We source our oak from a special ancient woodland on the banks of the River Tay a few miles downstream from our workshop. The woodland comprises oak, alder, birch and hazel. The oak trees are over a hundred years old and were originally coppiced for their tannin (used in leather industry). Their timber is a warm dark honey colour commonly referred to as brown oak or tiger oak. The oak is over-crowded and as part of a sustainable woodland management plan a few carefully selected trees are felled to increase beneficial light into the woodland and provide timber. We mill these on-site. The management is resulting in a wonderful cycle of improvement. We created paths and opened our woodland to other people to walk dogs, run and play. This in turn has reduced the number of deer who were preventing young trees to become established and natural regeneration is occuring. Native trees are essential to our native animals, birds, insects and plants and well managed woodlands are incredibly rich in bio-diversity. They are also beautiful therapeutic places, full of life, for people to enjoy.
Scotland has the perfect climate for growing trees but for most of the last century native woodlands have been destroyed or neglected and softwood plantations producing low quality processed products has been the norm. Being actively involved in our woodland is a great source of inspiration and the small section green wood has driven our use of steam-bending for furniture making.