,

products which we add value to at our mills,”

dependant on your location,” explained Church.

importing more than 150,000 cubic metres

said Church. “Timber is a commodity product

“The national sales office has enabled us to

of sawn softwood yearly and processing and

and as such demand has always been relatively

streamline our service to provide a consistent,

distributing more than 1,000 timber products.

consistent. The increase and focus on new

reliable service regardless of your location. We

house builds has been beneficial for the timber

are a national timber distributor, and the sales

independent timber and builders’ merchants,

industry as timber is an integral part of any

office allows us to demonstrate that.

fencing and shed manufacturers and joinery


Its core customer base now includes


“The biggest benefit it has given our

“Alongside this, we’ve seen timber sales

customers is an end-to-end, one stop service.

improve and become the strongest category

Regardless of enquiry, whether it be order,

managing director in 2017, marked a real step

among our core customer – the builder’s

delivery or account related – the office can

change for the company, which has undergone

merchant. But the market still presents a

deal with it.”

a significant evolution over the past year.

huge amount of opportunity for Snows – as

The appointment of Ian Church as

“My appointment presented a time for much-needed review and change,” explained Church. “Since then we have streamlined our operations by opening a national sales office in


To keep up with demand, Snows Timber

we continue our massive modernisation

has investigated how it can increase its


production capabilities, introducing double

“The business has been through high

shifts at its Glastonbury distribution centre to

levels of change which have all been with the

increase capacity for the picking and milling of


WINTER 2018/2019


We’ve seen timber sales improve and become the strongest category among our core customer – the builder’s merchant. But the market still presents a huge amount of opportunity for Snows – as we continue our massive modernisation programme.” Ian Church, managing director

Snows, and our customers. The benefits of Ian Church, managing director of Snows Timber

these changes are coming into play, and we need to settle these into the business and continue to improve our service offering. Our

products and refurbishing and redesigning its

“The system went live in January and we

aim is to be the first-choice timber supplier for

Mansfield Distribution Centre to increase stock

have already seen considerable savings in fuel

all UK independent merchants, and everything

holding and milling capacity.

costs and emissions, as well as improvements

we do is with this ambition in mind,” he said.

“Essentially, the refurbishment will result in increased efficiency in the picking and milling

“You’ll see us continually review and

in efficiency,” said Church. “Routyn has enabled Snows to centralise

improve our processes to improve service to

of our products. This means we can meet

transport planning to give a better view of

our customers and potential customers. At

higher levels of demand from our customers

nationwide distribution. This has resulted

Snows, the customer is our complete focus.

and improve product availability,” explained

in more accurate deliveries, a reduction in

If we believe something will benefit our


human error, and an increased ability to meet

customers and the service that we offer them,

customers’ bespoke needs.”

then we will ensure it happens.

Its drive for greater efficiency has also seen the company become the first in the UK to

Snows Timber has come a long way over

“With the uncertainty of Brexit, it’s difficult

introduce the Routyn routing and scheduling

the years and 2018, in particular, saw a lot of

to forecast what the future will hold. But, with

system, allowing it to deliver the same volume

changes for the company, but Church has no

the strong performance of timber in merchants

of products with 25% fewer vehicles covering

intention of resting on his laurels.

during 2018 – the future should be bright for

10% fewer miles.

“2018 presented a year of change for




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WINTER 2018/2019

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WINTER 2018/2019


INNOVATION AT THIS YEAR’S TIMBER EXPO It was a record-breaking year for UK Construction Week which focused on the future of construction


record-breaking 34,000 industry

constructed by Manja van de Worp of AJG

buildings which help to create a sense of

professionals attended last year’s

Architects and students from the school of

community spirit.

UK Construction Week (UKCW) at

architecture at the Royal School of Art. The

Birmingham’s NEC, making the show the

structure was designed to explore the benefits of

Carywn Lloyd Jones to build a tiny timber-framed

most successful to date.

building the connection method into the element

house following the success of his astonishing

for both installation and disassembly, and it was

‘Dragon’s Eye’ cabin which won Channel 4’s

construction industry professionals from around

built using plywood donated by Hanson Plywood.

