Building a Wood Wonderland for our customers

We’ve come a long way since our beginnings in the 1940’s and would like to share with you our plans to further improve the experience of sourcing your timber from English Woodlands Timber.

Over the past four years we have invested more than £500,000 in the fixed assets of our business and a further £500,000 in timber stocks.

We now hold nearly £1,000,000 worth of timber stock giving you a wider choice than ever for your next project.

Over the past few months we have embarked on another further £110,000 upgrade which is supported by a 40% grant from Coast To Capital. This upgrade is in four phases;

Phase 1) Machine Shop – Dust extraction upgrade
We have upgraded our dust extraction system to enable us to accept orders with longer run times. Previously we were constrained by the capacity of our Briquetting Machine. A very “Green” ideal but it was not economical!  Now we are able to keep the Briquetter Machine running at full capacity and we blow off the excess saw dust and shavings to a trailer, for the horse bedding market.

The new dust extraction system has reduced our lead times and significantly enhanced our customer service.


Phase 2) Racking of our Kiln Dried Stock
We have now installed the first phase of the Racking and it has transformed the look and feel of our shed allowing us to more efficiently manage our constantly-changing stock.

You can now select your timber more easily and quickly whilst having access to a wider variety of options from our stock. 


Phase 3) “Old Kiln” Upgrade 
As we increase our sales of waney edge timber – our sales in this category have doubled over the last three years! Tom is actively seeking English logs that furniture makers and joiners demand. It has been great fun!

We have now installed our Kiln Doors and are working on improving the insulation of this new facility. It is heated by our Boilers which are fed by the timber waste generated in the Machine Shop and thousands of Briquettes!!  We are using our waste to add value to the timber we produce. As we increase the volume of English Timber cut and seasoned on site, this kiln will be very busy with the Long boards we are producing for stair strings and other architectural specifications.

Faster availability of new stock and more choice for you.


Phase 4) The OLD SHED upgrade and LINK to the Machine shop
The biggest part of the project is the upgrade of the “OLD SHED” floor and covering the area between this Shed and the Machine Shop. The first phase of this project is complete. While it was tempting to convert it into a Real Tennis Court (where Tom could thrash Ian ………again!) we have now started stacking timber on the new floor. Racking will also be put up in this shed to ensure we utilise the space to most efficiently.


In the summer we will put a roof over the area between the OLD SHED (on the left in the picture below) and the Machine Shop SHED (on the Right in the picture below). The Roof heights will be aligned and will give us and ideal area to Load customer vehicles and to unload and photograph boards as they come out of the Kilns.

More efficient processing of orders and faster turnaround times for you.


A busy summer to come with lots of improvement to our production processes and customer service – we hope to see you again soon at our Wood Wonderland!!!

As always, thanks so much for watching and until next time…

From the gang at
English Woodlands Timber & Forestry

Grown in Britain WoodStock at ecobuild

A new approach to UK hardwood timber supply


The UK imports over 90% of its hardwood and yet we leave huge amounts of the same material in our unmanaged woods. 

The woodstock project is looking at the options to improve and streamline the complex supply chain that has been identified as one of the key barriers to using more homegrown hardwood, and in turn improve UK woodlands.

A Grown in Britain consortium, led by English Woodlands Timber, has been awarded funding by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, to explore how hardwood supply chains in the UK could be improved.

Dougal Driver, Grown in Britain Chief Executive comments: “There are close to 100 million tonnes of timber in unmanaged woodlands and significant unused processing capacity throughout the UK, which the project will begin the process of unlocking. With the UK relying on high levels of imported timber this Grown in Britain project is vital to breaking down barriers within the supply chain for home-grown hardwood, making it much more accessible and readily available.


Specifically aimed at construction supply chains, project partners include the BRE, the Forestry Commission, forest and wood charity the Sylva Foundation, building contractor Willmott Dixon, and other representatives of the timber and merchant sectors. Consultants Sustainable Construction Solutions and Resource Efficiency Services are special advisors on the project. The project started on the 1st October 2015, and will run for 12 months. The findings from work stream 1 are outlined below, and the full report is available at:


As part of the initial market research, we asked processors, suppliers and consumers for their help in identifying the hardwood timber they use, how it is specified, and supply issues arising with home grown sources.

