Rory recently attended a meeting of the Borderlands Forest Sector Group hosted by BSW Timber and Tilhill Forestry at the Carlisle Sawmills in Cargo.

The Borderlands Forest Sector Group is a joint private and public sector initiative which is providing industry support for the Borderlands Growth Deal. Ideas include setting up the first Forestry Investment Zone in the UK, addressing timber transport issues and developing the skill base in the Borderlands area. Rory Stewart joined the meeting to get an update on the work being done, and praised the local forestry industry for supporting this important Deal.

Speaking at the event Rory said “The Borderlands Growth Deal is a unique opportunity, in that it is a growth deal for a rural area, and Keith Jones [Area Director for the Forestry Commission] has been fantastic in taking the initiative on this and ceasing the opportunity for the forestry and wood industry.”

“The story around forestry is a central part of the Growth Deal, and I don’t need to be convinced of how important this industry is. I think there’s a huge amount we can learn from Scotland, and I think one of the things that’s very exciting – that comes from Dumfries and Galloway – is the way in which good, functioning commercial forestry can go along with tourism opportunities, such as the 7stanes mountain biking. More of that is now happening in Kielder Forest, but the more of this we do – the more we connect destination, tourism and walking with forest – the more we open forests up to the world. And I am very excited about where this could lead.”

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