Cabins in the Wild series. Workshops on building

the world, and Timber Expo was the show of choice

The magnificent structure was put on display next

with natural materials were also hosted at

for those wanting to learn as much as possible

to the Timber Focus Theatre.

Carwyn’s tiny house.



UKCW comprises of nine shows, attracting

Timber Expo challenged master carpenter

about innovation within the timber industry.


The increasing pressure on available space

Timber Expo offered its visitors a range

for building new homes will mean that in the

of opportunities to develop their professional

Construction’ was evident throughout Timber

future houses will need to be smaller, with a much

knowledge with a seminar programme hosted by

Expo with a range of innovative organisations

greater emphasis being placed on communal


The theme for this year’s UKCW, ‘Future of

showcasing pioneering ideas. Timber Structures showcased its TS3 timber bonding technology range, and Trade Fabrication Systems promoted its new coated and laminated wood-based panel products. Other innovations included the toxin-free airtight and wind-tight solutions for a building’s envelope which were showcased by Siga, and Italian timber manufacturer Rothoblaas which showcased its Holz Technic range including quality products for small and medium-sized structures. For many the highlight of Timber Expo is the incredible timber structures which always draw in the crowds. This year was no different with an eyecatching timber structure designed and



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Thank you to all who visited our stand at the Show

Hout De Groote we specialise in “Siberian Larch”


Continuous stock of 20,000m³ in all sizes and qualities

- Own drying with quality in Belgium. - Always in stock Sapwood free Larch glulam quality C24, kd 12% ± 2% - FSC and PEFC Certified

Hout De Groote Nv. - Eekstraat 26 - 9160 Lokeren Belgium Head Office: +32 (0) 9 3483109, Mobile: +32 (0)495291516, 28 email: or visit:


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Topics covered included the correct design for fire safety performance, how tall we can build in wood, how specifiers research and source

and Ben Derbyshire, HTA Design director and

doing business. The feedback from exhibitors

RIBA president, who discussed building in quality.

has been exceptional and we know the visitors

Celebrations were in order at the Structural

love the chance to try out new products. Our

timber products; and private residences made

Timber Awards which took place at Birmingham’s

exhibitor rebook has exceeded our expectations

beautiful by using wood.

National Conference Centre on 10 October

and is 40% higher than last year, so we are really

2018. The awards celebrated the very best within

excited about how we can take this all forward

the structural timber sector.

in 2019.”

New to Timber Expo this year were the Confederation of Timber Industries’ ‘Time for Timber’ CPD seminars, which were led by the

Looking towards next year’s show, Nathan

This year’s Timber Expo will take place

Structural Timber Association, Timber Trade

Garnett, UKCW event director said: “This year’s

alongside the other eight UKCW shows from

Federation, Trussed Rafter Association and

Timber Expo was our best ever. There was a

8-10 October 2019 at Birmingham’s NEC.

British Woodworking Federation and supported

real sense that the timber industry is looking to

by the timber industry’s marketing campaign,

adapt to new innovative ways of thinking and

For more information visit

Wood for Good. The seminars covered a range of topics including; making the forest industry more profitable, sustainable and efficient through the use of digital timber measurement and data management; innovation with hardwoods; and 10 ways to improve your use of trussed rafters and metal web joists. On the UKCW stage, the hard-hitting keynote speakers included Barbara Res, the project manager behind Trump Tower, who discussed her experiences as a female in construction and working with Donald Trump. Other big name speakers included, Lord David Blunkett who discussed what can be done to tackle the skills gap; Kunle Barker, property expert and TV presenter, who led the panel discussion on diversity and political correctness;



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3D CAD/CAM Software from The consistent solution for all applications Your benefits with SEMA. Even today a lot of cross-discipline planning processes are embedded in the SEMA Software via “Closed-BIM” and can be implemented without any external data exchange. SEMA has fully incorporated the fields “timber construction”, “stair design” and “facade & metal cladding” into one software in a unique way - from the initial draft plan to evaluation and machine control. Together with other fully incorporated solutions for statics and quantity systems, SEMA users are perfectly equipped for each task to come. External trades such as building services can be exchanged threedimensionally with other specialised software solutions via the IFC interface (Open-BIM). All in one with SEMA. Project planning – Quantity survey via laser measurements – Work preparation – Execution planning – Production – Assembly – Calculation & Evaluation. All workflows are implemented into the SEMA Software and perfectly tuned to one another. This guarantees efficient and trouble-free working any time. The processes in the SEMA program are standardised as far as possible, which results in very high productivity.

