The Green Register loading now

Timber Series: Reforesting the UK – the Pros and Cons of Home-grown Timber – Online

Event Details

 Registration is closed for this event
The second event in our three-part series on timber construction
1. Site Visit to Timber Harvesting and Saw Mill - Salisbury 27 April 2022 09:45-15:30
Site Visit to Timber Harvesting and Saw Mill - Salisbury 6 July 2022 10:15-15:30

Timber in Construction: three-part series

The Green Register is delighted to announce a new three-part series on Timber in Construction.

We've held events on this subject before where the focus has been on a specific aspect of timber but this series will be looking at the journey from forest to final products and the steps in between.

Timber is one of the few building materials that can be considered carbon neutral and its versatility - from structural use through to cladding, finishes and furniture - means it is a popular choice for those looking to reduce the environmental impact of construction.

But much of our timber comes from abroad with the associated carbon emissions of transport plus there are challenges ensuring that it is sourced from sustainably managed forests. We need to change from commodity trading of timber towards adopting it as a strategic asset again.

Added to this are the cultural barriers to using timber in buildings in the UK, arguably dating back to the Great Fire of London through to the recent tragedy of Grenfell tower resulting in a reluctance to specify timber, despite all its positive qualities. 

Join us for this new series as we explore the journey of timber in construction, and look out for a fourth date in the series on the topic of innovating uses for timber, including news of the ASBP's ‘Timber Accelerator Hub’ set up with the aim of enabling more mass timber construction.


About this Session: Reforesting the UK - Online

Following the first session of this series (forest and sawmill visit), this session examines what the benefits and challenges are of home-grown timber and whether it is the solution it appears to be.

Our first speaker Dainis Dauksta, a practitioner across the fields of wood science, will set out the history and development of forests in the UK including the growth of civilisations through deforestation, planted forest versus natural forests and the pragmatic design of future forests.
Our next seasoned speaker and long-time core trainer at The Green Register Robert Borruso will share his experience of setting up and managing a community forest in Scotland.

Robert will discuss how most of the land that is most appropriate for commercial forestry is in the north and west of the UK. Historically, this low value land has been managed in large blocks by either private or public (Forestry Commission) owners. Conventional forestry management is locked into > 35 year harvest cycles and is inevitably resistant to change.

However, in recent years as environmental considerations have become more accepted and understood, community ownership of forests has been identified as a way of breathing fresh ideas and greater public engagement into land management. Robert will explore the pros and cons what is arguably becoming the biggest shift in land ownership in 200 years.

Gary Newman, Chief Executive of Woodknowledge Wales, will close the session by looking at how we can create a sustainable forestry system for the future.

Gary will present his thoughts about how the growing of trees and the use of timber in construction are two universally recognised climate change mitigation strategies. Ambitious afforestation programmes are being implemented throughout the world. Similarly, policies to reduce the carbon emissions from the construction process are fast emerging, most notably in France with their ambitious policy for all new public buildings to be built from 50% timber or other natural materials.
The UK has adopted ambitious tree planting targets but we are starting from a very low base. We are a deforested country with a tree cover of approximately one third of the European average. As a consequence, the UK is the second largest importer of wood products in the World after China. Unsurprisingly, there are huge challenges associated with shifting to a more forest and wood-based industry and culture.
Gary will describe the work of Woodknowledge Wales and their ambition of transforming Wales into a high-value forest nation.


16.00  Welcome and introduction from Lucy Pedler, Director, The Green Register
16.10  The history and development of forests in the UK - Dainis Dauksta
16.35  Q&A
16.40  Conventional forestry management and developing community ownership - Robert Borruso
17.15  Q&A
17.20  Growth of trees and use of timber in construction as climate change mitigation strategies - Gary Newman, Chief Executive, Woodknowledge Wales
17.55  Summary
18.00  Close

About the speakers

Robert Borruso

Robert has studied to degree level both mechanical engineering and environmental science and has 10 years experience in both fields. This combination gives him an exceptional understanding of the issues associated with moving sustainable energy systems from the fringes to the mainstream of the construction industry, with a focus very much on delivering pragmatic and workable solutions.

Robert is currently working as an independent energy consultant with a client base ranging from small community groups to housing associations. He also has extensive experience in troubleshooting existing underperforming, renewable energy installations. He also occasionally writes on environmental issues in his own, often controversial, style.

Robert’s previous professional experience includes four years as a Product Specialist at Construction Resources Environmental Building Centre and as a Renewable Energy advisor at Sustainable Energy Action, both in London. He now lives in Scotland and is involved in a much more hands on approach with renewables.


Dainis Dauksta MSc (distinction) Forest Industries Technology

Dainis is a consultant, author and practitioner across the fields of wood science, timber processing, timber construction and forestry.

He has been a leader, innovator and problem solver for large sustainable design projects in Wales, briefing the Welsh government civil servants and politicians. Dainis is a forester/researcher/lecturer/wood scientist with over 30 years of experience. He is a designer whose work includes innovative processes for mid-rise timber constructions, creative dwellings and modular components and he was a key contributor to a Grand Designs project.

Dainis was a lead consultant at WoodKnowledge Wales from 2010-16. He is a leading expert and author on use of timber in sustainable construction, a fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, and a confident lecturer giving presentations across Europe.


Gary Newman

Gary is the Chief Executive of Woodknowledge Wales, which is a for-public-good member organisation focused upon the transformation of Wales into a high value forest nation. Gary is also co-founder and Chair of the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products - an organisation committed to bringing product sustainability, resource use and the principles of the circular economy to the centre of the construction debate.

Gary is a construction engineer by training and early career. After completing a wood science masters at Bangor University, Gary established Plant Fibre Technology Ltd and has been instrumental in taking a number of plant based products from concept to market. In recent years Gary has acted in a consultancy capacity for governments in Cardiff, Westminster and North America focused on the strategic development of forest industries in general and the use of timber in construction in particular.




Green Register members £25 / Non-members £35 / Members of partner organisations (Woodknowledge Wales, GHA, ASBP) £30

Special offers

  • discounted rate for booking all 3 events in the series: Green Register members £112.50 / Non-members £157.50 / Members of partner organisations (Woodknowledge Wales, GHA, ASBP) £135
  • discounted partnership rate for members of partnership organisations, see above
  • book 3 places for the price of 2 (where the same 3 delegates attend the same event/s) - use discount code: 342

To book all 3 events in the series please book via the page for 6 July Site Visit to Timber Harvesting and Saw Mill


May 12th, 2022 16:00 through 18:00
Event Fee(s)
Members - this event only £25.00
Member of partner organisations - this event only £30.00
Non-Members - this event only £35.00
Event terms and conditions
Enable terms and Conditions Acceptance
Checkbox Position Top profile
Checkbox text I accept the Terms & Conditions
Terms and Conditions File
Link Label Terms & Conditions
Introduction Please read and accept the terms &conditions and our Data Policy.

This event was posted in .
Skip to toolbar