WHO ARE NORBURY PARK WOOD PRODUCTS?
We are a small sawmill and wood workshop managed by the conservation charity Surrey Wildlife Trust. We specialise in manufacturing outdoor furniture products to suit all occasions made from English timbers using traditional joinery techniques.
Norbury Park Wood Products is owned by Surrey County Council. The sawmill originated in the late 1970’s when SCC and Basingstoke Canal Authority started to refurbish part of the Ash to Basingstoke canal. The current sawmill location at Norbury Park was chosen due to the proximity to a larch plantation to supply timber for canal works. Over the years the operation developed and diversified into manufacturing Countryside furniture, stiles, gates, signs and information boards. In May 2002 SCC signed a 50 year lease agreement with Surrey Wildlife Trust to manage SCC Countryside Estate, including the sawmill and workshop and sites such as Chobham Common, Newlands Corner, Sheepleas and The Worplesdon Commons to name a few.
Since May 2002 SWT have invested considerably in the operation with new pieces of equipment and infrastructure providing an efficient and productive operation.
Where possible, all the oak used in the production process originates from woodlands managed to Forestry Stewardship Council Standards (FSC) from within the South East of England. FSC certified woodlands are managed sustainably and sympathetically towards conservation, benefiting the wildlife within. Timber carrying this distinctive logo ensures that the consumer knows that he/she is purchasing a product that they know is from a well-managed woodland and not depleting this valuable resource. Many of the softwoods used are harvested from our own sites as part of a heathland management programme to remove encroaching Scots pine and allow the heather and gorse to regenerate.
Heartwood oak is classed as “durable” – a 50mm square section in contact with the ground will have a life expectancy of 15-25 years, a 100mm square in similar conditions will last 30-50 years and a 150mm square section 45-75 years. Oak will gradually harden as years pass, silently building an inner strength.
Oak naturally exhibits variation in grain and texture patterns, with small pin knots, cat’s eyes, cat’s paws and the presence of the medullary rays which present unique looking timber. The variety in the timber produces beautiful, character full items, pleasing to the eye.
We have a dedicated and vastly experienced team of skilled craftsman working within the workshop. Their experience and knowledge totals over 80 years and are able to resolve even the most difficult of challenges.
During the course of the year we produce over 125 tonnes of waste wood or slab wood, this is mostly non-durable oak sapwood and bark from processing round timber into planks. We produce approximately 15 tonnes of off cuts from within the workshop and 30 tonnes of dust and shavings during the course of the year.
Wood is classed as a carbon neutral fuel source. Growing trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. When wood is burnt carbon dioxide is produced, but overall there is no net gain in carbon dioxide emissions.
The oak slab wood is either converted into charcoal by a local coppice worker and sold locally, or stock piled and processed through a chipper and sold to Slough Heat and Power to burn as a replacement fuel source to produce energy.
Off cuts from the workshop are burnt on one of two wood burning stoves, one heats the workshop and another produces energy to season or dry planks in our seasoning kiln that are later used in the production process.
Unfortunately the quantity and quality of saw dust and shavings produced is not sufficient to market on a commercial scale; however we do supply a number of local farmers who use this to bed animals on.
By purchasing from Norbury Park Wood Products, not only are you supporting Surrey Wildlife Trust and helping to continually enhance and manage the countryside of Surrey, but also supporting associated woodland industries that are helping to preserve wildlife and traditions for future generations.