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Insight into latest technology for North forestry industry

29 June 2016

An audience of around 60 of the north’s forestry professionals will gather in Forres this week to hear the results of a ground breaking technology project that optimises the value of timber on its journey from forest to sawmill.

‘Getting the right tree to the right market’ will be held on the evening of 29 June at Horizon Scotland on the Enterprise Park, Forres.

The event has been organised by the Highlands and Islands Forest Industry Cluster (HIFIC), which is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). It is being led by James Jones & Sons Ltd – one of the largest timber processing groups in the UK.

Speakers will outline how the European-funded project harnessed the latest technology, including satellite imagery and in-cab technology, to analyse, measure and select the most appropriate trees to harvest.

General Manager of Harvesting and Operations at James Jones & Sons, David S Leslie, will introduce the project and explain the benefits for both James Jones and the wider forest industry.

Garret Mullooly from Treemetrics which provides pioneering solutions to the global forest industry in over 16 countries, will also outline how their Forest HQ software platform was utilised during the project and how he envisages its future adoption by the industry.

A James Jones & Sons timber truck equipped with the latest technology will be available to view and the company has also kindly sponsored this week’s event.

David S Leslie from James Jones & Sons said: “Introducing cutting edge technology and advances in timber measurement means improved efficiency and making the most of both the forest resource and timber transport from forest to mill. Forestry is a global industry and projects like this will help to position the UK forest sector as competitively as possible.”

A wide range of forestry workers, from harvesters, processors and contractors to estate personnel, managers and public sector employees will attend the event.

The chairman of HIFIC, Johnny Dean, said: “It is fitting this latest event is being held at Horizon Scotland which has been set up to inspire innovation. The technology being outlined will appeal to anyone with an interest in the timber supply chain.”

HIFIC events stimulate discussion on the latest thinking around important subjects in the forestry sector.

HIE is providing core funding for HIFIC to deliver eight events over a two-year period, as well as the services of a facilitator.

Steven Hutcheon, Head of Regional Development at HIE said: “We are grateful to James Jones & Sons and Treemetrics for sharing their experiences this week. We hope those attending find value in this latest HIFIC event. These aim to give the industry fresh perspectives and options in their respective forestry operations, adding further benefits to the north’s valuable forestry industry.”

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