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The Timber Rack…

…not an instrument of torture but a playground for woodfans.

The Cocking Sawmills Timber Rack has been around forever (or at least 4 years!). Recently it’s taken on a life of it’s own, a sort of woodyard within a woodyard.  In response to crowds of woodfans vying for elbow room in the overly stocked, single bay of racking… we’ve had a makeover. And not just any makeover. A proper makeover, with real thought and planning and everything!

the covered yard workshop and timber rack in the kiln dried shed at cocking sawmills (more…)

English logs start off our Autumn sawmilling

This week Tom took a trip up to Helmdon Sawmill to select our next batch of English logs for milling.

As usual he’s keeping us well stocked with large dimension Cedar of Lebanon logs to make boules of 20mm and 27mm waney edge for furniture making and interior cladding. There are no Tineola bisselliella on us…!  

Cedar of Lebanon logs for 20mm and 27mm boules and boards perfect for furniture making


Next on the list is the sought after yet hard to come by English Walnut he’s been keeping for best.

english walnut logs sitting in wait for the big decision on what thickness to cut

He’s decided it’s time to commit so he’s putting it on the bandsaw but Tom says we’ll have to wait until we’re sticking it to find out what thickness it is. We all piped up with different suggestions based on wants and needs for different customers – not very helpful – but as Tom only has the two logs to mill this time we’re going to have see who gets their way… but perhaps it’ll be mixed thickness?! That would be clever…

english walnut logs sitting in wait for the big cut

After Walnut we get a nice big parcel of Pippy Oak from the Scottish borders. It grows beautifully up there in the cooler climes. Big straight logs with lots of good looking external burring indicating we could be in for some nice medium and perhaps a bit of heavy pip.

a lovely selection of scottish pippy oak logs ready for sawmilling

Tom will be watching this parcel closely… he loves to predict his pippy log outcomes. We’d all be happy if some of those logs we’re over 3m, nice, long pippy oak for kitchen joinery and table making to add to the mix for some furniture makers we know…



Read about how Tom chooses logs to buy

See our Walnut boards

See our Cedar of Lebanon boards

See our Scottish Oak boards

Find our more about BOULES

See our Boules stock

Read more blog posts about english logs & boules


Tom Talks Round Timber

& the Art of Buying Logs


The art of buying logs to yield particular grain patterns and figure is a practice exercised through accumulated experience of sawing and observation over generations. Knowledge has been acquired that enables current round timber buyers to predict likely outcomes. (more…)

Wooden & Woven

Alex Devol is Wooden & Woven. 

Wooden & Woven is incredibly finely made wooden homeware.

And art pieces. And furniture. And especially beautifully turned wooden vessels, sometimes with delicately edged with bark, sometimes with burnished and blackened, satiny grain. You really need to see them… look!

We met Alex as he was working on a very special table project using book matched black Walnut natural edged boards (you know… through & through sawn).

Intrigued to say the least and thrilled about the book matched project (we love hunting down these special sister boards) we nagged Alex until he shared some of his images of this particular piece of work. It’s always great to see the evolution of raw to made. We’re sharing the pictures with you below so you can marvel at his work too.

Want to see more? Here’s his website for you to browse to your hearts content.

And his webshop… go on, treat yourself!

Wooden & Woven is based at Whittle le Woods (honestly!) an amazing looking place between Preston and Bolton (up north :-).

The Wooden & Woven workshop is a seriously busy place so if you’d like to visit do get in touch first on the details below and Alex will get back to you.

T. 07960 026144   E.


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.

It’s all about the wood


It’s all about the wood…

Twitter has opened up a fantastic channel for English Woodlands Timber to engage with some our customers, prospective customers, suppliers and end users.

We know that this medium does not suit everyone but I wanted to share with you some of the stories we are tweeting. The challenge we have is getting the tone right. It is essential that this is not seen as a pure selling tool but as a way of delivering valuable information to our customers…

Our “Photos and Videos” TAB on Twitter is a great way of viewing our story in picture form…
We have posted a number of customer gems – here are some of my favourites;

Wicked Box Car’s American Black Walnut Table – View on Twitter

Tom Cunninghams’s Elm table with the resin infill – View on Twitter

This Sycamore Bike – my next treat!! (…..when I get taller) – View on Twitter

This Cedar of Lebanon Boule that has was cut last season and has now been kilned and sitting in the shed ………..not for long! – View on Twitter

We would welcome your comments about of TWITTER page and the quality of our tweets.

