For decades, our local woodlands have been suffering. Disease, lack of management and almost no tree planting means our broadleaf woodlands are in a sorry state.
In fact, half of the woodlands in England are not looked after, which means no local wood and no conservation work.
Rewind 40 years and these amazing woodlands were a hive of activity. So what happened?
The wood species we grow here fell out of fashion and our furniture industry has all but disappeared. Now the UK is importing ten million cubic metres of timber from abroad each year, making us the second biggest timber importer behind China. (Yes, we’re still getting our head around that stat too.)
In 2015 a group of smart, passionate people put their heads together to start tackling this problem. The challenge was to find ways to create bigger and better woodlands, funded by sales of local wood.
But how can you encourage more people to buy locally grown wood? Well, those smart and passionate people hit on an idea: a Scandinavian technology called Thermal Modification.
Using nothing but intense heat, the Thermal Modification process transforms wood into a beautiful, dark timber that behaves well indoors and out.
BOOM! Locally grown wood that has everything.
It’s durable, stable and it looks fantastic. Above all, it’s a replacement for some of the wood imported from thousands of miles away.
And with that,
Brimstone was born.
Tom, who handily owns a sawmill (Vastern Timber) became a bit obsessed with the thermal modification idea and spent a few years travelling Europe, attending conferences and doing lots of research. (Only ask if you have time to spare).
Roll on a few years and we’ve supplied lots of Brimstone to some fantastic building projects. And most importantly, the first Thermal Modification plant in the UK is now sat in our yard at Wootton Bassett. We’re really proud of that.
Brimstone will always be a product with a purpose. It was created to help solve a problem and that’s the way it’ll stay. We don’t want to take over the world but we do want to use as much local wood as we can sustainably sourced and make a positive difference in our local woodlands.