SHORTLY after it was announced that world leaders at COP26 had made a declaration to put an end to global deforestation, a friend messaged to ask if this meant I would soon be out of a job. He assumed a world without deforestation would have no need of Forestry Journal or its editor.

When it comes to general public and the difference between deforestation and sustainable forestry, it can be upsetting to discover the depth of ignorance that exists. People think we’re the bad guys.

This is something foresters and contractors are used to confronting on site, but many are expecting things to get worse in the wake of COP26 – and perhaps with good reason.

The issue was highlighted recently on social media by one contractor who arrived at work to find a conscientious member of the public had stapled an article about the deforestation announcement to his timber stack – a message to this tree murderer that his days were numbered. Printed on paper, of course.

Farmers may lament the wider population’s lack of understanding of agricultural issues, but foresters are positively jealous of farming’s PR machine and how effectively it communicates the industry’s key messages. Forestry still hasn’t figured out how to do that.

The tragedy of all this is that COP26 was a fantastic opportunity to put across the importance of forestry and timber construction in reaching Net Zero and securing a more sustainable future.

Whether that message was effectively communicated to world leaders I don’t know, but it certainly hasn’t reached the public.

It can all make a person righteously angry, but whose fault is it? Can we blame people for not knowing the difference when no-one – either through the education system or the media – has ever taught them?

At Forestry Journal, we’re doing what we can help get the message out, which is why you’ll see more content on our website aimed at a mainstream audience, designed to educate them on the basics of forestry. In our December issue, headlines from COP26 and public perceptions are just some of the subjects covered.

Others features include:

• Christopher Williams of the Royal Forestry Society speaks his mind on contracting issues;

• Examining Phytophthora pluvialis, a tree disease recently confirmed to be in Scotland;

• A profile of Kirkcaldy-based contractor KF Forestry;

• Forestry and Land Scotland demos the MW Spartan EV off-roader;

• Our monthly Buyer’s Guide focusing on cone splitter.

To learn more, visit