Fountains Forestry News
U.S. Experts Get Close-Up View of U.K. Forestry
22nd December 2016
Douglas Murray (right), director of Fountains Forestry U.K., discusses some of the unique attributes of U.K. forestry with American forestry authorities Jacek Siry, Ph.D., (second from right), a professor of forest economics at the University of Georgia, Marshall Thomas (second left), president of U.S.-based F&W Forestry Services, Inc. which purchased Fountains Forestry U.K. in April, and Jody Strickland, F&W’s vice president of business development.
Two distinguished U.S. forestry authorities recently visited the U.K. for a first-hand look at commercial forestry and woodland operations in Scotland and England.
Bob Izlar and Jacek Siry, Ph.D., professors at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia—a leading forestry academic centre in Athens, Georgia, in the heavily-forested U.S. South—spent four days with foresters from Fountains Forestry UK Ltd touring privately-owned native and commercial conifer forests in Scotland and conifer and woodland properties in Southwest England.
The tour was initiated by U.S.-based F&W Forestry Services, Inc., a global forest management company that acquired Fountains Forestry in mid-2016. F&W has regional and associated offices throughout the U.S., South America, France, and now the U.K. The company currently manages over 900,000 hectares (2 million acres) of forests and woodlands worldwide.
"We thought a tour would be an effective way to gain first-hand insights into the motivations and demographics of forest landowners in the U.K., the different tax and regulatory structures and their impact on profitability, as well as the management of biological risks in the U.K.,” said Marshall Thomas, president of F&W, whose international headquarters are located in Albany, Georgia, in the heart of the vast southern US pine forest region.
In Scotland, the tour included visits to native pine woodlands near Glen Affric, sitka spruce harvesting sites near Inverness and in Aberdeenshire, and a new planting site in the Cairngorms. In Southern England, the visit included commercial conifer forests and extensive broadleaved and amenity woodlands in Wiltshire and Somerset that are managed by Fountains Forestry.
"Our foresters are using the same silvicultural and economic tools that they have in the U.S. but we are applying them to a very different biological, social, tax, and regulatory environment,”said Douglas Murray, director of Fountains Forestry U.K.
"The Fountains Forestry team has been enthusiastic about the acquisition and have appreciated many benefits since becoming part of the F&W family, including the ability to share forest knowledge and information with our colleagues and forestry experts in the U.S.,” Mr. Murray added.
At the University of Georgia, Mr. Izlar serves as director of the Harley Langdale, Jr. Center for Forest Business, an entity which provides leadership in education, research, and service to the forest industry and private landowners. Dr. Siry is a professor of forest economics and focuses his research on the global competitiveness of forest industries, international forest investments, timber market modelling, and forest management efficiency.
"I was extremely impressed by the scope and intensity of Fountains’ operations in Scotland and England. We were particularly interested in operational, tax and cost aspects of private forest management,” Mr. Izlar said. "There are many similarities to what we do in the U.S. South but with adaptations to local terrain, climate and species. It was easy to feel at home.”
"I really appreciate the outstanding quality of forest management planning and advice provided by Fountains Forestry’s foresters,” Dr. Siry said. "I enjoyed learning about timberland investment opportunities in the U.K. along with efforts there to increase forest cover, not to mention experiencing one of the most beautiful landscapes one can find anywhere around the world.”
Enjoying the view of the native pine and birch woodlands near Glen Affric are American forestry authorities Bob Izlar (left) and Jacek Siry, Ph.D. (right), professors at the University of Georgia in the heavily-forested U.S. South, and Marshall Thomas (center), president of U.S.-based F&W Forestry Services, Inc., a global forest management company which purchased Fountains Forestry U.K. in April.
About Fountains Forestry
Founded in London, Fountains Forestry UK Ltd has been providing forestry consulting and management services to landowners since 1957. The company serves U.K. landowners in Scotland, England, and Wales through its four offices located at Inverness, Bedale, Banbury, and Exeter. Fountains Forestry is a wholly owned subsidiary of F&W Forestry Services Inc., a global forestry management company based in the U.S.A. F&W has a network of 37 offices spread throughout the U.S., South America and Europe and manages over 900,000 hectares (over 2 million acres) of forests and woodlands.
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Yorkshire Water awards new 5-year land and property maintenance contracts
11th November 2015
Yorkshire Water has recently awarded three 5-year land and property maintenance contracts worth over £5 million in total.
The new contract partners include Leeds and Kingston upon Hull-based Mason Clark Associates, Bedale-based Fountains Forestry along with Wakefield-based Freedom Group.
The contract partners will provide three very different services to Yorkshire Water. The contract for Rural Buildings and Housing Maintenance Management Services has been awarded to Mason Clark Associates. They will manage and improve the houses and rural buildings (mainly traditional stone structures) across the Yorkshire Water estate.
As one of Yorkshire's biggest landowners, Yorkshire Water owns and takes care of 70,000 acres of countryside which includes 4,000 acres of forest and ancient woodland. Fountains Forestry are experts in forestry and woodland management and will support the restoration of Yorkshire Water’s ancient woodland sites as well as the development of climate resilient woodlands for the future.
Richard Jowett, Operations Director at Fountains Forestry said, "We are delighted to be working in partnership with Yorkshire Water on their very important and sustainable ancient woodlands and climate resilient woodland projects.”
Freedom Group will provide countryside management services to maintain and develop safe access for our customers whether on foot, wheel or equestrian to the company’s reservoir catchment land. Particular focus will be on the opening up of Yorkshire Water land for those with disabilities and groups not represented within the usual visitor profile.
Geoff Lomas, Catchment and Recreation Manager at Yorkshire Water, said: "Following a 12 month selection period, we are pleased to welcome the three new partners who have bases in Yorkshire. They will work closely with us to manage and enhance our land and properties over the next 5 years for Yorkshire Water and our customers.”
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