aim of the project was to create new working opportunities in rural areas and
increase the competitiveness of timber construction and wood product
industries in the Northern Periphery region. This was to be achieved through
investigating and developing specific commercial opportunities offered by the
use of round poles within the framework of a sustainable, ecologically sound
silviculture. It has implications for silvicultural practice and
manufacturing. The overall objective is to make a contribution to the
improvement of local economies of the Northern Periphery in a sustainable way.
Networking and information collection were considered important aspects of the
project to bring together a range of disparate interests all of which could
bring benefits to round pole markets.
practice in the European Northern Periphery is characterised by the need for
frequent thinning to encourage maximisation of forest growth. This results in
production of significant quantities of small dimensioned round wood for which
there is traditionally little developed commercial use. Uses at present are
restricted to low value cellulose and chippings and local added value is low.
Over time the lack of
commercial outlets for small dimensioned roundwood, and the expense of the
forestry thinning process, has led to a reduction in thinning with a
detrimental effect on future growth, missed opportunities for employment &
manufacturing and unnecessary waste of a potentially valuable material
This highlights the need and potential for future growth of employment and
manufacturing as well as local value adding.
In applying for
funding it was emphasised that identifying commercial outlets for this
material would be a significant contribution to
value of thinnings and consequently making it more viable to undertake
this would in
turn contribute to the development of improved long term silvicultural
practice and to the development of new employment opportunities.
it would have a
direct and immediate impact on the local economy:-
for imported material;
by developing new
industry - through technology transfer - involving relatively low capital
expertise in particular techniques;
longer term opportunities.
identified were to:-
Create a network
of material suppliers, designers, researchers, builders and timber
extend the level of knowledge and best practise in forest thinnings.
opportunities for design development providing more local added value and
opportunities for design development creating employment opportunities in
forest-based industries in NPP region.
Undertake this in
a manner, which sets a precedent of ecological best practise in forest
management, thereby fulfilling the social, environmental and ecological
objectives of sustainable development.
techniques through the dissemination of information on demonstration
projects, manufacturing experience and products.
included housing and accommodation, public buildings; farm buildings; informal
structures; paths; bridges; fencing; playground furniture; other uses of
roundpole, both in the round and machined. Examples provided ranged from
visitor centres and demonstration structures to path edgings, fence posts to
rugby posts. Several non-round applications were also identified, including
sawn timber of various dimensions and chippings for cattle corral filtration
Many products were built
including bridges, composite panels and small recreational buildings. They and
others have potential for further implementation and development.
It was notable that whilst
basic factors in each country have some similarity, differences are also
apparent. These differences include the existing markets for roundpole which
are more developed in Finland and Norway than in Scotland. Forestry practice
also differs enormously and the Report on the Use
and Impact of Roundpole in Scotland is highly informative in this regard.
A marketing report has brought together a large number of interested parties
in Scotland to seek opportunities for further product development. The
Usage of Roundpole in Scotland - A Review of Current Activity
The research outputs, including
the development of a network of interested parties, will make a contribution
to advancing the debate and action in the Northern Periphery and in planning
for future roundpole use within the framework of a sustainable, ecologically
sound silviculture and built environment. An event is planned in 2001 in
collaboration with the Scottish Ecological Design Association
in which these matters and the research outputs will be discussed with a view
to further advancement of the work.