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Cutting down the woodland waste

Bench Joinery students at Crawley College were recently visited by guest speaker Professor Alan Aylward, from the Woodland Trust, who gave a fascinating lecture about the work they are doing to save, restore and plant new woodlands across the UK.

Alan spoke to the students about how important ancient woodland is for the environment, how timber has been used in the past, how it is being used now and how it will likely be used in the future.

He also discussed how timber can lock up carbon dioxide and revealed that modern technology has enabled timber products to be manufactured to be as strong as concrete.

Speaking afterwards, the students were full of praise for the lecture which had proven to be informative and thought provoking.

Kaiden Illing said: “I’m surprised to learn that only 13% of the UK is woodland compared to 30% in most European countries.”

Tony Allen added: “I was amazed to find out that they can build skyscrapers which are mainly timber frame construction.”

The aim of the lecture was to educate students to think about the impact the construction industry can have on the environment, especially when they work with wood most days.

Trevor Francis, lecturer in carpentry & joinery at Crawley College, said: “This was vital information for the students to learn about, as timber is now being used in very modern ways such as building of high rise building or ‘Plyscrapers’.

“New technology is allowing timber to be engineered so that it is very strong, stronger than concrete in some cases and fast to fit.

“Alongside this the environmental factors and benefits of using timber will influence construction and the environment in the future.”

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