Environment Minister visits established Doncaster sawmill

Pix: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com
Pix: Shaun Flannery/shaunflanneryphotography.com

A Doncaster sawmill has been officially visited by Thérèse Coffey, the Minister for the Environment, who learned more about its environmental best practice in using sustainable local timber.

Minister Coffey visited the Harworth-based Premier Forest Products Sawmill Doncaster as part of a recess trip to explore the environmental practices of businesses throughout the region first-hand.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “It is fantastic to see first-hand how commercial forestry can be used to reinvest money back into the public estates - with funds going to improve cycle and walking paths and to replenishing forests, in line with our commitment to plant 11 million trees.”

Established in 1957, the sawmill, which processes locally grown pine logs from sustainable forests, became part of the Premier Forest Group in 2016. One of the UK’s fastest growing timber groups, Premier has initiated a programme of expansion at the Harworth sawmill.

Premier Forest Products Sawmill Doncaster’s products are used in pallets, packaging, fencing, garden landscaping, DIY and agriculture. The business also operates a fence panel production line and has two kilns and a pressure treatment plant at its 13 acre site.

During the visit, the Minister took a tour of the sawmill to see the timber production processes from start to finish and talked to Simon Harris, Premier’s Group Softwood Manager, about the sawmill’s use of sustainable, local timber that is sourced from within 60 miles of the sawmill.

The Minister also learned about the sawmill’s use of solar panels to generate power for the site and its process of sending timber waste from the sawmill to a biomass plant for energy production and donating excess pine bark to be used in children’s playgrounds.

Terry Edgell, director and co-founder of Premier Forest Group, said: “Environmental sustainability lies at the very heart of the Premier Forest Group. We are delighted that Thérèse Coffey has chosen to visit us in Doncaster. We greatly enjoyed discussing the very latest in environmental practices with the minister.”

Premier Forest Group operates across 15 sites in the UK and Ireland and encompasses sawmilling, processing, importation and timber distribution businesses. The group includes Premier Forest Products, Premier Processing & Fabrication, Premier Sawmilling, Premier Forest Products Sawmill Doncaster, Mill Timber Direct, Clarks Wood, Duchy Timber, Y Goldberg & Sons, including the Irish Brands of Brooks group and DPV.