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Forestry group to focus on north timber haulage

28 October 2014

Around 70 of those involved in the north’s forestry sector will hear about the latest thinking on timber haulage in the Highlands and Islands this week.

The Highlands and Islands Forest Industry Cluster (HIFIC) is behind the event being held at Nevis Range near Fort William on Thursday 30th October.

‘Timber Haulage – Treading Softly and Safely’ will see a wide range of forestry workers and contractors to estate personnel and public sector employees attend this latest HIFIC event.

Chairman of HIFIC Neil Stoddart said: “Harvested timber volumes are on the rise in the Highlands and Islands and as this commodity finds its way to market there is a greater strain on the transport infrastructure.

“Our event on 30 October will provide the forestry sector with a great opportunity to find out the latest updates and thinking on this very important subject. Those attending will have the chance to ask questions of the speakers which should help them make decisions and plan more effectively.”

Colin Mackenzie (Highland Timber Transport Group) and Roland Stiven (Timber Transport Forum) will outline how to best engage and co-operate with Local Authorities on everything from signage and truck configurations to effective monitoring of timber haulage operations.

Fort William based Mick Bottomley of Britain’s biggest sawmilling businesses BSW Timber Group will provide an update on guidance, training and innovation within the sector. Frank McCulloch from Arvikaconsult Ltd will also outline how tyre pressure technology is changing the shape and thinking behind the design and maintenance of forest roads.

A fully equipped timber truck which meets the required safety standards and incorporates the latest technological advances in timber haulage will also be on show at Nevis Range.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) provide core funding for HIFIC to deliver eight events over a two-year period as well as the services of a facilitator to help organise the events.

Caoimhe McCarthy, HIE’s Development Manager Energy Infrastructure and Supply Chain said: “These events have been well attended in the past and this latest one is the first of four we hope to deliver over the next six months.

“Forestry is a valuable and growing sector in the Highlands and Islands economy and it is likely to play a significant role in the growth of biomass as a renewable energy resource in the future.”

For further information about HIFIC, please contact Simon Stewart on 01349 877477.

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