Wood is a beautiful resource and in my turning I try and retain the natural grain and colour of the timber. Most of the wood I use comes from areas where I volunteer as a ranger. Two main organizations I support are:
The National Trust – Finchampsted ridges and Simons Wood. Finchampstead Ridges formed part of the Bear Wood estate of John Walter, a Berkshire MP and proprietor of the Times newspaper who was responsible for building Wellingtonia avenue in 1863. Six years later he planted the avenue of Wellingtonia trees. These trees are around 150 feet tall and are a type of Sequoia, native to the Pacific Northwest of the USA, first brought to Britain in 1853. The Wellingtonia Firs (or Giant Sequoia) occasionally shed branches that can be used for turning. The National Trust is also undertaking a program to reduce the dense rampant Rhododendron and Silver Birch from the site allowing the Sweet Chestnut and other native trees (such as Holly and Oak) to prosper. Finchampstead Ridges is managed by the National Trust Runneymede rangers whose sites include Ankerwyke where thare is also a supply of Yew from fallen branches and trees.
Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership. This organization provides a wide variety of tasks along the Blackwater Valley and more recently maintaining SANGs set up by new housing developments. Brushcutting, copse management, path and bankside clearance all produce a wide variety of different native timbers. Felled trees are brought back to Ash Lock where volunteers cut and split the logs for firewood. Any nice grain timber is rescued from the log pile and turned into these pieces. False Acacia and Spalted birch are two favorite woods from this site.