On the Ford and Etal Estate, around 650 hectares (1600 acres) is given over to commercial forestry and amenity woodland from 6000 hectares (15000 acres) of land in total.


The forestry department is responsible for the planting, thinning and felling of trees and the maintenance of fences, gates and stiles around the estate. Harvested timber is processed in our own Sawmill.

Most of the woodlands were planned and laid out in the early years of the 20th century and typically contain a mix of approximately 70% conifers (Scots Pine, Sitka Spruce, Norway Spruce and Larch) and 30% hardwoods (Beech, Ash, Oak, Sycamore).

The work is largely dictated by the seasons. In summer when the sap is up and the birds are nesting we cannot do much felling or thinning. That is more a job for the autumn and spring months.

Areas cleared by thinning and felling operations are always re-planted with a variety of species, including such ‘exotic’ species as Corsican Pine and Western Hemlock and other native species such as Oak, Beech, Rowan, Birch, Alder, Crab Apple and Willow.

By following a planned program of re-planting we ensure that sustainable stocks of timber are available for years to come. Trees planted now will be ready for harvesting in 40-50 years’ time. However, any changes in global climate patterns over that time may significantly affect the growth of trees and suitability of different species. Do you have a crystal ball?

The Sawmill supplies a range of sustainable, pressure-treated timber including posts and rails, round posts, sleepers, gates, boards, cladding and oak beams for retail and trade customers. Contact us to talk about your timber requirements.


T: 01890 820304

Ford and Etal Sawmill, Letham Hill, Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland, TD12 4TP

Read more about the Estate on the Ford and Etal Estates website.

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