Norwegian wood group visits Deeside to share experience

Members of the Norwegian timber co-operative Viken Skog were shown timber harvesting operations on the Queen's Balmoral Estate by Andrew Nicol, of DWP Harvesting
Members of the Norwegian timber co-operative Viken Skog were shown timber harvesting operations on the Queen's Balmoral Estate by Andrew Nicol, of DWP Harvesting

a Norwegian Forestry Co-operative, Hallingskog, have visited DWP Harvesting on Deeside as a fitting contribution to the United Nations ‘International Year of Co-operatives.’

IYC was set up by UN to draw attention to, and encourage, action on major issues. Both groups are united in recognising and developing the important of their respective countries timber resources as a major issue and this on a global basis.

Andrew Nicol, DWP Director who hosted the event, said: “Here in Scotland, the expanding bio-energy sector is finding its place alongside established markets for our timber. We have a lot to learn from Norway whose private sector, from landowners to farmers, already view their forests and woodlands as an important crop contributing a significant proportion of their income. In Scotland there can be tensions between agriculture and forestry and we have to iron these out so both sectors can integrate and maximise their respective returns to best effect.”

The 26 strong Norwegian team had a full programme visiting DWP Harvesting operations and sawmills on Deeside.

Gudbrand Gulsvik, Hallingskog Project Manager, and board member of the larger Viken Skog timber co-operative with 12,500 members, said their co-operatives’ benefits were very similar.

All members, from small farmers to owners of large estates, gained immediate access to the economies of scale for the management, harvesting and marketing of their timber. The information exchange visit was viewed as a great success for both parties.