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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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...Taking control


...Classes of tree

...Christmas trees

...Woodland - Planting

... - Preserving

>.. - Established

... - Dedicated

...By products - firewood

... - Other

When woodland is established, the aim is to manage it to produce saleable timber while preserving any other roles the area has to perform.

There are many sources of advice available to this end. Government officials and private companies specialise in forestry and timber. The Timber Growers Association will give information on reliable contractors and markets in your area. The Forestry Commission will advise you on extradition licences and necessary permissions to obtain before you fell. It is certainly worth taking all the advice you can obtain on reliable purchasers in your area. Timber seems to be an area where there are a great many small 'cowboys' working. We have had some astonishingly different offers for standing timber and most people who sell timber have had similar experiences.

Timber is sold either standing or felled. When buying standing timber, the merchant will clearly leave himself a margin for possible unsound butts. If you have felled the timber, this will generally increase the price. Privately grown timber is generally sold by private treaty; usually only very large organisations can succeed in successfully auctioning timber. If you obtain several offers for your timber, you can take the most competitive offer. This is not always the one that offers you the most money. Wood is unbelievably heavy. If moved without due care and attention, it can cause a great deal of damage to land, other trees and so on. This, of course, costs you money to repair.

Extra heavy vehicles on farm roads can cause subsidence, another costly repair job. All these details have to be worked out before the deal is completed. It is then essential to draw up a contract specifying extraction routes, clearing dates, how and when you will be paid and what compensation is payable in the event of damage. This should be signed by both sides. It should also contain a clause specifying that the timber is yours until paid for. This saves you unending hassle should the firm go bankrupt.