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Thread: Premature felling of softwoods

  1. #1

    Premature felling of softwoods

    Yesterday my partner and I took a walk over local moorland in search of the mysterious grave of a packman or pedlar who had died there from exposure, or was murdered for the contents of his pack. No success although we were, according to my OS map in the correct place. Our search was in a small woodland strip surrounded by grazing pasture for one field breadth. Beyond quite extensive forestry where it was obvious clear felling was taking place. There was a broad unplanted valley before us by passing through there we could complete a circular walk around the outside of the forestry plantations. Here we were approached by a forestry worker who advised us about the dangers present while felling operations were taking place. Anyway in conversation with this gentleman we learned that 200 hectares of softwoods were being cleared due to imminent construction of yet another wind farm. Apparently planning had been refused for turbine towers the height requested by the power company, who were instead clear felling the whole area, some of which appeared to be only 20 year growing. Our forestry man said there would be little profit for his company in such small timber, and in fact he had recently worked on a similar project near Wick - that is clearing woodland for wind turbine construction.

    Some where there must be a logic for this wasteful process- I however fail to understand it.
    Incidently we saw at least six roe at a distance during the outing.


  2. #2
    It's all about the the power company will pay far more for the trees to be felled now than the land owner would ever likely get from wood based industries at some future point. In addition to that if they are also paying a rent for the turbine area it becomes far more profitable than forestry alone

  3. #3
    It's about government subsidies the wind farms are a joke costing everyone in the country money farmers get 20grand a year for them being on there land that's each

  4. #4
    There's less profit in it for the harvesting company, but it'll be going for biomass ie woodfuel for power stations. That's because of the demand and reduced handling/processing needed, as opposed to cutting to different products (bars for wood shavings, posts and fencing materials).

    It's not as if the timber is being 'cut to waste' which is what happened in early thinning operations until biomass came along and threw the British timber industry a lifeline.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd rather see the forest under a continuous cover cover scheme, with a good spread of different aged trees and no big clear fells. The problems come when bean counters cannot see past the bottom line, and the only value of a forest can be found at the bottom of a balance sheet.

  5. #5
    "Opportunity Cost". This economic theory is at the centre of many such schemes. Unfortunately economics & policy changes & then both or several "opportunities" are usually squandered.

    "Men Who Stare at Deer."

  6. #6
    It gets worse.

    Wait till you find out how much they are getting for fitting Biomass boilers ! Disgusting actually. Green energy my arse, it`s an excuse to hand out our money.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by tom reveley View Post
    It's about government subsidies the wind farms are a joke costing everyone in the country money farmers get 20grand a year for them being on there land that's each
    Same here. People build them and get a tax credit greater than the cost of the turbine. In Palm Spring, CA there is the greatest concentration of wind turbines in the US (iirc) and they power.... nothing.~Muir

  8. #8
    I have noticed a massive increase in these wind turbines, in particular across the north of Scotland. Whilst the energy needs of the country are important I fail to see why they need to paint the B****y things WHITE!! Why can they not at least paint them a colour that blends into the landscape.

    We also seem to be getting a large amount of these solar panel farms down south, taking up vast tracks of farming land, ugly as hell and nothing is going to live under them.
    All grades of deer stalkers/hunters in the UK and overseas catered for. Level 2 DMQ signing off available. Over 30 years experience in the stalking/hunting industry. For friendly and professional help go to


  9. #9
    Much of the smaller timber extracted round here goes to the board mill where it's turned into OSB.
    Sadly I see that windblow timber is all too often left too long before it is cleared & it rots so is of no use for processing - It pe*s me off to see the cost of sawn timber at retail level when such waste goes on.


  10. #10
    Happens all the time.

    They cut thousands of acres of premature timber down for a big wind farm near me, i had down a fair bit off cutting in the that area and timber quality was usually pretty poor. A mate was driving his harvester for the wind farms and was meant to cut 13 different sizes out of premature crap timber so the contractors could make money out of the timber, he was raging about it as not making any money himself and only allowed to do 12hr days and that was site office to site office, he has to travel to his machine in his working time (sometimes 30-40 min each way depending where it was) and any breakdowns had to be risk assesed afore he was allowed to fix them

    The carbon footprint must be massive to errect a wind farm, by the time u harvest all the trees (harvester/forwarderds use a lot of desiel) them put all the miles of roads in up the hill, tonnes of stone to be brought in as well as fixing up the local rural roads to get the turbines in (and then un fixing them and putting the verges back to a wet boggy holes instead of nice packed hardcore )
    Then in 25 years all to come down again

    It would be very intresting to see how many would be built without the subsidies.

    Exact same for the large scale boimass power stations, the 1 near us is buying almost all the pulp/chip size timber plus many other sizes too wagons travel for hundreds of miles to transport it, and rates that local small family sawmills struggle to keep up with to buy timber for femce posts, making pallets etc due to the subsidies they can pay more for it.

    When it was built it was meant to run entirely on locally grown willow and brash/haag (all the crap below the brash mats machines run on) quickly realised that brash matts in scotland are just compacted/mulched crap by time all timber is forwarded off, so by the time u dig it out/ dig out stumps hual it too roadside hual it to yard pressure wash it and chip it, it has used shed loads of desiel and cost a small fortune.
    The willow was just as much a joke, very few farmers wanted it as not enough in it. 1 off the fields is literally 20m away from the power station, when they harvested last year hualed the chips 50 miles away to dry??? The field could not of been closer and there hualing it 50 mile away to bring it back up when dry

    I'm all for being green to an extent but most of these daft schemes which may work in theory from an office in a city but are just a bloody big joke in practise and usually quite an expensive 1 that tax payers are paying for and ur never told the whole truth just some bunny huggers spin on them

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