We found some interesting key points, many of which backed up the research team’s initial thoughts, including that a key reason why customers did not specify British timber was the lack of information on timber availability (quantity and species). Going forward this will be a major focus of the Grown in Britain WoodStock project.

However the research also showed that another barrier was that no appearance grading standard had been adopted for British timber, which means there is no way to maintain a consistent appearance grade across all suppliers. One of our partners, the Forestry Commission, has previously recognised this, and produced a guide called ‘Making the Grade’ which is available online at:

Charlie Law, Managing Director of research consultancy Sustainable Construction Solutions, said: “We always suspected that lack of information was a key reason why British timber was not specified; but to find out that there was no consistent appearance grading system in place surprised us! However we were pleased to see that this had been recognised and that the Forestry Commission had produced this excellent ‘Making the Grade’ resource, which we would advise the timber supply chain to adopt.





The project aims to improve the flow of hardwood timber from UK woodlands to the end customer and has five main work streams:

  1. Market research to establish the timber species and section sizes being purchased by the UK construction industry, and identify what timber is available in UK woodlands to match this, and also identify the infrastructure required to process this.
  2. Timber stock funding options that will look to increase round wood and sawn timber stocks without imposing additional risks on the supply chain.
  3. Timber supply hub that will be able to locate available timber in independent saw mills around the UK.
  4. Material efficiencies, looking at how sawn wood yields could be improved.
  5. Industry engagement, to unite and galvanise the full support of the UK timber industry.

Key Points from Market Research

  • Internal and external joinery are the main uses for hardwood
  • Oak the predominant species specified
  • Ash, Beech, Cherry, Maple, Tulipwood, and Walnut specified for internal joinery
  • Iroko, Sapele and Utile specified for external joinery
  • Lack of information a key barrier for not specifying British
  • Lack of a consistent grading standard a key issue for all
  • A belief that timber requirements cannot be met from British sources
  • British timber is (wrongly) perceived to be more expensive
  • Merchants unsure on the availability of British timber
  • Chain of custody a must; required by 80% of customers
  • Ash availability in UK woodlands would easily meet current demands
  • Existing infrastructure could easily support a 100% increase in production

For more information on the project and details of how to get involved contact:

The story of our Boules

Our sticking team is busy in the yard putting together some gorgeous fresh sawn T&T boules, all sourced from sustainable managed British woodlands.

The story of our Boules

We’ve got air dried Oak, Elm (both pippy!) Chestnut, Ash, Cedar of Lebanon, Yew, Sycamore, Plane & Beech jumping the queue straight to the kiln & into Peter’s shed ready for use. They’re a cabinetmaker’s dream!

Our logs are carefully selected from well managed British woodlands, they are cut every autumn, winter and spring* by the best sawyer in the country (he really is!).

The story of our Boules

Then they’re sticked, measured, graded & stacked in boule for air drying in the open (for a year per inch!) until thoroughly seasoned. This is the complete log traditionally sawn ‘though & through’ (T&T) so it contains crown boards (great for wide figure) and quarter sawn boards (straight grained and stable) in the same boule.

The story of our Boules

What is a Boule anyway?

Well, ‘Making the Grade‘ says a boule is:

“A stack of timber formed from a log that is sawn longitudinally by a series of successive parallel cuts with the resultant waney-edged pieces then assembled to re-create the original form of the log”

Hmm, they’re not wrong, but whilst that statement is quite true, it really doesn’t capture the romance and soul of traditional sawmilling, boule sticking and artisan wood drying associated with producing our beautiful, flat, well-seasoned, stable, unstressed boards of waney edge timber… but we’ll let them have that one anyway shall we?

Nevertheless thank you ‘Making the Grade‘ for the definition.

What can you use them for?

