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Benmore Forest Working Plan 1963
Forestry Memories
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No: 4288   Contributor: Norman Davidson   Year: 1963
Benmore Forest Working Plan 1963

The file is courtesy of Glenbranter Forest office staff with particular thanks to Ian Adams who has stored these old files for many years.
This part of the plan appears to have been written up by W (Bill) B Sutherland around 1961 but only contains Part 1 of the working plan which describes the past history, acquisition detail, present tree crop, plantable area, past harvesting volumes, buildings, staff and machine resources.

There is quite a detailed description of the harvesting organisation and how the Cowal Ari Sawmill affected their Standing Sales marketing strategy. Merchants buying FC worked timber include Alex Mair and Son, Troon: A Wilson and Sons, Troon: G Shanks and Sons, Coatbridge and J Kennedy and Co Ltd, Glasgow. The Cowal Ari Sawmill had an intake programme of 250,000h.ft. per year but could easily double this if the timber was available. Timber sale prices are quoted at 2/7½ per cu ft to 3/6 per cu ft. Production costs excluding overheads are quoted as Marking and Measurement 1.6d per cu ft: Thinning as 4.5d per cu ft: Extraction as 11.4d per cu ft giving a total of 17.5d per cu ft to which would have to be added overheads of possibly 50% plus local supervision charges. There is an interesting section on conversion of timber at the local FC operated mill into estate joinery and fencing products.

The small forest nursery at Uig is mentioned and the role that the forestry students from Benmore Training School play in its work programme. It also is used by the local Forest Research branch.

There is a lengthy section on supervisory and senior staff mainly in the listing of their names:
Divisional Officers are listed as J M Murray, O J Sanger, A H Gosling, J A B Macdonald and A Watt
Conservators as A Watt, J E James and J W L Zehetmayr
State Forest Officers as J E James, H V S Dier, H A Maxwell and T A Robbie
District Officers as J Hunter Blair, J Fraser, A H Gosling, H Watson (War Years), S M Petrie, M MacPherson, W B Sutherland
Foresters in charge as A Grant, R R Donald, J MacLean, John Jackson assisted by two foresters not named.
Workers (not named) number 41 in total including 4 women.

Buildings – there are descriptions of over 40 buildings, many with pretty basic facilities by today’s and even in that era’s standards. It is worth a read to see descriptions like ‘semi derelict’, WCs only, lighting by Calor gas! At least the garden staff appeared to have had decent houses at the gate entrances and in the courtyard.

Any comments and details very welcome.
Picture added on 05 November 2018 at 16:35
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