Developing British wood products for sustainable architecture

Vastern Timber is a staunch supporter of Grown in Britain and the work we do to increase both the supply and visibility of British timber products in the marketplace. 

Now in their second year as a Grown in Britain licence holder, Vastern Timber won the timber industry’s annual Innovation Award for product development in autumn 2016, with its Brimstone range of thermally-modified ash, sycamore and poplar claddings. Vastern’s complete range of certified British-grown timber products for sustainable architecture can be found on their website ( and include beams, planks and cladding.

Vastern worked with Grown in Britain in developing thermally-modified timber.  Thermal modification is a chemical-free process that involves adapting wood through super-heating, resulting in a material that is exceptionally durable and stable, making it ideal for outdoor use. Cladding in Vastern’s Brimstone range is sourced exclusively in the UK, providing British woodlands with the benefit of long-term purpose and sustainability. Using wood sourced from local woodlands presents an attractive and reliable alternative to tropical hardwoods. 

Tom Barnes Director of Vastern Timber had this to say: “There is an obvious social value and inherent sustainability in timber products that have been sourced from well managed local woodlands and forests. In face of public funding cuts, our local woodlands will only be sustained in the long term if they can generate an income to pay for their management. Brimstone was developed with this in mind.

“Brimstone brings together underused British hardwoods and modern modification technology to produce the first range of thermally modified British hardwoods suited to external cladding, decking and joinery.

“Along with the function and beauty of Brimstone, it is the positive impact on our local woodlands that really excites us. It sounds simplistic, but specifying and using Brimstone wood will help to improve the fortunes of our local woodlands in the future. From a technical, social and environmental standpoint, Brimstone is a product that architects and specifiers can confidently stand behind.”

From large sawmills to small woodlands, any size of organisation can gain a Grown In Britain licence, providing they meet the criteria and pass the relevant audit (note woodlands do not need an audit). By bringing people together from different backgrounds and parts of the supply chain we can all contribute to the protection and longevity of Britain’s woodlands and forests.