Variable with SEMA. The software adapts perfectly to the individual needs of each customer due to its modular structure and flexible master data. The individual modules are perfectly embedded into the SEMA program surface. Users can easily learn to operate the program, since it follows the standards of the Windows operating system. Automatic features and sophisticated macro and master data technology allow for efficient and economic working. All components are perfectly geared to one another. Versatility. Whether planning, design or production and assembly: The SEMA Software provides the perfect solution for all applications. The SEMA Software is being used successfully by more than 8,900 customers all over the world - from the traditional craftsman’s workshop to industrial production businesses. SEMA UK & Ireland Mrs Sally-Anne Woon Phone: 07703 386 751 e-mail: Web:

All in one with SEMA:

Project planning – Work preparation – Execution planning – Production – Assembly

All in one software solution for timber construction and stair design as well as for the sheet metal trade. Thank you to all that visited our stand at W18, it was our pleasure and honour and we enjoyed many inspiring conversations.

SEMA provides software solutions and additional services in the fields of timber construction and stair design, as well as for the sheet metal work. As the world-leader in these sectors, the SEMA program is available in 11 languages and has been used successfully in more than 55 countries. This year is our 35th Anniversary! Each year, an average of 15 % of the company’s turnover is reinvested into the further development of the software solutions, so that SEMA customers can always benefit from new and innovative solutions.



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GOING FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH The 2018 W Exhibition and sister show, Elements welcomed the largest number of exhibitors to date and saw an increase in visitors, attracting people from across Europe and further afield


 Over 9,200 visitors attended in 2018  A 4% increase in visitors since 2016  Over 250 exhibitors at the W Exhibition and Elements in 2018  2018’s co-located shows saw a footprint of over 20,500 square metres  Increased number of overseas visitors since 2016

ith the biggest footprint and the largest number of exhibitors to

Whilst Italian machinery manufacturer, Biesse, focused on its automated,

date, the 2018 W Exhibition and sister show, Elements, have

interconnected production concept ‘Automaction’. The Viet Opera R

been hailed a huge success by visitors and exhibitors alike.

sanding system – one of several machines in the range designed to increase

With 9,200 people attending the UK’s only woodworking

machinery and materials exhibition and dedicated furniture

components show, organisers saw a 4% increase in visitor numbers in 2018.

automation and overall equipment efficiency (OEE) – also won an ‘Elements of Innovation Gold Award’ at the show. Felder’s very latest H80 CNC nesting machine with fully automatic

This, along with a large number of overseas visitors from Europe and further

loading and unloading of up to 100 boards at a time and full nesting

afield, has confirmed the show’s status as a must-attend event for the

capabilities in three and four axes, made its debut at the show and proved

furniture design and manufacturing industry.

popular with small to medium-sized manufacturers, while TM Machinery’s

The four-day event, which will move to halls 18, 19 and 20 in 2020,

new retrofittable Striebig optimisation progamme, which cleverly connects

due to increased demand in stand space, saw a plethora of new products being introduced, including the UK debut of Homag’s intuitive Mouldteq M-300 planer moulder, Daltons Wadkin’s new generation Kimla BPF2131 CNC, Advanced Machinery Services’ new Wadkin Bursgreen WB 600 AngleX automatic crosscutting machine and Intelligent Fixing’s unique self-clamping component connector. There was a distinct shift towards intelligent machinery, with new concepts being introduced for today’s furniture manufacturing industry. SCM UK’s Digital Hub and Maestro Digital Systems – which have been created in response to the latest industry 4.0 requirements – drew in the crowds as it showcased a new, smart approach to manufacturing.



