A deal to secure the future of a nationally-renowned Herefordshire sawmill has been hailed as “marvellous news” for the county.
The charity, Woodland Heritage, is the new owner of Whitney Sawmills at Whitney-on-Wye, ensuring it continues to supply top quality timber to projects across the UK.
The move has been welcomed by Herefordshire law firm Lanyon Bowdler, which helped in drawing up the deal.
Ruth James, from Lanyon Bowdler’s commercial law team, said: “This is marvellous news for Herefordshire. The future of the mill is now secured and we are pleased to have played a small part in helping to finalise the deal which was satisfactory to all parties.
“The mill has been heavily involved in many projects nationally, one it is currently involved with is milling oak and elm for the restoration of HMS Victory – Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
“It is also providing wood in the rebuilding of Grade 1 Listed Llwyn Celyn just over the border from us in Wales.”
The mill was established more than 25 years ago by craftsman Will Bullough after he became frustrated with the poor quality of timber available.
It has now grown into one of the most respected sources of timber in the UK.
Ruth added: “It is wonderful to think that this desire to produce the very best product in the industry can now be carried forward by Woodland Heritage.
“As a law firm with offices in Hereford and Bromyard, we are very much part of the Herefordshire community, and we are delighted that this deal to secure the future of a unique business has been successfully completed.”
The mill has supplied many prestige projects, including fine oak for the King’s Dining Room in Edinburgh Castle and the sweet chestnut for the royal barge Gloriana.
Woodland Heritage is a charity established in 1994 by two cabinet makers keen to put something back in the industry and a key aim of the charity is to promote the growing of trees and the use of wood.
The charity says there has been a big decline in the number of sawmills in the UK but believes there is still a bright future for the industry.
Woodland Heritage development director, Guy Corbett-Marshall, added: “This is an ideal partnership between mill and charity and we are keen to promote the industry by, among other things, taking on and running the mill.
“Our aim is to improve the way trees are grown and harvested and after becoming established, the charity was quickly joined by many people who had similar worries about the woodland environment.
“We are very confident this new deal will ensure Whitney Sawmill will continue to lead the way in the future.”