The network is being developed as an umbrella organisation to represent all forest owner / producer groups with the three main aims of:
1. Education 2. Mobilising timber 3. Afforestation
The structure of the network is: a sustainable, not-for-profit organisation, which can operate at a national, strategic level while supporting all local producer groups.
- It is of vital national interest that private forest owners retain ownership and management of their forests.
- Across Europe, producer groups are the principal way of supporting and managing private forests on behalf of owners with over 20% of the harvested timber coming from producer groups.
- Producer groups, which are owned and controlled by private forestry owners represent the best option to maximise returns from their forests and as a vehicle for mobilising their timber, maintaining ownership control of their forest estates, promoting afforestation and for the impartial transfer of knowledge.
- Increasing support and information to forest owners builds their capacity to manage their forestry and encourages less engaged owners to mobilise timber.
- Forestry needs to be promoted as a viable farm enterprise, (especially to younger generations), to encourage sustainable management of plantations as a crop to be maintained for an optimum economic return, and to promote further afforestation.