Roddam Estate: Utilising local markets to support woodland management

Roddam Estate: Utilising local markets to support woodland management
March 7, 2024
Roddam Estate, NE66 4XY

Roddam Estate: Utilising local markets to support woodland management

Join Northwoods on a site visit to the Roddam Estate and A&J Scott Sawmill.

Event Summary

A chilly but dry 7th March 2024 saw woodland managers, agents and owners come together at the Roddam Estate, north Northumberland for a woodland management event organised by the Northwoods Innovation Programme.

Roddam Estate was purchased by A&J Scott’s Managing Director Robert Scott in 2022.  A&J Scott’s Forestry Director Tom Coates led the group on a woodland management walk with attendees from the Great Northumberland Forest, Forestry Commission and local estates making valuable contributions to the conversations. Key topics discussed included:

·       Woodland management objectives

·       The Estate’s current and planned relationship with nearby A&J Scott Sawmill

·       Catastrophic windblow during Storm Arwen

·       New planting/ restocking supported and funded by the Great Northumberland Forest

·       Deer management

·       Hard to access areas of woodland such as the steep sided gorge at Roddam.

The event then moved indoors to look at the Estate’s 200kW biomass district heating system. Installed in 2013, the woodchip fuelled system uses low-grade timber from the estate woodlands and has so far displaced approximately three quarters of a million litres of heating oil. This part of the event was led by Neil Harrison (Director, Reheat and Northwoods) and discussions turned to wood usage hierarchies with those most interested receiving a tour of the biomass plant room.

The event culminated with a fascinating tour of the nearby A&J Scott’s sawmill which provided insight into the sawn timber sector. A&J Scott’s supply sawn timber for a wide variety of uses, principally in the fencing, landscaping, DIY and pallet and packaging sectors. Alongside their range of softwood products, A&J Scott’s also supply hardwood round timber, providing hardwood logs of all species and qualities including bespoke sawn hardwood for use in new build and renovation projects both in unusual sizes and large quantities! The insightful tour lead to discussions around future timber demand and current tree planting mixes, UK structural timber classes and building specification, Scott’s recent investment into renewable energy, and the UK’s status as third largest timber importer in the world.

A&J Scott’s Forestry Director, Tom Coates said “Thank you to the Northwoods team for organising and coordinating the event. It was a great afternoon and we always welcome discussion around the challenges of managing forestry and woodland on estates and linking it to wood utilisation”.

Many thanks must go to Robert Scott, Tom Coates, Brian, and the rest of the A&J Scott team without whom the event could not have happened. Thanks also to colleagues from Reheat as well as all attendees who asked questions and contributed to discussions over the course of the afternoon.

Overall, feedback from the event was positive with attendees commenting on the networking opportunities and enjoying an insight into the workings of a state-of-the-art sawmill.

Original event details

One of the major barriers for woodland owners to justify the time and capital in woodland management is the perceived return on investment of activities and woodland products. Yet, if 25% more woodland were in active management, it is estimated that the additional timber products generated could boost the rural economy by £20m supporting woodland owners with a range of benefits along the way.

Over the course of an afternoon, Northwoods in partnership with A&J Scott will explore key markets including home grown timber, bioenergy, and Net Zero and their relationships to woodland management activities at Wooperton, Northumberland.

The event will start at Roddam Estate and look at the management of the Estate’s woody resources including the forestry, woodlands, and shelterbelts before turning an eye to the future with new woodland creation and the integration of agroforestry practices. We will then explore how a biomass district heating scheme improves the economics of the management activities whilst also slashing the carbon emissions of the Estate. The afternoon will finish with a tour of A&J Scott sawmill in Wooperton reflecting on the importance and opportunity of home grown, high quality timber and the future opportunities in this market.

Event Agenda

12:30-13:00 - Attendees arrive

Woodland Management at Roddam Estate

  • Visit led by Robert Scott, owner of Roddam Estate and Managing Director of A&J Scott Sawmill

Biomass District Heating tour

  • Led by Neil Harrison, Reheat
  • An internal market for woodland management

Tour of A&J Scott Sawmill at Wooperton

16:30 - Event end

Target Audience

This event is aimed at land-owners and managers including farmers, estate owners, and land-agents and those looking to bring their woodlands into improved management. You can read more about the Roddam Estate here and find out more about A&J Scott, a leading independent sawmill based in Northumberland here.

The event will feature:

A&J Scott

A&J Scott are a leading independent UK sawmill with over 60 years’ experience of delivering high-quality, home-grown timber. Established in 1960 and still operating from the original site in Northumberland, the company now employs over 180 people. They supply sawn timber for a wide variety of uses, principally in the fencing, landscaping, DIY and pallet and packaging sectors. A&J Scott are also one of the country’s leading hardwood round timber merchants, providing hardwood of all species and qualities to customers of varying sizes.


At Reheat, we provide renewable, secure, and reliable renewable heat and power solutions to deliver our clients’ net zero targets. For over a decade, our experts have delivered renewable energy services including consultancy, design, installation, heat supply and training. Since 2011, the backbone of our business has been the design and installation of high-performance renewable heating systems for Estates, SMEs, large industrials, and blue-chip clients across a broad range of sectors and sizes. These are principally biomass systems, although heat pump, solar PV and solar thermal options feature where these best suits the client and their operations. Reheat supplied and installed the biomass system at Roddam Estate over 11 years ago and provide ongoing performance and servicing support.

Additional Event Details

As part of the funding requirements for this event, Northwoods will be taking photographs for future project promotion and case studies. If you are not happy for your image to be used please indicate this on the event booking form and inform Northwoods staff on the day.

The event will be outside and thus requires suitable outdoor clothing and shoes appropriate to the weather and season. Sturdy boots are required for the sawmill tour. Additional PPE will be provided for the sawmill tour including ear plugs and hi-viz jackets, although attendees are welcome to bring their own.

We have limited spaces due to capacity restrictions on the sawmill tour. If you would like to attend but are not the target audience, please contact to register your interest and we'll be in touch if spaces become available closer to the event.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at

Get Involved

Show your interest in this event, use the link below to register.