New forestry machine

New forestry machine enables business to access all areas

July 2010

A Gloucestershire-based forestry firm, which has received a
grant with the help of Business Link’s Rural team, has successfully
bought a new timber-harvesting machine that can access tougher
terrain than its competitors.

“After years of trying to find the right people to talk to about
a grant for our forestry business, it took just one call to
Business Link’s Rural service to set all the wheels in motion.”
These are the words of Cath Arkell, who with husband Paul runs Out
of the Woods from their home at Churcham near Gloucester. They
specialise in what Cath calls “the tough end of forestry” –
harvesting timber from steep or hard-to-access ground.

It was while at a trade show in Germany that Paul first saw the
cable/crane skidder that the Arkells have now successfully bought.
Cath explains: “It’s a kind of forestry tractor that uses winches
and cables to access difficult places, dragging logs across
challenging terrain. The harvesting head, meanwhile, can chop logs
on the spot into the lengths required, making it ideal for our kind
of work.”

Years of frustration followed, though, with Paul constantly
being told that no grant support was available for forestry. Then
came that call to Business Link’s Rural team. “It was an amazing
moment,” says Cath. “After all those calls, suddenly here was
someone who said ‘fine, I‘m sure we can help you’.”

Business Link passed Paul on to Michelle Kerry of the Silvanus
Trust for support and guidance in completing a grant application.
“The Business Link service was great, putting us straight in touch
with who we needed to talk to, with a minimum of fuss,” Cath says.
“Michelle was excellent too, always there to help us through the
process.”

Having received the grant, the Arkells are now using the machine
in their business and are well on-track to realising the benefits
they had hoped for. As Cath says, “It’s already making a
difference, and we’re very grateful for all the help we’ve received
in getting here.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about Business Link’s Rural
service, including how it can help farming groups and collectives,
should call 0845 600 9966 or visit www.businesslink.gov.uk/southwest/rural.