Buying timber from Tom or Fred down the road



The locally grown trend

It feels like we’ve come full circle with locally grown timber. When we set up the business in 2012, we had the best of intentions of making all our glulam out of locally grown but at the time there only seemed to be a few customers who cared about this. 

Now we’re sensing a real change in the interest levels which is great because it reduces the miles travelled. If we can source timber sawn and dried in Devon there is a big saving in carbon emissions. And it just feels right to buy timber off Tom or Fred down the road.

The more we use local timber and showcase the structures we can make from it, the more the demand will grow. This, in turn, will mean the industry will respond by increasing investment in the management of woodlands and the felling and sawmill supply chains associated with it.

UK grown Oak beams.

What does it cost? 

Is it going to cost you crazy money to get your structure made bespoke using local timber? Not necessarily. 

For a project requiring lorry loads of Spruce, maybe locally grown isn’t the most cost-effective option and is likely to come from glulam that is produced on a huge scale in German and Austrian factories. (We like having the mass-produced option, by the way, as it means glulam and CLT is viable for bigger projects and is being used instead of steel and concrete.)

But for anything more bespoke, like curves or for species other than Spruce, locally grown doesn’t necessarily cost more.

Larch glulam is competitive in pricing and hardwood options such as Ash, Oak and Sweet Chestnut are actually more cost-effective when UK grown.

It’s character building

A lot of UK grown timber comes from smaller woods that are dotted around compared to the vast forests of Scandinavia. This can produce some quality issues but in other ways, the timber will have more quirks.

My desk is made from UK grown Spalted Beech and I am often distracted by an interesting grain pattern I had not noticed before. Having said that, the best quality is available when you have someone like Bill Blight (one of our founders) to consult. Bill has a huge knowledge of the South West’s forests and could tell you where to find the best Spalted Beech or knot free Douglas Fir.

Locally grown Larch for Harris + Hoole.

Oat Errish Farm on the Blackdown Hills in locally grown Larch.

UK grown Ash which is plentiful in supply and very cost-effective due to Ash dieback disease.

UK grown Sweet Chestnut. 

Robin’s kitchen table in spalted UK grown Beech. Spalting is the name for the black lines which is actually a dead fungus. 

Our office desk made of spalted UK grown Beech.

Find out more about the timber species we use and if you have any questions about a timber species or would like to visit our workshop and see some timber at first hand contact Keith at Buckland Timber by email: 
or by telephone on 01363 891 363.