News, stories and reports from Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Forest Estate

A 9.0 meter Douglas Fir is being converted into an Iron Age canoe

An unusually large log was sourced from the National Forest Estate (NFE) to be converted into an Iron Age canoe, demonstrating the diversity and quality of timber grown on the NFE.

A number of specialist timber customers seek quality, large dimension timber for a manner of conventional and sometimes unusual applications. Logs of the size requested by the School of Ancient Crafts in Edinburgh – a 9.0 meter log with a top diameter of 0.8 meters - are not common. However one was sourced after some stunning Douglas Fir trees had been harvested at Primrose Bay in Inverness, Ross and Skye Forest District as part of the A82 project.

Finding the right tree at Primrose Bay was one thing but recovering it was another matter on what is a technically challenging site. This particular log was extracted the entire length of the harvesting site and skilfully placed at roadside, a testimony to the professionalism of both local FES staff and harvesting contractors.

In June the log was transported to the Hub in Granton, Edinburgh where its conversion into a canoe will take place over the summer by workshops held to give the local and the wider community an opportunity to learn new skills. 

9.0m Douglas Fir

The 9.0 meter Douglas Fir log awaiting uplift from Primrose Bay.

The tee ready to be lowered

The Primrose Bay Douglas Fir log about to be lowered into its new home at the Hub, Granton

While Primrose Bay has predominantly yield specialist Douglas Fir logs, this summer two loads of Oak logs where purchased by Fife based Scottish Wood who only purchase Scottish timber for a range of projects and applications. Demand for Oak is particularly strong across the UK and increasingly for characterful timber which is good news for growers such as FES who have resources of this type of timber. 

oak logs

Oak logs from Primrose Bay ready to be processed at Scottish Wood near Dunfermline.