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to your wi-fi, has been designed to increase

Innovation Awards gave an opportunity to see the

and our industry partners, continue to champion

productivity and reduce waste when cutting

most ground-breaking products to enter the UK

the industry’s future.

panels to size.

market up close – and gave their manufacturers

Live machinery demonstrations, interactive spray booths and virtual reality tours were also

the recognition they deserved. Lisa Campagnola, event director for Elements

“We’re also pleased to announce that both the W Exhibition and Elements will be moving to halls 18, 19 and 20 in 2020 to make

in abundance at the show, with stands finding

and the W Exhibition said: “We are very pleased

room for even more exhibitors. Re-booking

unique ways to promote their latest product

with the success our exhibitors have had at this

has been phenomenal, with many companies

offering. Competitions and daily challenges were

year’s shows. It’s also been great to see increased

increasing their stand size and many new

also order of the day for many with Quin Global

visitor numbers and a wider visitor audience, as

companies wishing to exhibit. I’d like to take

UK’s nail-biting ‘L12 Curve Challenge’ proving

we’ve been committed to creating two shows

this opportunity to thank everyone involved

a huge hit with visitors, as they attempted to

that truly benefit the UK’s furniture design and

in the W Exhibition and Elements and I look

make the tightest curve possible using their L12

manufacturing industries. We’ve also welcomed

forward to welcoming the industry again to the

adhesive on bendy plywood.

a larger number of overseas visitors, which is due

Birmingham NEC in 2020.”

There were also a number of interactive

in part to the number of European companies

stands this year, as exhibitors set out to entice

we’ve had join the exhibitor line-up this year.

The W Exhibition and Elements 2020 will be taking

visitors to explore the latest innovations for

The new interactive visitor features have been a

place from the 27th-30th September at the NEC,

themselves. From Blum’s very own ‘Blum Cinema’

great addition and the support for the brand new

Birmingham. For more information please visit

– complete with popcorn – which featured a

Education Zone has been overwhelming, as we,

movie on the company’s training services, support software and assembly devices, to ArtiCAD’s unique virtual reality tour, that transported you into a fully-equipped 3D kitchen in a bid to


educate users on everything from the initial design to construction of a kitchen, visitors were offered

The show’s official charity, Help for

new and exciting ways to learn about the products

Heroes, also had its most successful show

on offer. Daltons Wadkin’s stand also stood out

to date. With help from the Help for

with its ‘back to nature’ theme and machine

Heroes bear and exhibitors at the show –


including Masterwood, who provided one

Visitors were free to explore the exhibition’s

of the dinosaurs made on a Masterwood

growing number of interactive zones. The

nesting machine as a raffle prize – the

Education Zone, which was introduced for the first

charity raised over £1,200, which will help

time at the show, offered a unique opportunity

to fund much-needed woodworking shops

to join group workshops and book one-on-one

and recovery centres around the UK.

sessions with industry experts. The Elements of



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WHAT EXHIBITORS SAID: Luke Thomson, managing director, Intelligent Fixings said: “The W Exhibition been completely off the scale for us. It’s surpassed any expectations we had. We’re a very new fixings company and we had originally decided to make 10 million components to start with but we’re now looking at producing between 50 to 80 million components because of the interest we’ve had at this show alone. It’s been unbelievable.” Matthew Applegarth, managing director, Felder UK Ltd said: “The show has been brilliant for us. We’ve sold almost every machine on our stand and at least two thirds of our showroom. We still have orders to work though and we’ve made some fantastic leads - this is what we have come to expect from exhibiting at the W Exhibition. Every year our stand is getting bigger because the return is there for us. In 2016 our stand was 600 square metres. We increased this number to 900 square metres for 2018 and we have already provisionally booked over 1000 square metres for 2020.”

have proven very welcoming and we’ve engaged with more people because of it. It’s been a superb show and we’re looking forward to 2020.”

