The increase in the volume of timber being transported in the north and the impact this will have on local roads will be considered at a meeting of the forestry sector tomorrow.
Around 70 delegates, including forestry workers, contractors, estate personnel and public sector employees, will hear about the latest thinking on timber haulage in the Highlands and islands at the event, which is called Timber Haulage – Treading Softly and Safely.
It is being organised by the Highlands and Islands Forest Industry Cluster (HIFIC) and held at Nevis Range, near Fort William, in Lochaber.
Chairman of HIFIC, Neil Stoddart, said: “Harvested timber volumes are on the rise in the Highlands and islands and, as this commodity finds its way to market, there is a greater strain on the transport infrastructure.
“Our event on October 30 will provide the forestry sector with a great opportunity to find out the latest updates and thinking on this very important subject.
“Those attending will have the chance to ask questions of the speakers, which should help them make decisions and plan more effectively.”
Presentations on best practice will be given by Colin Mackenzie, of Highland Timber Transport Group, Roland Stiven, of Timber Transport Forum, Fort William-based Mick Bottomley, of BSW Timber Group, and Frank McCulloch, of Arvikaconsult Ltd.
A fully equipped timber truck, which meets the required safety standards and incorporates the latest technological advances in timber haulage, will also be on show.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is providing core funding for HIFIC to deliver eight events over a two-year period.
Caoimhe McCarthy, who is HIE’s development manager for energy infrastructure and the supply chain, said: “Forestry is a valuable and growing sector in the Highlands and Islands economy and it is likely to play a significant role in the growth of biomass as a renewable energy resource in the future.”