Buying woodland products
British woodlands generate a wide range of products. Obviously there is timber, but with growing concerns about the use of finite mineral-based products and issues regarding global transport, people are looking to local woods for fuel or building materials, for hedginglaying, green woodworking and even food. If woodlands are left unmanaged they will tend to decline, and though not everyone agrees, there is evidence that managed woodlands promote biodiversity. Certainly wood within unmanaged woodlands will soon become difficult to extract and potentially unsuitable. Species of flora and fauna get to dominate and change the ecosystem. Invasive plants, like rhododendron, and animals, like deer and grey squirrels, can take over, at the cost of native species if woodlands aren’t cared for.
‘The wood that pays is the wood that stays’
Woodlands tend to be managed either by volunteers and philanthropists looking to conserve the fabric of woods, or because there is a market for woodland products. If you buy something from a woodland you are helping to fund the wood’s management, and hopefully encouraging its sustainable future. Woodlands that pay their way are more likely to be retained, rather than being left to decay and potentially be lost. By buying locally produced timber you are supporting the local economy, and reducing imports of hardwoods which are potentially illegally logged (if not from a certified source).