harvesting timber

Our ethos stems from a genuine passion for timber and its positive impact on the environment.

About The WPA

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The WPA is a not for profit trade association and together with its members, has a shared vision – to champion the use of timber as a building material.

We do this in two ways:

  1. by acting as a technical and advisory body providing guidance to specifiers, contractors, engineers and architects on the best ways to ensure wood is fit for its intended purpose.

  2. by actively promoting and developing the technology that enhances the performance and value of sustainable softwood products – mainly through preservation, wood modification or flame retardant treatment. 

WPA team go to Downing Street

With our industry partners - making the case for wood

The roots of the WPA go back to 1934 with the formation of the British Wood Preserving Association.  In 2006, the Wood Protection Association was re-launched to reflect the expanding choice of industrial pre-treatment wood protection technology. We continue to represent the needs of our members who range from large multi-national timber treatment manufacturers to SME’s, partner trade associations and individuals such as researchers or scientists.

Due to our collective industry knowledge and experience, the WPA is the UK lead body on all matters concerning wood protection and has a respected voice with many British and European Standards setters – key for communication dialogue and influencing decision making.  We have good working relationships with government, including the Health & Safety Executive, the Environment Agency, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Highways Agency. 

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Meet the Management Team

Many of the Management team and Board members also sit on other industry committees and working groups which further enhances the scope of work the WPA can get involved with.

Neil Ryan

Neil Ryan


Neil has extensive experience in the wood treatment sector with a background in science research. Neil focuses on regulatory issues as they apply to timber treatment operations.


Barbara Westmoreland

Barbara has marketing experience and industry knowledge gained from working in the timber treatment sector as well as extensive creative design skills. She also works at the TDCA.

Caroline Hewison

Caroline Hewison

The back office would not run without Caroline who also works in a similar role over at the Timber Decking & Cladding Association. Caroline has experience within the education and legal sectors.

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Gordon Ewbank


Gordon has over 30 years experience in the wood protection industry, both as a company director and a leading industry representative on technical standards, quality and regulatory control.

Steve Young

Stephen J Young

Former Director of Operations and Company Secretary with the WPA, Steve's role now includes looking after corporate governance, reputation management and communications strategy. 

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Janet Sycamore


Janet is also a Director at the Timber Decking & Cladding Association and has over 30 years experience in the wood protection industry with a background in chemistry.

Chris Coggins

Dr Chris Coggins


Chris has an extensive technical knowledge and sits on many BSI committees. He is regularly consulted by organisations with influence over building standards such as NBS and NHBC.

The Board

The WPA Board consists of representatives from our different membership categories. We meet three times a year to discuss issues raised and hold an annual AGM. 

Primary Partners
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The WPA work closely with the Timber Trade Federation and the Timber Decking & Cladding Association – sharing projects, knowledge and resources:

Timber Trade Federation (TTF)

A business support organisation for the UK timber supply chain. Its members include timber importers, agents, distributors, merchants and manufacturers. The WPA works closely with the TTF on all matters concerning wood protection under a strategic partnership agreement aimed at strengthening the UK market for treated wood. 


Timber Decking & Cladding Association (TDCA)

An independent technical and advisory body for the timber decking and cladding industry. Providing advice, guidance and training resources and a database of approved suppliers and installers. TDCA operates the Deckmark and Cladmark quality assurance schemes.  The WPA share vital resources with the TDCA, occupying the same registered office.

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Learn about our campaign to promote

'fit for purpose' treated timber

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Industry Associates

Collaboration is a core value of all we do. We welcome partnerships with groups, companies and other trade associations who share our aims, as together we can reach a larger audience and achieve greater goals. 

Highways England
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Wood Campus
Wood for Good
Swedish wood

Building Research Establishment Ltd (BRE) An independent and impartial research-based consultancy, with testing and training facilities, offering expertise in every aspect of the built environment. BRE has one of the most comprehensive capabilities for timber related research and testing of wood based products anywhere in the world. 


The Confederation of Timber Industries is an umbrella organisation, representing the UK's Timber supply chain.  In collaboration with other timber trade bodies (including the WPA), their mission is to speak as a single voice campaigning to improve the business landscape, to grow the use of timber and develop a vibrant and increasingly prosperous industry.


Confor (Confederation of Forest Industries) A business support organisation for the forestry, sawmilling and associated products and services sector with a strategy focused on promoting wood as a sustainable low environmental impact material.  

