February 2022 News from the Sawmill

It might be winter, but it’s a hive of activity here at Vastern. We’re in the middle of oak cutting season – one of our favourite times of the year.

So, in this newsletter, we’re talking all things oak. Join us as we take you through the steps of turning oak trees into beautiful wooden planks. Take a look at the exquisite boardroom tables we’ve made for the Crown Estate. Plus, be the first to set your eyes on the latest selection of timber, fresh from the kiln.

If that’s not enough, you can also hear news from ‘Project Grow’, a new initiative for local teenagers, see our wood in the showroom at Snow Peak – and get the lowdown on the Soil Association’s report on the benefits of ‘Regenerative Forestry’.

Let’s go!


From woodland to wooden floor

Have you ever wondered how a huge old oak tree is transformed into beautiful oak planks? If yes, then this article is for you.

We take you back to the time of King George IV and bring you on a journey to the modern day. Taking you through the whole process, from finding the right oak trees, to cutting and drying.

Along the way, you’ll meet our log buyer Rupert, discover why being patient is so important – and see a few ‘butts’ too. Tree butts that is!

Read the article

CASE STUDY: Oak tables for the Crown estate

They’re stunning aren’t they? These beautiful boardroom tables were made with oak from the Crown Estate. They were carefully crafted by the talented craftsmen at Forest & Maker under the watchful eye of our log buyer Rupert .

As Will of Forest & Maker told us: “Like each and every one of our bespoke creations, this is one-of-a-kind furniture that wholeheartedly celebrates nature’s wild beauty.”

See the tables for yourself

Magnificent new hardwood planks in stock

Some of the latest sawn planks to come out of our kilns are absolutely massive, and the biggest and best are selling fast.

Over the last few weeks we’ve cut some “whacking great” (technical term) Cedar of Lebanon boards, stunning Scottish elm and some exceptionally wide table top oak boards.

Come and take a look


Shared Earth Learning is a forest school in Somerset that supports disadvantaged young people. As we’re sponsoring their newest initiative, we’re delighted to hear what they’ve been up to.

Shared Earth Learning told us: “Working with local social enterprises, we’ve set up Project Grow. This is a community growing project for young people, to help improve their life chances, engage with training and boost their wellbeing.”

Find out more about the project


We absolutely love the final look of the Snow Peak showroom. This Japanese family firm and international clothing brand has a mission to bring people closer to nature, so we were delighted they chose our locally-sourced wood for their new-look store.

“We actively encourage people to embrace and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle”, said Snow Peak. “We wanted to use British grown oak and ensure that the sourcing was sustainable.”

Find out more about this project

The Soil Association calls for “Regenerative Forestry”

If you’re interested in the future of our forests, read on… The Soil Association is campaigning for the UK to change the way it manages existing forests, and this report explains how and why.

“Every effort must be made to accommodate forestry with farming, to learn from conservation, and to engage with the public, so that forestry as a land use, as well as forestry standards and practices, are up to date with the latest science and meet the need for climate and nature resilience.”

Read the full report


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