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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Applying the methodology utilised for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's producer support estimate (PSE), we estimate that in 2000 (the latest year for which figures are available), the annual monetary value of gross transfer at the farm gate through prices higher than world level applied to the dairy industry in the UK was approximately 1.3 billion dollars. This amounts to around 1.60 dollars per dairy cow per day.
The UK does, however, have a mill near Inverness which produces oriented strand board. This product is made from pressing layers of flakes of pine and is widely used as an alternative to plywood in many construction markets.
Lord Whitty: The Government believe that greater use could be made of home-grown timber in flooring. However, home-grown solid wood flooring has to compete against laminate flooring and timber available on the international market, which can be obtained at relatively low cost.
The Forestry Commission (FC) supports many woodland initiatives throughout the country where local processing is often an objective. Hardwood flooring made and sold locally as a niche market can be successful. The FC has funded market studies and is currently funding the development of a hardwood appearance grading guide which could help producers of small and larger-scale sawmills market their timber to specifiers.
The Wood for Good campaign, supported by the FC and the UK forestry industry, is promoting exposed softwood flooring. The FC is supporting research to test wood hardening techniques on UK species. If successful, this could make them more suitable for exposed floors.
Which bodies are responsible for protecting the special nature of areas of outstanding natural beauty in (a) England and (b) Wales; and[HL3962]
What planning processes would apply to the development of a new motor racing circuit within an area of outstanding natural beauty.[HL3963]
Lord Whitty: Areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) together with National Parks are recognised as our finest landscapes. They are given specific protection both in countryside legislation and in the planning system. For example, under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, all public bodies in both England and Wales must have regard to the purpose
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