Let’s see, because it’s seasoned and stored outdoors, air dried boule is appropriate to use for exterior joinery, decking, exterior furniture, cladding projects and sometimes even structural work.

After kilning the moisture content is bought down to a level good for internal use. These kiln dried boules are perfect for furniture, kitchen making, cabinet making, interior joinery & flooring. With timber it’s all about what it’s going to be used for and selecting the appropriate timber for the job.

Hopefully we’ve got that covered – Just ask us for advice!

Why use boule?

If quality and board stability are important to you, if selecting your own timber, matching grain and colour, having a wide range of available dimensions, utilising all of a board for economic use, knowing where your wood comes from, having stock on hand, supporting the British Forestry & Timber Industry, knowing that your work is unique…

we could go on!

But if all these things are important to you, then boule may be the right source of timber for you and your next project.

What are ‘provenance’ & ‘certification’?

Our stocklist holds data about our timber. We have worked hard to record all the information we think will be useful.

We hold chain of custody certificates so that we can source and supply FSC, PEFC timber. We also have certification for the new Grown in Britain licensing for all British Woodland owners, woods folk, sawmillers & wood users at all stages of the chain to be able to certify all well managed, homegrown timber.

Part of the reason this is possible is that we always record the source of a log, even down to the individual forest compartment it grew in. Provenance is always available to our customers and we’re working to make that information available to everyone.

And the nitty gritty?

Species: Ash, Beech, Chestnut, Cedar of Lebanon, Elm, Lime, Oak, Plane, Sycamore, Sequoia, Scots Pine, Walnut, Yew and there’s always more! Click here to see what’s in boules stock today.

Sizes: Boules are usually cut in 20mm to 120mm thicknesses and widths go up to 1000mm or more, lengths 6.2 or more. Click here to check the stock for more in depth detail.

Grades: Find out more about grades in Making the Grade, a great reference book for anyone interested in understanding grading of homegrown species. Download a copy from our website.

Prices: All our prices are on the website against the particular boule & reflecting it’s qualities.


Watch a little film showing Graham & Grant sticking boules – click here

Watch a little film showing the guys using the Joulin vacuum lift – click here

As always, thanks so much for watching and until next time…

From the gang at
English Woodlands Timber & Forestry

*but not summer, it’s a bit of a harsh environment (v.low humidity & lots of direct sunlight) to lay down newly sawn logs with saturated moisture content, the timber get’s put under stress, giving off moisture too fast… not our idea of quality seasoning for quality boule.

Featuring Super Prime Oak

Featuring Super Prime Oak


Super prime Oak stocks are all square edged leaving clean, pale boards in thicknesses ranging 20mm to 120mm, widths from 100mm to 400mm and lengths from 2.0m to 5.7m!!!

Prices from £1575/m3! (get the info sheet or see the Stock List)

FSC sourced. Up to 5.7M in length

20mm quarter sawn Super Prime

50mm thickness boards – see if you can spot the 380mm width boards?


For the past sixteen years our source of  FSC® Super Prime Oak has been the same forest region in Croatia. Renowned for it’s sound and well grown Oaks, the supply has been reassuringly consistent in quality.

Having seen the operations first-hand Tom knows this is down to the careful log selection and the attention to detail that follows during conversion and drying.

The Croatian forest is certified under the Forest Stewardship Scheme® and our chain of custody provides  well documented assurance that the timber comes from sustainably managed forests and legal felling programs.


The appeal of using Super Prime Oak has got to be the consistency of grade. It is relentlessly clean with a light, even honey colour. Of course the sizes are a massive benefit too, just look at those boards that Graham is selecting from!

This is the kind of quality & consistency you can stake your reputation on, and we know many firms who do just that.

The grade of ‘Super Prime’ literally means no knots, although the odd pip is acceptable on one face. The logs are sawn traditionally and left to fully air dry in boules. The kilning programme is set to achieve specific moisture levels for each thickness (see below). The waney edge boards are then edged to leave minimal sap and graded to produce these high grade, high yield boards.

