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Grown in Britain Timber in Construction

Why should I buy timber which is Grown in Britain?

Buying Grown in Britain licensed timber supports UK jobs and increases our economy. Our woodlands and forests need your support to play a bigger part in securing future supplies of timber, with less reliance on imports. Buying supplies labelled as ‘homegrown’ timber is just not credible in the age of modern construction where an independently verified chain of custody is vital.

The Government is also putting pressure on the Construction Industry to use more Grown in Britain licensed timber through its 25 Year Environmental Plan. Grown in Britain also has the support of main contractors and the Considerate Constructor Scheme.

What is the current status with UK timber?

In 2017 the Forestry Commission statistics show that 33% of all softwood and 5% of all hardwood we use is UK produced. So you are probably already using home-grown timber possibly without even knowing it, and there is potential to significantly increase this. One of the aims of Grown in Britain is to increase the visibility and credibility of home-grown timber through its unique and independent chain of custody scheme.

What can I use Grown in Britain Timber for?

The UK’s climate means our softwood trees often grow fast, but this does not mean they cannot be used for structural applications. Our softwood easily achieves C16 strength grade which means Grown in Britain timber can be used for numerous construction applications including carcassing, decking and fencing. It can also be laminated together to form structural elements such as Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).

There is great growth potential for Grown in Britain hardwoods because there are thousands of hectares of mixed woodlands under managed in the UK. The qualities and use of oak in construction are well known and widespread, however Grown in Britain encourages specifiers to also consider other lesser used species.

Ash is available in huge quantities and can be bought ‘thermally modified’ thanks to Grown in Britain’s research and development programme.Beech, birch, cherry, poplar, sweet chestnut, and sycamore are also available for use where they meet the required use properties.

For more information see TRADA’s Wood Information Sheet on specifying home-grown timber (WIS 2/3-67) or contact GiB on enquiries@growninbritain.org

There are also many timber panel products produced in the UK that contain a high amount of UK grown timber, but at this time no manufacturers currently hold a Grown in Britain licence.

Is Grown in Britain timber going to cost me more?

In short the answer is no, timber which is licensed as Grown in Britain needs to be competitive. The availability of Grown in Britain licensed timber is increasing year on year, and will increase further with your continued support

Specify it! Buy it! Ask for the logo!

We have developed Timber Specification / Policy Wording which can be used to ensure sustainable timber is procured for your project here

How do I buy Grown in Britain licensed timber?

Grown in Britain licence holders continue to grow each year and cover the supply chain, from forests to builders merchants. The largest softwood sawmill in the UK has a GiB licence and they sell to the vast majority of national merchants. Grown in Britain hardwood is available from local independent saw mills and national timber merchants. For the full list of suppliers please click here.

Is it realistic for me do this?

If you buy softwood or hardwood you can make a big difference through your procurement. Ask your supplier where your timber comes from, request an option for Grown in Britain licensed timber. If you want to get actively engaged with Grown in Britain and working with your supply chains to increase the availability and supply of British timber please drop the team a line at enquiries@growninbritain.org