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Sustainable wood cut from the Sonian Forest put up for sale

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: Illustration picture shows trees in the Sonian Forest (Zonienwoud - Foret de Soignes), Tuesday 12 March 2013, in Brussels. (BELGA PHOTO SISKA GREMMELPREZ)
06:00 16/06/2021

Brussels is looking to sell more than 3,500 cubic metres of sustainable wood cut from the Sonian Forest over the next few days.

This includes 2,833 cubic metres of beech and maple, 618 cubic metres of oak, ash and chestnut, 360 cubic metres of birch and cherry and, finally, 22 metres of softwood such as larch and pine trees. The wood will be sold by FPS Finance, the Belgian finance ministry, via its Fin Shop.

This sale of cut wood, on behalf of Brussels Environment, the regional body that manages the Brussels section of the forest, is divided into eight lots. Interested people must submit their tenders by 22 June at the latest.

This will be of particular interest to companies specialising in the manufacturing of wooden furniture, doors, stairs, etc. The benefits of using this wood will be that the company which buys it and uses will be able to display the FSC label. Brussels Environment had the forest certified in 2003 according to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) criteria.

"The FSC is an international NGO that campaigns for sustainable forest management at the global level, taking into account ecological, economic and social aspects," states FPS Finance. The FSC label thus guarantees the sale of wood products from sustainably managed forests.

Smaller companies and individuals can also bid for the wood as not only large scale lots are being made available. The wood will be cut into different sizes ranging from 70 centimetres in circumference to more than 450.

"These fellings are done within the framework of the forest management plan, approved in June 2019" by the Brussels region, said Stéphane Vanwijnsberghe, ‎managing engineer of the Forestry Service of Brussels Environment‎. "These culls must make it possible to achieve the objectives of the plan, in terms of the development of nature, the regeneration of areas or securing the safety of roads and paths in the forest for the public.”

The wood is culled from various areas in the Sonian Forest and the trees to be felled are identified by forestry officers. "These officers are specially trained for this,” continued Stéphane Vanwijnsberghe. “They circulate and identify the areas based on our cutting program every eight years. So, we come back every eight years to the same place. And we mainly choose the trees that hinder the development of the other trees that need to be maintained. This process is called 'thinning' and the trees are removed to give more space to others."

This sale of wood is not the first. In 2020, sales of wood via the Fin Shop in Brussels raised 170,830 euros. "These sales are mostly donated to the Regions, but part of this revenue goes to the Federal State," a spokesperson for the FPS Finance revealed.

Written by Nick Amies