UK wood treatment sector debates industry progress

16 May 2023

The UK Timber Treatment Action Plan has made ”huge progress” in aiding the correct specification of treated wood products, delegates at the Wood Protection Association’s (WPA) annual conference heard.

About 70 representatives from the wood timber treatment sector - treaters, merchants, sawmillers, preservative manufacturers, exterior wood product producers, consultants and others – attended the conference in Coventry on May 11.

Presentations from Timber Development UK (TDUK), the BioComposites Centre and Teknos were made on the day and delegates had the opportunity of asking questions on key issues.

The TDUK / WPA Action Plan initiative was started in 2020 to grow the market for treated timber and encourage correct specification /knowledge of treated timber in the timber supply chain. 

David Hopkins, CEO of TDUK, said the Action Plan had so far fully achieved its aims for Use Class 2 and 3 pine products. It has also come close to achieving the project aims for Use Class 4 (in ground contact timber) but more work was required on Use Class 3 spruce.

“The Timber Treatment Action Plan has made huge progress,” said Mr Hopkins. Treatment, he said, was now on the radar across the merchant and user sectors.

He also announced a new proposal for Use Class 3 treatment of spruce – the results of a consensus from a cross industry working group. These changes are intended to be implemented through the WPA Benchmark quality assurance scheme and involve treatment penetration requirements. More discussion will be taking place on implementation.

TDUK’s David Hopkins addresses WPA Conference delegates