Matthew Glanfield, technical team manager, Blum said: “There’s been a real buzz surrounding the show and the volume of visitors has been

Martina Schwarz, international sales & marketing manager, CAD+T said:

very satisfying. The Blum cinema was a rather abstract concept and one

“We exhibited for the first time in 2016 and we had a great response from

that was new to us but the whole concept has been really well received.

the UK market. This year, we have been blown away by the number of

It’s been a great way of getting visitors to learn about Blum and what we

leads we’ve had from our latest software solutions for the interior design

offer and, after watching our film, it has led to people talking openly with

and furniture manufacturing market. So much so that we’ve booked an

us about our products and how we can work together. It’s been a great

even bigger stand for 2020.”

success.” David Thompson-Rowlands, managing director, RW Machines Ltd said: Andy Walsh, sales director, Daltons Wadkin said: “This year the show

“2018 has been a great show for RW Machines. From the initial build

was been reassuringly profitable for us when Brexit is looming. We’ve

process through to the doors opening on day one, the organisation has

taken a new slant on stand design for 2018. We wanted to create a really

been superb. We’ve experienced high-quality visitors on our stand every

eye-catching stand and visually it’s very appealing when faced with a sea of

day and as well as sales, we’ve got some fantastic leads. We’re already

machines. The light open space, trees, artwork and greenery on the stand

looking forward to 2020.”

WHAT VISITORS SAID: David Robinson, managing director, Perfair Fragrances, said: “As a designer, I am visiting the W Exhibition to learn about the latest product offerings available. When it comes to manufacturing my designs, I need to know what I can achieve when using each machine and their limitations. Who better to ask than the machinery manufacturers themselves? Having the Elements show run alongside this has also opened my eyes to new finishes and techniques I haven’t seen before. It’s been a great experience.” Phil Dalton, group operations manager, Decorative Panels Group, said: “Not only do we get to see some excellent new machinery coming to market but the W Exhibition is a great opportunity for us to network with our customers, suppliers and fellow industry professionals.”


Appleby Woodturning via Twitter: @ApplebWoodturns – “Great day

Lawcris Panels via Twitter: @Lawcris1982 – “Epic is the word to

at W18. So good to be able to put names to faces and to make new

describe the W Exhibition. The W Exhibition didn’t let us down – we

contacts. To everyone who had a stand, hats off to you. It was a thrilling

are so impressed with the organisation and the impressive machinery

event full of incredible technology and innovation.”

we got to feast our eyes on. Great day, great show.”


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BUY YOUR SCREWS AND FIXINGS ONLINE at competitive trade prices for quick delivery or collection from us



NE Fasteners Ltd trading as Screwshop Units 2+3, Waterfall Lane Trading WWW.TIMBERMEDIA.CO.UK Estate, Waterfall Lane, Cradley Heath, B64WINTER 6PU 2018/2019

Industry news | Features | Design | Certification Construction | Interviews | Analysis | Sustainability Merchant news | Cladding | Decking | Offsite Timber protection | Markets | Health & safety Events | Case studies | & much more...



WINTER 2018/2019

SterlingOSB Zero caters for cycling themed chain A cycling themed pop up café, Velo Life, has been decked out in sturdy and stylish SterlingOSB Zero. Lee Goodwin expanded his Henley-on-Thames bicycle repair shop into the old pub next door to create a muchwelcomed café for weary cyclists. Spurred on by the café’s success, Lee has now opened a pop-up café in Maidenhead. Taking inspiration from a brown cardboard takeaway carton, Lee needed a material that echoed his vision. Lee explained “SterlingOSB Zero was the ideal choice – the brown panels are full of character and aesthetically pleasing, offering great texture and tone that could be used everywhere!” The popular material was used on the walls, on the bar, for the outdoor signs, across the tables and even for a few benches. Lee commented, “The reason we chose SterlingOSB Zero for the pop-up is because it can be painted or used raw and looks great! It’s easy to work with, is extremely high quality and wears really well in high impact areas. It was everything we were looking for.”