Highways England National Highways Sector Schemes ensure that quality management practices are applied consistently to all materials supplied for UK motorway and county trunk road contracts . Procedures for treated wood fencing specification and procurement is covered in Sector Scheme 4 (SS4). Much of the SS4 Scheme Document is based on and makes direct reference to WPA Quality Guidance Note 2 (QGN2) and the WPA Manual of Wood Preservation.


Nordic Wood Preservation Council (NTR)
 sets standards for wood preservation in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. 


NBT Nordiskt Brandskyddat Tra Nordic Association for Fire retardant treated wood, provides comprehensive information including the current rules and regulations regarding fire protection in Sweden and the Nordic countries.


Wood Campus  The UK wood industry’s free information and learning site for specifiers, builders, merchants and DIYers. The WPA have worked with them to produce informative CPD training modules.

Wood for Good Wood for Good is the timber industry’s campaign to promote use of wood in design and construction - their objective is to make wood a first choice material for specifiers and designers by demonstrating what you can do with wood.

Structural Timber Association The WPA operates the FR Build scheme for the Structural Timber Association (STA). It provides third-party certification of the factory process used to apply STA approved flame retardant on timbers used in the construction phase of a building.


Swedish Wood  Represents the Swedish sawmill industry and is part of the Swedish Forest Industries Federation. Its aim is to increase the size and value of the market for Swedish wood and wood products in construction, interior design and packaging.

Want to work with the WPA? Please get in touch
Networking Opportunities

We hold an annual awards and conference where projects, companies and people are celebrated for their contribution to the industry. A variety of prominent guest speakers share their views and advice during conference day. Members and non-members are invited to participate in both the awards and the conference, proving an enjoyable and productive event.

tell me more
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WPA can review your resources – this could be anything from a piece of literature, a poster, website page or a training course.

WPA Accredited Resource Service

The WPA Accreditation Service is designed to help members, third party organisations and key stakeholders in the treated wood supply chain, who want assessment and endorsement of their resources – anything from product marketing and technical information to training collateral.

  • Applications will be assessed against the CCPI criteria and the broader need to support good practice throughout the supply chain. 

  • Dependant on material, up to two experts from the WPA team will review the resource and issue a short report with suggestions for improvement (if any) prior to accreditation.

  • On approval of a final version, the WPA accreditation logo will be issued, which can be applied to the accredited material. 

  • Accreditation lasts three years, during which time the WPA will list Accredited Resources on its web site.

WPA Research projects
Research Projects

15 year field trial: durability of British Softwoods

Again, in collaboration with BRE we are conducting a long term controlled field trial of sawn and pressure treated British Softwood posts at two sites with differing soil conditions – one in Scotland and one in England. In all, some 1,560 samples of treated and untreated spruce, pine, Douglas fir and larch posts have been installed across the two sites.

Indoor Air Quality - research in collaboration with BRE

The WPA has commissioned Building Research Establishment (BRE) to help them understand how treated timber performs in the context of air quality within buildings. Such evidence can actively support the continued safe and appropriate use of wood preservatives to enhance the performance of timber used in construction.

WPA Guidance Note TW 4 Indoor Air Qualit
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Join us

and help to support our valuable work for the industry

We welcome new members. Joining the WPA adds value to your business as it not only demonstrates a responsible approach to wood protection but gives you direct access to independent help and advice as well as providing a channel of communication with trade and regulatory bodies. Members also receive reduced rates when applying for WPA Benchmark Quality Approval schemes.


In addition, we pledge to:

  1. listen to our members – understand their needs and support them wherever possible

  2. develop and promote best practices in training, quality, safety and technical standards

  3. raise awareness of the benefits of wood protection

  4. defend existing markets and help to create and develop new opportunities

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The WPA has the following classes of Membership:

Manufacturers for businesses or corporate bodies engaged in the production of formulations, materials, products and the process technology used to enhance the properties of wood. 


Timber Treaters for businesses or corporate bodies involved in the production of enhanced wood products. 

Commercial for businesses or corporate bodies involved in the commercial production or supply of products or services associated with wood protection or the disposal of treated wood. 


Trade, Technical and Learned Bodies for consultancies, businesses or timber trade organisations/associations and universities with an interest in wood protection technology. 


Personal for individual consultants and scientists or researchers with an interest in wood protection technology.

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Take a look around the

Resource Centre

FAQs - Manuals - Guidance Notes - Training

All of our resources are free to view and download. Please contact us if you have questions about any aspect of wood protection specification, quality assurance or application good practice.