I’ve just returned from a trip to Ireland where my overriding impression was of a timber industry adapting to change – specifically, sourcing logs from further afield and creating competition for residues.

When I made my first visit around five years ago, for example, all the talk was of how to deal with an impending residue mountain; now the concern is that there may not be enough to go around.

Unsurprisingly, given that we’re such close neighbours, the situation is mirrored in the UK timber industry where the supply chain is also shifting and Canada is back in the frame. Recently we reported that MBM Forest Products had resumed imports of Canadian carcassing and in this week’s issue we report that both Rowlinson Timber and Premier Forest Products are doing likewise.

One Canadian supplier has already committed to its new trading links by altering its production equipment to meet UK specifications. As the rate of shift seems to be increasing exponentially, no doubt there are other companies out there who will be following suit.

Another similarity is that both countries are starting to look to private growers to breach the log supply gap. Here both countries have a selling job on their hands as private growers have to be convinced that the economics are right and that there will be a sustainable market for their output.

Of courses, they’d only have to look at the construction industry’s recognition of timber’s benefits to be convinced of the strength of the market and their resources’ potential.

This week, for example, we report on Kingspan Century’s acquisition of both Potton Ltd and Pace Timber Systems for an undisclosed sum. Undisclosed, but obviously not peanuts – a sure sign of a robust and dynamic industry with an appetite for timber.

Meanwhile, back at the TTJ coalface, we’ve started the countdown to our annual Awards. The time and the place are set and we’re delighted to announce Lord Coe as the guest speaker. Put the date – September 20 – in your diary.