My niece got married in August and as she lives in Seattle, we decided to make our holiday plans coincide with the wedding. We also wanted to have a bit of fun while we were in the area, as well as seeing family in Canada.

For any of you who’ve put up with my ramblings before, many years back (12, in fact) I wrote about watching those little seaplanes going out of Vancouver, so this time we took a ride.

It was amazing and while we were up there the timber industry broke into the fun – a massive log pile was being dragged across the bay; it must have had thousands of logs in it.

The scale of forestry is always hard to comprehend, but it becomes even more awesome from aloft, when you literally can’t see the wood for the trees.

So, how on earth do you really get a grip on the minutiae of certification? How do you check and monitor just what’s going on when you’re dealing with areas that are far larger than the British Isles, let alone a small parcel of trees in a Scottish woodland?

We all know that auditing is the only way and inevitably there has to be a degree of trust, built up by all parties – after all, if forests become uncertified, they are devalued and the hard work and cash that has been invested to get to that point are wasted.

It was extremely sad to hear of the loss of certification some while back for the Danzer Group, especially when it seemed as if there were some blatantly political issues lurking behind the scenes. I’m sure all of the parties would accept that no element was perfect, but the effort was there and many positives were coming out; the momentum got lost and there will have been some hard losses for people struggling on the ground to keep their livelihoods.

So, the recent news of the return of their certification was wonderful. Common sense seems to have finally prevailed and another vast forest area, certainly beyond my comprehension, has instantly become more valued, more important and crucially more likely to remain so for future generations.

In the same way, I’d like to briefly touch on the negotiations that are taking place between the BWF and the

It looks as if a Memorandum of Understanding will shortly be ratified and the intention is to place a company above the two organisations that can oversee them and work for their common good, to take a far more unified message to our government, Europe and wherever we need to tell the amazing story of timber.

This process will also create an entity that is far greater than anything any of us have been used to; a ‘super forest’ of timber promotion! Who knows, this may even grow further in the years to come, giving a unified message for timber. It will also add value and give benefits to our amazing industry.

Let’s hope that we don’t get caught in political battles that take up our valuable time and, hopefully, we’ll also be remembered for doing something good for future generations.