Speaking at the first dinner to be hosted by Euroforest on the eve of the APF International Forest Machinery Exhibition at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire, Mr Rollinson said the climate is changing and that one-fifth of global greenhouse gases come from deforestation, putting forests very high on the political agenda.

“As a forest community we are going to be expected to play our part with solutions,” he said.

He stressed the importance of the forest industry having strong representation in government and said that for that reason he strongly supported the creation of ConFor.

Tony Willis, managing director of Euroforest, said the APF show was the first under the umbrella of the new ConFor.

“For the first time this industry has a single voice and a real purpose to satisfy our need for representation with things as diverse as the EU and NGOs,” he said.

Guests at the dinner included Rickard Arnquist from Stora Enso. “We have lots to learn from Scandinavia,” said Mr Willis. “I am pleased we were able to help in the clearing of the windblow – that was co-operation. If we work together when we have a disaster, then it provides a platform for further opportunities.”

Mr Willis said the crème de la crème of the sawmilling industry was present, along with representatives from the board, fencing, shavings and chips industries and he added: “We have excellent working relationships with growers, including the Forestry Commission, the private sector, Scottish Woodlands, fountains, the Crown Estate and others.”