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Forestry industry to focus on pollution challenges

24 February 2015

Around 90 representatives from the North’s forestry sector will hear about the latest thinking on pollution prevention and control in the Highlands and Islands this week.

The Highlands and Islands Forest Industry Cluster (HIFIC) is behind the event being held at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium in Inverness this Thursday 26 February at 5pm. Timber processor John Gordon & Son Ltd which employs around 100 people in Nairn has kindly sponsored this week’s event.

The event, which has guest speakers from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and a local timber harvesting contractor, has attracted a wide range of forestry workers, harvesters, processors and contractors to estate personnel and public sector employees.

Chairman of HIFIC Neil Stoddart said: “The forest industry makes a significant contribution to the economy and environment of the Highlands. The sector is well aware of the need to plan and manage our forestry operations carefully to protect water courses and the wider environment.

“However, whilst the industry is already well regulated, the event this Thursday will help make sure we are up to date on this important subject. We will hear from speakers who have a wealth of experience in this field and also stimulate some practical debate. Maintaining good communication with stakeholders such as SEPA is essential in keeping forestry in the Highlands as a vanguard of good practice.”

John Gorman from SEPA will outline the key findings from SEPA’s ongoing Forestry Project involving the forest sector. He will also provide guidance on how forest operators can best engage with SEPA to comply with legislation and best practice as well as outline the economic benefits of good environmental practice.

Local harvesting contractor Bruce Douglas will also provide a valuable first-hand insight into the pollution risks being faced by the sector, challenges he has faced and action he has taken to overcome these.

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, Development Manager - Energy Infrastructure and Supply Chain at HIE, said: “This latest HIFIC event on Diffuse Pollution is another good example of the HIFIC group using their combined expertise and knowledge to tackle diverse and relevant subjects for the benefit of the forestry sector. It also demonstrates that those attending are keen to improve their knowledge, expertise and businesses and hear about the latest thinking from the most experienced in the sector.”



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