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Wood Protection Association 
2024 Award Winners & Conference


Oh what a night! The annual WPA event has been running for 10 years now, and every year just keeps getting better.


Read about our Award Winners HERE.

Spread across 2 days, this intimate gathering provided great opportunities for WPA members and their guests to meet new contacts, catch up with old friends, discuss shared industry challenges but also have some fun!

As always, the award judges found it difficult to select the category winners as the standard of entries was so high, particularly from the Rising Star nominations. We'd like to thank everyone who took the time to enter and encourage those who didn't pick up an award to definitely enter again next year.

Main Event Sponsors:

Arxada logo
BSW Group Logo
koppers logo
powerpoles logo
Sponsorship and support

A huge thank you to our main event sponsors: Arxada, BSW Timber, Koppers and Power Poles UK. We couldn’t host this event without their generous contributions.


Bond Timber  graciously continue to sponsor the Golf Competition – marvellous hosts for the past 4 years. We also give thanks to Fencing News – Conference sponsor and ardent WPA supporter.


We'd also like to thank Handrail Creations for donating the beautiful Ash they used to craft this year's trophies and WPA member Teknos for coating them.

2024 awards
WPA 2024
Award Winners

The WPA would like to thank everyone for taking the time to enter the awards – every finalist was a potential winner.

WPA Benchmark Treater of the Year

Winner: Walford Timber


Shortlisted Finalists:

  • M&M Timber

  • Walford Timber

  • Woodsafe Timber Protection AB


With this award we recognise those timber treatment companies that go above and beyond and whose quality processes stand out. 

George Smith (Walford Timber) receives the award from Neil Ryan (Sponsor - WPA) 

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WPA Benchmark Best Kept Treatment Plant

Sponsored by: ARXADA
Winner: Dunster House


Shortlisted finalists:

  • Dunster House

  • Södra

  • WJ Group (Rochester)

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Celebrating standards of cleanliness, safety, efficiency and record keeping. The Dunster House plant is a 'pleasure to work around with an excellent layout'– and has an exceptional conscientious plant operator.


Excellence in Training and Development   

Winner: James Jones & Sons


Shortlisted finalists:

  • James Jones

  • Koppers Performance Chemicals


James Jones has created a working environment where everyone can reach their full potential – offering rich opportunities for learning.

Mike Smith and Graham Blyth (James Jones) receive their award from Caroline Hewison (Sponsor - WPA)

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Product or Services Innovation

Sponsored by: BSW Timber

Winner: Woodsafe Timber Protection AB

Shortlisted finalists:

  • Glenalmond Timber (Abodo shingles)

  • Postsaver (post wraps)

  • Woodsafe


Woodsafe won this award for their new €2 million FR testing and development facility

Innovative products, services or new business processes which have improved standards of performance, environmental and regulatory requirements or increased sales opportunities. 


Rising Star Award

Sponsored by: PowerPoles UK

Winner: Chloe Bersey 

Shortlisted finalists:

  • Flo Wickham

  • Chloe Bersey

  • Niall Spence 

  • Josh Horsley


This award recognises individuals who have shown exceptional promise and whose dedication and hard work has made a real difference to the WPA member organisation they work for. 

Chloe, who works for Bond Timber, has already 'shown an outstanding ability to identify practical improvements and diligently work towards implementing them'. At the age of 17 she was one of the youngest timber treatment operatives.

Project of the year 

Sponsored by: Koppers

Winner: Preservative treated boardwalk in County Mayo

WJ Group (DeckWright) 

Any construction or landscaping project in the UK or overseas, that utilises wood treated with a preservative, a flame retardant or wood modification process.  


Adis Talic (WJ Group) receives the award from Paul Cave (Koppers)

This project, which uses 13,000 linear metres of anti-slip deck boards, showcases how versatile and practical treated timber can be – and that correctly specified timber can be used in any area with challenging weather conditions

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Shortlisted Projects:

  • Residential extension in Sussex – coated Abodo Vulcan cladding supplied by Glenalmond Timber

  • St Mary’s Primary School in Derby clad in Flame Retardant treated Cedar supplied by WJ Group

  • Vertikal Nydalen – an 18 storey building in Norway clad in flame retardant treated Thermowood-D supplied by Woodsafe 

  • Preservative treated boardwalk in County Mayo – anti-slip boards supplied by WJ Group (DeckWright)

Daytime activites
WPA 2024 Golf Sponsor logo.png
WPA 2024 Hot Shot Sponsor.png

Some event guests arrived early on the first day and participated in one of two outdoor activities.

Golf Competition

Played on the Hotel's 18 hole Windmill course, this hotly contested Stableford competition provided enthusiastic host, Graham Blyth, with lots of material for his golf winners presentation later in the evening. Last year's winner John Abbott regained his trophy for 2024!

Hot Shot Tournament

Only introduced at last year's event, laser Clay shooting and archery in the beautiful  Warwickshire countryside, proved more popular than the golf! Congratulations went to Richard Gulland who received his trophy from the WPA's Matthew Powell.

With thanks to our host
Josh Daniels

Our ‘master of ceremonies’ and after dinner entertainment was comedian Josh Daniels, who proved a big hit with the audience!

2024 conference

Conference Sponsors:

Arxada logo
BSW Group Logo
koppers logo
powerpoles logo
Fencing News logo 2023.png
WPA 2024 Conference
Stephen King
Nick Boulton
Pete Clark
Neil Ryan.jpg

Our half day Conference was held on the Thursday morning and prompted many questions at the end!

Stephen King Chairman of the National Softwood Division of TDUK:

Influencing demand for sustainable timber and treated wood 


The National Softwood Division of TDUK represents the voice of timber importers, distributors and traders across the UK. It acts as the guardian and promotor of standards, quality and sustainability in the softwoods supply chain and is a major influencer of TDUK strategy in these areas. Stephen’s presentation focussed on the prospects for softwood sales growth in the future and how the associated opportunities for treated wood products might be opened up.


Nick BoultonTDUK Head of Technical & Trade Policy:

Sourcing, categorisation and dynamics of the UK timber supply chain

The value of wood and wood products placed on the UK market has been estimated at almost £6 billion but what is the balance of products we are buying and where does our wood come from. Nick's presentation looked at why we source the products we do, how well they suit our market in terms of quality and the patterns of future supply we may see going forward.


Peter Clark CEO, Association of Fencing Industries (AFI):

Confidence in preservative treated wood from a fencing contractor’s point of view

For some time now the AFI has been calling for action by the wood treating industry to reassure fencing contractors that preservative treated wood will provide an acceptable service life. The AFI says that wood is the fencing material that most contractors prefer but a 'spate of premature failures, customer complaints and business losses' has led to loss of confidence in the fitness for purpose of treated wood after CCA. Peter gave conference an update on the experiences of its contractor members and end users.



Neil Ryan – Director WPA :

Highways Fencing: is wood at a fork in the road?   

Preservative treated wood has been the material of choice for motorway and trunk road fencing for decades. But times are changing. Competitive materials are increasingly being specified. National Highways has commissioned a review into the fitness for purpose of its own Sector Schemes, which were established to ensure the quality of materials used in highways contracts. At conference Neil looked at the recommendations of this review and discussed what needs to happen to enable those who want to take the high road to business success, in the market for quality assured highways treated fencing materials.  

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