Two places on the WRA’s Board are up for election at this year’s Annual General Meeting in March.

The positions of current Board members Richard Coulson and Mark Hayton are both due for election this year, and both are standing for re-election. In addition a third candidate, Pete Watts, has also been nominated for election and as a result a formal election will take place at the Association’s AGM on 11th March.

You can read a short biography of each of the candidates, including why they want to be on the WRA and what they hope to achieve, below.

Voting is open to WRA member companies only, and each member company can cast two votes, one for each of the Board positions available. Voting will close on the 11th March at 10am. For further information please email

Richard Coulson has been on the Board of the WRA for the past six years. Last year he took on the role of Deputy Chairman of the Board, standing in for the Chair at meetings and in media interviews where required. Richard is a member of The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and has a strong background in the waste wood sector, with over 25 years of procurement experience. He started his career in retail procurement but after five years moved into the wood sector in 2000. He spent 11 years at Kronospan purchasing raw materials for panel board production before moving to his current role at RWE in 2012, where he is in charge of biomass procurement. During his time in the panel board and biomass markets, Richard has acquired a detailed knowledge of the waste wood, sawmill and forestry industries which give him a broad range of knowledge and experience to bring to the Board of the WRA. Whilst on the WRA Board, Richard has championed the growth and development of the Association and has played a key role in both the FPP and Waste Wood Classification projects, volunteering many hours to attend meetings and briefings and taking a lead on strategy in both projects. His knowledge and common sense approach is always welcomed by his colleagues and industry stakeholders. Richard would welcome the opportunity to continue to serve on the WRA board to help further grow the association, it’s reputation and to continue to build strong and positive relationships with the key stakeholders in our sector.
Mark Hayton has worked in the wood sector for 30 years and been on the Board of the WRA for nine years. As an accomplished company director working for Timberpak Ltd and Egger, Mark brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to the WRA. He has a demonstrated history of working in the recycling and forest products industry and is skilled in negotiation, operations management, recycling, renewable energy, procurement, and international business. He began his career in the wood sector as a buyer for a UK-owned panel board business where he progressed to Financial Director. Here he was responsible for technical purchasing, HR, accounts and sales, as well as purchasing large volumes of forestry and sawmill based products. Mark joined Egger as Recycled Purchasing General Manger in 2003 and shortly afterwards became fully responsible for Timberpak Ltd, Egger’s Wood Recycling Management Company. Mark oversaw the expansion of Timberpak from a single site turning over 20,000 tonnes a year to the four-site business it is today, processing more than 350,000 tonnes a year. During his time in the panel board industry, Mark has acquired a detailed knowledge of the waste wood sector and remains as passionate about it today as he has ever been. He joined the WRA because he wanted to fully understand all aspects of the industry beyond panel board. If he is re-elected, Mark will focus the Board on looking at the long-term objectives of the waste wood sector, taking into account the UK’s access to supply as well as its long-term demand requirements. Mark is valued by his colleagues at the WRA , Timberpak and Egger for his calm approach and reasoning. He believes you must treat your suppliers and customers with the respect you expect from others, and that by building and maintaining trust and honesty in relationships, those relationships can stand the test of time. Mark’s mantra is “the key to good business is effective communication”.
Pete Watts is a Chartered Environmentalist and Chartered Waste and Resource Manager with over 11 years’ experience in the waste wood industry. Pete has a passion for the Circular Economy and this will be his main focus for the future of the WRA and the waste wood industry. A focus on the Circular Economy will ensure that, as a sustainable and recyclable material, the use of waste wood is optimised within the UK manufacturing and energy industries. Pete’s experience ranges from operating plant machinery on the wood yard, right through to sourcing material for one of the UK’s largest users of recycled wood fibre. During his working career Pete has completed a number of diverse roles. These include military service in the Royal Engineers, operations manager for a shop fitting company, and his current role as Timber Procurement Executive with Kronospan. Pete started out in the waste wood industry working for a small composting company. As Business Development Manager he worked closely with UPM Shotton to introduce Grade C wood into the supply for their new biomass boiler. Due to his successful work Pete was then employed by UPM directly to increase their Grade C wood supply. During his time there Pete was an integral part of the development of UPM Shotton’s waste wood processing operation. Pete has also worked on a number of large scale biomass projects. Pete’s current role involves the sourcing of a significant volume of sawmill residues and recycled fibre for Kronospan. Pete has previously been a guest speaker at the Circular Economy Conference at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, and more recently at the NAWDO general meeting at Westminster City Hall. Pete has worked with many WRA members and now hopes to be able to represent the WRA, as a board member, as we head into a new decade facing the national and global challenges of sustainability, resource efficiency and the demand for low carbon energy.
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