Collaboration between the Yorkshire and Humberside Timber Trade Association (YHTTA) and St Mary’s College, Hull could result in a school curriculum course on softwood.

YHTTA chairman Richard Gore, of Price and Pierce Softwood Ltd, said the local timber trade has been working with Neil Parker, head of the design and technology department at St Mary’ College, Hull, to establish a fully integrated course for the school curriculum.

This has already resulted in a party of students visiting Jewson at King George Dock, Hull and the interest was such that the project is being taken a stage further.

The YHTTA and Siljan Timber AB in Sweden are now sponsoring Mr Parker on a trip to Sweden to enable him to put together a complete model of softwood usage from seedling through growth, felling and shipment to the UK, followed by distribution and manufacture.

Mr Parker plans to video record the trip and use it for educational purposes at St Mary’s College and, if this is successful, it will be rolled out to all Hull’s senior schools.

Meanwhile, the YHTTA organised a seminar on chain of custody last week.

Pan European Forest Certification (PEFC) UK board member David Duke Evans, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) director Anna Jenkins and BM TRADA business/product manager Alistair McGregor were guest speakers at the event.

Mr Gore said: “It resulted in a far greater understanding of what PEFC and FSC are all about and Mr McGregor outlined in great clarity how accreditation of chain of custody could be achieved.”

He said that those present realised that to ignore the development of certification is not an option and added: “Full chain of custody may not be required by a particular business at present, but not to understand why it is growing and what affects it is having and will have in the market place would be unwise.”