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August 4, 2021

WoodBUILD podcast: Interest grows in low carbon materials

The WoodBUILD podcast is hosted by David Hedges at WoodKnowledge Wales, and the latest episode features Vastern Timber MD Tom Barnes, talking about trees and timber with chartered forester, Andrew Bronwin, director of Bronwin & Abbey.

In the podcast, Tom Barnes says “The interest is growing in materials that have a negligible carbon impact, and that puts wood front and centre when it comes to considering how we are going to build in the future.”

Discussing the impact of climate change more specifically on trees and timber, Tom said “clearly there are big negative consequences, and for me they manifest themselves mainly through disease. It is fairly depressing when you start to look through the list of wood species we have in these countries and diseases and pests and pathogens that are associated with them. I do start to think, well, what on earth are we going to be processing in 10 years 20 years time?” “Already in my career I’ve watched elm all but disappear from the list of commercial species that we can process. We’re in the process of watching ash disappear which is upsetting because it’s such a wonderful species. We’ve got problems with larch, we’ve got problems with oak, we’ve got problems with chestnut. It’s associated with climate change because the slight changes or increases in temperature allow these pests and pathogens to move and it’s also associated with global movement of product.”

“However on the upside, I think the recognition of climate change and its impacts is really leading to a resurgence of interest in biomaterials, with wood being one of them. The interest is growing in materials that have a negligible carbon impact, and that puts wood front and center when it comes to considering how we are going to build in the future. That’s a positive thing and that’s something that I hold on to.”

The podcast is out now, at https://woodknowledge.wales/wkw-resource/forestry/trees-and-timber

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