As someone who has trouble putting a shelf up straight I find watching Grand Designs a humbling experience.

Only the other week, a couple with no building experience whatsoever, left their cosy office jobs in the UK to embark on the restoration of a crumbling mansion in rural France. One of the projects they took on was the manufacture of a staircase which they did by the book – literally.

Fortunately Grand Designs inspires as well as humbles and sectors of the timber industry are seizing the opportunity to beef up their own marketing efforts by tapping into its influence with consumers.

The programme’s writer and presenter Kevin McCloud is filling his diary with timber industry events. No sooner do we report on TRADA‘s announcement that he will be the keynote speaker at its In Touch with Timber conference next May, than we find ourselves covering his speech at an event hosted by the Northern Ireland Timber Trade Association.

Both NITTA and TRADA had a target audience of architects and building professionals in mind and recognised Mr McCloud’s ability to articulate his obvious enthusiasm for timber to both the construction world and the wider public.

NITTA’s audience consisted of around 200, while the TRADA event expects to attract more than 150 – very respectable numbers. However, the audience at a three-day government summit is expected to top that with around 2,000 international delegates.

The Delivering Sustainable Communities Summit is another opportunity for the timber industry to present a united front in extolling the environmental benefits of timber and one which a whole raft of timber associations is embracing.

It certainly is an exciting time for the timber industry which, to quote Richard Lambert during the IWSc conference, “is surfing the waves of the best market in years”.