Please share your product photos with us and we will happily publish them to our 2,376+ followers.

Also, check out the English Woodlands Forestry Twitter Page – we only launched this last year and the Forestry team are already up to 725 followers…

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

From the gang at
English Woodlands Timber & Forestry

Wood Fair at West’s of East Dean

On the most fabulous weekend of the summer yet we had the pleasure of joining the Sussex wood-eratti in shorts, socks and sandals to celebrate summer solstice with Peter & Gil West and all their team at West’s of East Dean

wests of east dean - got the t-shirtBecause we spent so much time gassing with friends, selling wood and eating cake we didn’t do a terribly thorough job of recording our weekend…


The story of the 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.

logs waiting to be cut fresh cut waney edge boules ashboules to be sticked

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


The Great Pancake Day TIMBER SALE!!!


Here it is Folks… and all is revealed!

You’re looking at the TIMBER SALE PRICE LIST as it stands today (we’re not promising we won’t add more stock between now and Pancake Day!) all ready to go for

Tuesday 4th March at 9am, running until Friday 7th March at 4.30pm.

So you can get the pricelist as a PDF  and keep it on your desktop or you can browse it here in bite size chunks and then cross check it with Timber Sale stock and make yourself a nice, long picking list (+ signs) to bring Peter when you come for Pancakes‘n’Coffee!!  (Peter won’t read this so I’m safe)

Let’s start with a mix of ye olde English stock… the waney edge of waney edges.


Now, don’t tell me you’re not getting excited? Lime at £11.03/ft3!

Next is English Oak. It comes in it’s own section because there’s always SO much of it…


80mm!!!!! Seriously? Get in line people…

Now for something a little on the exotic side for all you wild adventurous types

TIMBER SALE The exotic

It’s not alot. But it’s there…

P.S. We’ve got panels too by the way (see pics below) but they’ve not been listed yet

Ok. Oooh la la!! Here’s a little Francais, Deutsche & Hrvatska for you Europhiles

TIMBER SALE The EU species

I feel sorry for the unsorted softwood stock, it doesn’t even make it to double figures!!

Watch out, here come the Americans!

TIMBER SALE The Americans

How, you might well ask, does Oak end up at £8.50/ft3???  You can’t afford not to really can you…

So there it is…

it’s all yours, sitting there ready to be loaded into your van whilst you sit and enjoy a delicious pancake and a nice hot fresh coffee for breakfast (or lunch, or tea).

But that is not all.. not by a long chalk.

Tom is keen to  squaeeze as many bargains as possible into this 4 day Sale so he was out in the yard yesterday knocking big chunks off prices of really nice stock.

Standby Ash fans…

PROMOTIONS everything

Ok woodfans. That’s all for now…

but if you have any questions call 01730 816941 or email or use our enquiry form and we’ll try and help as soon as we can.

Don’t forget you can download the whole price list here and keep it to drool over!

See you on Pancake Day!

Thanks for listening, Sarah


Less than two weeks to go now and Peter’s Shed is really taking shape. Sorting stock for the sale has really inspired Tom & Peter to pull out some nice stock.

the new rack will be fille Englsh oak 3inch and the Croatian square edge next to it English Oak 3inch Tom says these boards are in  the english walnut will ll be present and correct  lovely waney edge thick oak boards Packs of waney edge and square edge all for the sale Walnut waney edge boards the leaning tower of panels the walnut stack looks tidy

Not too shabby huh?

And remember your pancakes & coffee on Timber Sale day…

the french revolution in pancake form parklife coffee extravaganza

It’s going to be pancakes for breakfast, lunch and tea!


The PANCAKE DAY TIMBER SALE is inching closer and we’re scurrying around the yard, gathering together all the timber goodies we can get our mitts on especially for your delight and pleasure.

So I’m sitting here after everyone’s gone home and I have the Timber Sale Stock Book on my desk… naughty me huh??!!

And I thought I’d share a few of these SHOCK -ingly stupid prices the guys are intending to surprise you with on the Pancake Day…  because I didn’t hear anyone tell me not to 😉


So far (and don’t tell anyone I told you this)…

so far, I can see Maple ( I know I already told you that one before, but I have more info) It’s the No.2 colour Maple & the big hint is  ‘think 5 0 per cent’ (!!!)

