A six-nation conference in Wales has thrashed out plans aimed at helping timber and forestry play a key role in European rural regeneration.

The three-day event in Cardiff, organised by Forestry Commission Wales as part of its contribution to the £4m Interreg IIIC project Robinwood, agreed on a study programme covering forest management, wood fuel and hydrology.

Technical experts from Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland and Slovakia attended the conference to discuss the latest findings of a crossborder census identifying the status of the European forestry sector.

Owen Thurgate, Wales project manager at Robinwood, said: “The next step is for our technical teams to look into the future and identify new ways in which we and the rest of the teams across Europe develop new methods of working which can give forestry and timber an even greater role in wealth and job creation.”

The Welsh involvement in Robinwood, a three-and-a-half year project, is worth €1m and involves an assessment of how forests are managed in at least three of the countries. It is also looking at how best methods can be used across all six regions.