HERE it is then, my final comment of the year. A chance to reflect on all that we’ve experienced, shared and achieved in 2022.

It always comes as a surprise to be writing the introduction to the December issue. The months go by in such a hectic blur you can’t quite believe how suddenly you’ve arrived at this point.

Looking back, considering how we’ve had to navigate the tail-end of a global pandemic, the impact of war in Europe (and the return of nuclear posturing), spiralling costs, food shortages, constant political upheaval, strike upon strike and – oh yes, here it comes – recession, I suppose we should be grateful any of us are still here at all.

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In spite of all that, I think it has been a pretty good year for Forestry Journal, but has it been a good year for forestry? In many ways, I think it has. The big frustrations persist, but on things like skills, education and innovation there’s been great work done this year.

And the APF showed an industry keen to work together for positive change.

In my introduction to last December’s issue, the subject I focussed on was public perception of forestry, and this is one area where I think we’re still failing. We may even be moving backwards!

Hostility toward commercial forestry seems to be growing ever more vocal – and coming from a broader section of society.

Forestry Journal: APF was a major highlight of FJ's year APF was a major highlight of FJ's year (Image: FJ)

If I could have a Christmas wish, it would be to somehow persuade such people – as they look forward to a relaxing holiday in their timber-frame homes, feet up in front of the log fire, basking in the lights of their British-grown Christmas tree and about to crack open a good book on the evils of commercial forestry – to ask themselves where they might be without it.

Have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!