I am not even kidding.

Next, Sycamore (Maple related.. why not mix them??) selected into packs at £500/m3 (£14.16/ft3 to you imperialists). I thought that was wrong when I looked it up just now, but it is   the absolute TRUTH!! There are boards too but I don’t have a price on them yet. Doesn’t take a genius to work out they might be similar though…

Anyway. Let us continue.

A few pages on and it looks like we’ve got French character grade waney edge Oak at … well… if I say it’s the same as some of our Fresh Sawn Structural Oak and it’s cheaper than the Air Dried Structural Oak you’ll get the picture. There’s tonnes of it too. I’m just reading down the list… 54mm, 45mm, 41mm, 34mm, more 54mm, more 34mm and then…

Well looky here!

We have Parana PIne! You didn’t know we did that did you?? No. That’s because we don’t usually, and we won’t do again after you’ve bought this little lot at some ridiculous bargain price that I don’t even know because Tom hasn’t done that sheet yet. Sorry. But it’s there, nonetheless. Being Piney.

Speaking of which. Softwood. Unsorted. You know the stuff. I have no idea about the price but that stuff is horrendously cheap in the first place so goodness what’ll be once Tom’s decided it’s going. Bound to be a bargain. And actually, I used it for loads of stuff at home and it’s perfectly nice.

Ok, next page and we have… American Ash. Yup. That’s not usual English Woodlands Timber fayre either so that’ll have a bargain bucket price on it. Just 6 boards at 41 x 200 x 2.3m. Nice table top!

Where are we now then?

Hhmm. More American. Red & White Oak. It’s not alot, 6 pc’s of this, 20 pc’s of that. Pretty much all 2.4’s  or 3.2’s and in 26, 34, 41& 50mm thick. Still, a decent little selection and probably worth having in the store cupboard if you use American Oak.

These two are in the same vein too, Meranti & Iroko. I don’t want to mean here people but please, come and take them away. It’s a few pieces, like the American Oak (but longer!) and we won’t want to keep them after the sale day so you’re onto a winner here. Mind you, I can’t see a price yet but this is not the stuff we want to be hugging and caressing for the next however long. Please take it away and leave us to our English waney edge lovelies. PLEASE!!

So just incase you’ve been mesmerised by the bargains and have forgotten what all the fuss is about… we’re talking about the PANCAKE DAY TIMBER SALE!!!

WHERE? Our place of course!

WHEN? Shrove Tuesday (that’s Pancake Day to us heathens) which is March 4th this year.

WHAT? Wood, silly…

Back soon with more sneaky sale updates.

Night night people. Wishing you sweet, wood-filled dreams!

Your faithful woodblogger, Sarah

P.S. I’ll be back with pictures any day so don’t you go anywhere…


The Great PANCAKE DAY TIMBER SALE is officially  ON!!!!

So woodfans, the cat is finally out of the bag.

We’ve booked the Pancakes (yum!)

french revolution crepes NutellaCrepe

And we’ve booked the Coffee (caffeinated yum!)

parklife coffee for pancake day timber sale

And we’ve even booked the Maple* (the wood not the syrup)

the maple

Now you definitely want to come don’t you?!?


Well folks, that’s just the beginning.

Stay tuned for more from the PANCAKE DAY TIMBER SALE list of goodies‘.

What’s that you say? Maple’s not your flavour?

Ok, then, what would you, seasoned connoisseur of all things wood and good, like to take home on your roofracks after a hard day of  sugar fuelled wood shopping at the Pancake Day Timber Sale, hhmmm?

Go on, heckle us, you know you want to…

01730 816941

Talk to you soon!

From Sarah & the  slightly peckish English Woodlands Timber gang

* So, I happen to know that we have No.2 colour Maple (N.American) in the sale, and I mean really in the sale! And I heard the words Norway Maple (homegrown)  too as a little accompaniement to the main course Mapleif  Maple’s your flavour be here on the 4th of March!!



Did we mention Maple and Norway Maple?

What wikipedia says about Shrove Tuesday

Perfect pancake the BBC way

Nigella’s american pancakes (we can personally vouch for these)

A history of pancake racing in Olney, where ever that is

Got a question? We’re only a call away on 01730 816941 or  email us on

Thanks for listening lumber lovers

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