Head Ranger on the Trelissick Estate, Neil Stevenson, tells us how the trees uprooted by this winter’s storms are being used both on and off-site
Like many parts of the South West, the Trelissick estate sustained considerable damage during this winter’s stormy weather. Heavy rain and flooding caused problems, but the greatest damage was brought about by the strong, gusty winds.
We lost a lot of trees, including several veterans in the park and woodland. One was a very important lime tree in front of Trelissick house and there were two large Scots pines from around the woodland walk and the banks of the river Fal.
We’ve always used wood and timber from the estate and wind-blown trees of certain species can be utilised for this reason. However there are a lot of considerations such as timber quality, accessibility and conservation value that we have to take into account.
Turkey and Holm oak are large, impressive trees, but the timber quality is very poor. We tend to leave these oaks within the woodlands where the greatest benefit can be gained by allowing them to rot and provide a wildlife habitat for many species.
Sessile oak, which predominates in the woodland at Trelissick, on the other hand, can produce fantastic timber which is used in the boat building yards around the Fal. These timbers are ideal for restoration projects and invaluable for the upkeep of traditional boats.
Lime wood is a fabulous timber for carving. We try to retain as much wood from parkland trees as possible on-site, but we are able to take out portions of the lime which are sold to local wood turners and carvers. They regularly offer demonstrations on the property showcasing the diversity of British timber and allowing these majestic old trees to continue in some form for many years to come.
We use heavy horses to extract much of our timber as this is often the most efficient way to extract wood from the more inaccessible locations around the estate. This helps with supplying the twenty seven National Trust holiday cottages around Cornwall with high quality firewood and charcoal.