At Copper Beech we use high quality natural and reclaimed materials, sourced locally wherever possible. By using these materials we can minimise the impact on the environment whilst creating natural play areas that blend with their natural surroundings and will last generations.
The timber we use is a British grown hard wood called Sweet Chestnut, Castanea sativa. Our sweet chestnut is from well managed woodland where local foresters use a traditional method of woodland management called coppicing which produces long, highly stable, and durable timber stems. Generally, we know where each piece of timber was grown and the forester that felled it!
According to official ranking sweet chestnut is a durable type of hard wood (up to 25 years), ranked alongside oak and yew, and out ranking pressure treated soft woods in resistance to rot.
‘One of the added benefits of coppicing within a woodland is that it promotes biodiversity. There will always be areas (or coupes) of coppice at different stages to provide habitat for a range of wildlife. Dormice thrive amidst coppice, and the extra light reaching the forest floor encourages bluebells and other plants. As a consequence coppiced woodland attracts butterflies, and obviously the whole ecosystem blossoms as a result.’ Small Woods Association
Our sweet chestnut coppice is felled in winter when the sap is down and the wood can be dried before fungus spores appear.
Sweet chestnut is full of tannin and has very little sap wood making it more resistant to rotting than other timber.
Wood with close year rings is more resistant to rot, therefore wood intended for ground insertion and horizontal beams has been hand picked with particularly close rings.
We increase the lifespan of our hard wood through natural open-air drying both in the woodland and our yard.
De-barked, unpressure treated poles
For over 15 years we have manufactured our play equipment using de-barked unpressure treated hard wood poles. The bark, cambium and sap wood are removed reducing fungus and insect habitats, yet the natural shape and tactile nature of the timber is preserved.
Natural uv-protection oil
We oil all our play equipment with a natural uv-protection oil that is 100% safe for humans, animals and plants when dry. This gives the wood additional weather and dirt resistance, and reduces wood swelling and shrinkage.
Environment and Ethics
We make every effort not to buy products that we believe to be encouraging the unfair exploitation of people or the environment.
We take every step to try and reduce our energy use and our carbon emissions along with all environmental pollutants. We will recycle any waste wherever possible.
By taking an organic approach to gardening we believe it is possible to create far more satisfactory medium to long-term results. Through our training and experience we have learnt that there is almost always a mechanical or biological solution to replace any synthetic approach.
We are proud of the many good contacts we have built up of local trades people and suppliers. When possible we will source materials as local as possible, to limit energy use and help the local economy.