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Timber haulage is an important part of the forestry life cycle, benefitting communities and the economy.

With timber harvesting rising to over 7 million tonnes per annum in Scotland, the Scottish Timber Transport Scheme seeks to facilitate the sustainable transport of timber for the benefit of local communities and the environment.  It has funding of £2.2m in 2016/17.

One of the approved projects in 2016 is a floating pier to be built in Ardcastle in West Argyll.

Ardcastle's timber resources

The pier will help allow around £10 million worth of timber to be unlocked in Ardcastle Forest, which will help ship an estimated 250,000 tonnes of timber off the Ardcastle pier over the next 10 years.

With harvesting on the increase and the nearby Ardrishaig Pier already extremely busy, the new pier on the National Forest Estate will boost the ability for shipping greater quantities of timber to wood processors.

timber stack

Derek Nelson, Business Development Policy Advisor for Forestry Commission Scotland, said:

The additional shipping facilities will be able to take larger boats in deeper water and cut down the need for using timber wagons on fragile rural roads, saving 3.5 million lorry miles."

The funding is being awarded to John Scott Floating Piers Ltd who will be taking forward the delivery of the pier. Through his company, Mr Scott will be making the pier’s facilities open to all users who wish to transport timber.  

The pier and shore-side infrastructure is planned to be around 3,500 m2 in size and will be able to stack around 3,000 tonnes of timber in advance of a vessel arriving.

John Scott, of JST Services added:

I am delighted to receive this grant which will help improve the flow of timber from the forests of Argyll to processors and help to increase the volume of timber transported in a sustainable manner.”

The building of the new pier will underpin a long term contract between Forest Enterprise Scotland and wood processing company Norbord.

Kevin Thomas, UK Wood Supply Manager at Norbord said:

We are delighted to be able to offer our support for this project. The opening of this pier is aligned with our investment plans at Inverness and the subsequent increase in raw material demand that follows. Norbord is committed to modal shift on both raw material and finished product wherever practicable and the opening of this facility allows us to do this on volumes purchased from Argyll.” 

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