THE CHAIR of the Forestry Commission has promised to do all he can to help Cumbria's timber industry during the Coronavirus crisis.

Sir William Worsley, who was appointed in 2016, said keeping the industry operating during the contagion is vital because it produces items such as pallets that are important to be able to transport goods like medicines.

Sir William added: “We know forestry businesses are suffering and we are looking at how we can use all the resources available to us to support the sector through what looks set to be a period of very difficult trading conditions.

“Forestry is a primary industry supplying raw material essential to our response to Coronavirus.

“Despite the outbreak, machine operators continue to harvest wood and hauliers continue to move timber to mills.

“Wood processors continue to make pallets to move food and medicines while others have supplied materials to build temporary hospitals.

"Wood fuel suppliers are keeping boilers running in thousands of buildings and we’re still carrying out critical tree health work, including the management of pests and diseases and port inspections that facilitate trade.”

In 2018 Sir William was made the Government’s Tree Champion.