Sweet Chestnut coppice needs to be felled during winter months, while the sap is low, to get the maximum durability from the timber.
The sugary sap released in spring is like fast food to any insects or fungi, which is why Say it with Wood insist on using winter felled Sweet Chestnut for the products they make. This is just one example of the attention to detail that sets Say it with Wood apart from competitors. Be it getting the points on fencing stakes ‘just right’, or the finishing that goes into gates and outdoor furniture. Say it with wood have a reputation for being great to deal with and going the extra mile to give customers what they want.
The company started with Toby installing fencing in Cornwall in the mid 1990s, he identified a desire amongst fencing contractors and clients for alternatives to conventional softwood products, with the ability to provide high volumes at consistent quality. After relocating to Kent, where Sweet Chestnut grows abundantly, and now joined by his wife Aly, they started coppicing the materials to make fencing products. The link between sustainably managed woodlands and timber products is an important one for the couple. With this ethos, combined with a passion for making great products, Say it with Wood was born.
Fast forward to 2019, and now based in Herefordshire, Say it with Wood has worked hard to create a market and grown to fill that niche. Their style is often referred to as ‘formal rustic’, clean, crisp lines following the natural curves of the tree. The product range is large; from rustic Chestnut poles for landscape projects, several different styles of cleft fencing, arches, pergolas, garden furniture, and a busy workshop producing bespoke items designed in collaboration with clients. Alongside this they are always busy filling increasing demand for agricultural fencing stakes, as well operating a mobile sawmill, forestry contracting business and firewood enterprise.
Speaking from their Herefordshire yard Aly explains,” Say it with Wood is a customer facing business, we are lucky that most clients are discerning and want beautiful looking products, made to a high standard, using naturally durable timber from British woodlands. We’ve been involved in some great projects over the years, and this means more woodlands being brought into management.”
“A sad fact is that while Britain is one of the largest importers of timber in the world, nearly half of broadleaved woodlands in this country are not actively managed. This is not just economic waste, but bad news for the flora and fauna that have evolved to exploit the mosaic of habitats created when trees are felled. Quite early on we realised that by harvesting the majority of timber ourselves we not only had control of the quality, but could add the positive story of knowing where each tree was grown and the benefit to the environment it’s felling has created. Using timber is a part of the climate change solution, as coppice regrows or when trees respond to thinning work, they store CO2. This carbon is locked away for the lifetime of the product, and because we only use naturally durable timber, when it eventually reaches end of life, the wood can be burned as a low carbon fuel. It’s a win win all round.”
West Midlands based fencing contractor, John Wolf, takes up the story,” I started using Chestnut stakes from Say it with Wood on recommendation from a local farmer that had become disillusioned with tantalised stakes. To be honest, at first I was reluctant because it was something I’d not used before. But now I insist on using Chestnut for all stock fencing, and offering the varied range of products the company make has expanded my client base to include domestic gardens, estates and trusts. Say it with Wood make most things to order so I can give my customers exactly what they need.”
The team at Say it with Wood love their work, and are well known in the industry for being friendly and nice to deal with, at the same time as delivering what they are asked for in a professional manner. If beautiful, unique timber products with a traceable link to sustainable woodlands is what you want, Say it with Wood are the top of their game.