Chairman of the North East Timber Trade Association (NETTA), James Southern, speaking at the association’s annual dinner in Newcastle, said the BBC programme "Jungle Outlaws: The Chainsaw Trail" last summer had the potential to have similar disastrous effects as the 1980s World in Action programme on timber frame construction sector site practices – which effectively killed timber frame volumes for several years.

Mr Southern said efforts to make the industry more transparent, demonstrating the purchase and sale of legal and sustainable products with third-party certification, together with effective implementation of the TTF’s Responsible Purchasing Policy meant the programme had not been "the bad news story the BBC wanted".

The programme concentrated mainly on French imports of tropical timber instead.

"We cannot be complacent about such matters and must always strive to improve but a programme which could have been this generation’s World in Action moment was in fact a fairly weak story, largely due to the efforts emanating from the TTF," he said.

The TTF corresponded with BBC researchers for several months during the programme’s making.

NETTA also held its 27th annual NETTA Structural Timber Award in conjunction with Northumbria University.

For the first time joint winners of the prize, sponsored by Canada Wood, were announced – students Alex Kitching and Matthew Chamberlain. They had been challenged to design a specialist library, embodying the ethos of Newcastle’s Literary & Philosophical Society’s Library.