Kiln programme (thickness /moisture %):
20, 27 and 32mm  at 10-12%. 40 and 50mm at 12-14%. 65 and 80mm at 14-16%. 100 and 120mm 16%


The ability to self-select timber is something we know our customers value and enjoy, but when time is tight and you need some help we’re glad to put Peter & Graham to work on your behalf to select as per your list.

Call us on 01730 816941 or email and tell us what you need and we’ll get right on it (or Graham & Peter will!)

Not every board in this pack is this wide or long… but nearly!


Our Super Prime stock levels are well managed and replenished (sometimes weekly) to keep 80-100m3 in a complete range of thicknesses (and a high percentage of quarter sawn) allowing easy selection and availability for every requirement. Fantastic for flooring manufacture, perfect for stair-making, bespoke joinery works and fine furniture production.

Thicknesses: 20, 27, 32, 40, 50, 65, 80, 100, 120mm

Widths range : 100 – 400mm!!

Length ranges: 2.0 -2.4m, 2.5-2.9m, 3.0-5.7m+

Click here to see the Stock List

Click here to download a pdf for keeps

NB. Prices are subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Call 01730 816941 for a price check anytime!

As always, thanks so much for watching and until next time…  

From the gang at
English Woodlands Timber & Forestry

Westonbirt Arboretum – a case study

YouTube Channel


English Woodlands Timber in association with TRADA sponsored the production of this video to support the use of local timber.

The Westonbirt Arboretum videogives an insight into this Green Apple award winning project.  The National Arboretum is one of the most spectacular collections of trees in the world so it was only fitting that timber should play a key role in the design of the Visitor Centre.

YouTube ChannelIn 2010 the Forestry Commission, who own and manage the Arboretum, commissioned Glenn Howells Architects to develop a masterplan which, over the course of several phases, would improve the experience of visitors to the site. Improvement was needed; parking was haphazard; a single ticket hut caused long queues; toilets and café were scattered around the site and there was nowhere to provide information.

The new building is the start of every visitor’s journey to the Arboretum. Discreetly set in a natural landscape hollow, it is deliberately modest in scale to minimise its impact on the historic landscape and to maintain the main focus on the collection of trees. Materials have been carefully considered; in response to its sylvan location, the building has been designed as an exemplar of the use of UK sourced timber and to demonstrate the aesthetics and capability of green materials in construction.

A key aspect of the design was the need to achieve a smooth external curved appearance to the building; the choice of timber for the external cladding and its detailing was critical. Green UK-sourced western red cedar battens were chosen and proved an excellent material to create the curve; laid horizontally, they have sufficient elasticity to curve smoothly but are robust enough, untreated, to deal with the relatively exposed location. The cladding battens were deliberately fixed with deep shadow gaps between to allow them to move slightly while the appearance of the curve of the building remains consistent. The roof is clad with untreated western red cedar bias cut shingles; the bias cut offered better durability and quality on a sawn shingle without the irregularity of hand riven shakes.

The cladding battens were supplied by English Woodlands Timber in West Sussex. The roof shingles, from the same supplier, were also cedar but they came from France as UK varieties were considered to be too porous for this application. Other softwood timber elements of the scheme were sourced from local suppliers.

Other great places to visit:

YouTube Channel

RHS Garden Wisley 
Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB
The Award-winning RHS Garden at Wisley is one of Britain´s best-loved gardens with 240 acres offering a fascinating blend of the beautiful with practical and innovative design and cultivation techniques. The beauty and tranquillity of the garden… more


Batsford Arboretum
Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 9AB
Don’t know your Pinus from your Prunus? Or your Sorbus from your Quercus? Take a stroll around the glorious Batsford Arboretum tucked into the Cotswold Hills for a crash course in trees and shrubs followed by scrumptious home-baked coffee and cake at… more


Winkworth Arboretum
Hascombe Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU8 4AD
It doesn’t matter what time of year you decide to head to Winkworth Arboretum in Godalming, Surrey, you’ll always be rewarded with a fabulous plant display. In spring, fat blossoms dot across the landscape as bluebells, azaleas, rhododendrons and… more

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