Mike England Timber enhances speed and service with Smart-Space Processing and Storage Solution

For further information, call 01786 812 921 or visit

RCM’s fire-rated through wall solutions demonstrated at Timber Expo RCM showcases eye-catching 24sqm stand at this years’ Timber Expo, NEC Birmingham

RCM have again managed to showcase an attention-grabbing stand at Timber Expo in Birmingham this year, part of the UK Construction Week, which was held 9-11 October 2018. All 24sqm of the stand were decked out with RCM’s offerings from building boards right through to the myriad of façade solutions supplied, with a focus on the timber frame market; with particular attention paid to fire rated solutions. The main stand itself was constructed partially using Cemboard, RCM’s own high-performance cement bonded particle building board. This is the second time RCM has attended this prestigious show. Exhibiting on the same stand as 2017, a big change from last years’ show was the removal of the corner section of the stand, allowing visitors to walk through and take a closer look at the colourful displays. For more information, please visit our website:

Smart-Space, a leading manufacturer and installer of re-locatable, semi-permanent and permanent buildings, has completed construction of a timber processing and storage facility at Mike England Timber’s headquarters near Preston, Lancashire. The new building - a re-locatable 10-metre by 32.5-metre structure, with 40mm insulated steel-cladded walls - houses storage racking as well as the compressors, dust extraction, sanding, texturing, vacuum coating and brush coating machinery required for the company’s timber coating, texturing and drying processes. “This facility enables us to shorten our lead times and to take on more business by batch processing bespoke orders - providing customers with a more flexible, efficient and effective service, whilst maintaining high levels of quality,” says managing director Jeanette Corner. The installation took eight days. Mike England Timber considered a more permanent building, but decided on this more cost-effective way of creating the required space in a much shorter timeframe, without any loss of building integrity. “Smart-Space mirrors our own business in many ways,” says Jeanette. “The response to our initial enquiry, the positive and friendly attitude of the entire team, the quality of the solution and the excellent aftercare have all been remarkable.” For enquiries please call 0808 278 1499 or visit

ECI-Spruce are the leading provider of software to American timber merchants and are now making inroads into the UK market. Their latest enhancement to the core merchant software is Spruce AnyWare; the android App for phones and tablets. This App allows the merchant to access their Spruce merchant business system from the palm of their hand, no matter where they are. With the Spruce AnyWare application management are always in complete control of the business.





For all advertising enquiries contact Terry Hanlon on  01925 270093


In its simplest delivery only form the App can be used by the merchant’s drivers to take photos of delivered goods, including their condition and capture customer’s signatures. Both the signature and any photos are attached automatically to the file version of the delivery document being easily retrieved to any work station should the need arise. The app can optionally be integrated with the Spruce delivery module and Google maps allowing inside staff to track the progress of a truck’s journey and update their customers with expected delivery times. The full AnyWare app allows outside sales reps to process customer orders and quotes, check pricing and stock levels or schedule deliveries all whilst sitting with the customer in his site office. Inside warehouse and yard staff can serve customers using the app’s point of sale system which includes bar code reader and customer signature capture. Spruce AnyWare transmits the transaction to the trade counter or yard exit point for a printed advice note or invoice, making it ideal for “drive-thru” yards. Real time stock checks are carried out with instant update to the branch inventory and supplier purchase orders are simply produced and emailed directly from any part of the yard or warehouse. The ECI-Spruce AnyWare App is partnered by the company’s customer App, Spruce Prolink. The Prolink product for Android or Apple mobiles allows merchants’ customers access their account documents, check their prices and place orders 24/7.

To arrange an on-line demonstration of the ECi-Spruce system or to just have a chat about what ECi-Spruce can do for your business call 01522 252252 or use the contact form on the Spruce website



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Designing the Future with Sustainable Timber Ask your suppliers for PEFC-certified wood products

Discover more at

PEFC – Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification

Photos: Oporkka/iStock, Fausto Franzosi/PEFC Italy

PEFC: Your assurance of responsibly sourced timber

Profile for Timber Media Limited

Timber Trader UK Magazine Issue 3 Winter 2018  

Timber Trader UK Magazine Issue 3 Winter 2018