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Wednesday, 25 July 2018
The Woodland Trust celebrate 20 years of FSC certification


Congratulations to the Woodland Trust!

On Monday 23rd July an afternoon reception was held on the first day of the Royal Welsh Show, to mark 20 years of FSC forest management certification for the Woodland Trust (FSC-C009406).

Helen Browning, Chief Executive of the Soil Association, the FSC accredited certification body who audit the Trust, presented Beccy Speight, Chief Executive of the Woodland Trust with their latest FSC certificate. Helen and Beccy joined Rosie Teasdale, Executive Director of FSC UK, in highlighting the hard work involved in maintaining the certification and the dedication and perseverance of all those involved.

The Trust employs about 500 dedicated staff and enjoys the support of almost 250,000 members. Its UK-wide estate has grown hugely and it now owns and cares for over 1,000 sites covering over 26,000 hectares.

When the concept of forest certification emerged in the 1990s, the Woodland Trust was actively engaged from the start; both in representing the environmental concerns at the original standard development group (the current UK Woodland Assurance Standard) but also by practicing what it preached to others – by having its estate FSC-certified. It was one of the first large landowners in the UK to be certified and achieved certification in 1998 – and has since successfully maintained this uninterrupted ever since.

Gordon Pfetscher, the Trust’s Head of Estate has the unenviable responsibility of ensuring their varied and fragmented estate across four countries, managed by a team of around 50 site managers, remains FSC-certified. Gordon confirms that “the annual audits are challenging, rarely predicable, occasionally frustrating, sometimes enjoyable but always interesting!” He adds “with 344 woods inspected by auditors over the last 20 years around a third of our estate has been sampled to date. We’ve learnt many lessons over the last two decades and being FSC-certified has undoubtedly helped us in many ways. FSC certification has helped us sell our products, (currently around 20,000 tonnes of timber per year), given us credibility amongst our (often critical) forestry peers but most importantly provides on-going and independently verified assurance to our membership that our growing estate is well managed to the highest standards”.

Read more about the Woodland Trust and their 20 years of FSC certification in the latest edition of our Forest Matters e-magazine.

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