Why are we doing this?
We have received many questions asking why we are taking such a rare tree and ‘cutting it up into pieces’ with many questioning the integrity of this project. We understand the concerns and feel it is important to answer these questions and explain just how this project is about preservation.
Over the years many thousands of tons of these extraordinary sub-fossilised trees have been excavated and burnt to enable continued cultivation of the fens.
Bog oaks have been preserved under anaerobic conditions but as soon as they are exposed to the elements, they degrade very quickly indeed and shatter along the medullary vessels.
Some land owners, recognise the beauty of these gigantic trees and place them alongside footpaths so they can be appreciated by passers by they don’t last long in these exposed conditions.
Could the tree have been preserved intact?
It is important to understand that bog oak has many unique beautiful characteristics when preserved in the form of planks that can be used by the nations crafts people for future generations to appreciate. Very few excavated bog oaks have the qualities which make this possible, they are extremely rare.
The beauty of these trees left in the round is not lost on the project team who are involved specifically in this project to enable their preservation. Preserving them in ‘the round’ would be enormously expensive and the technique for preserving the trees intact is as yet an unknown.
The project team are determined to preserve the integrity of this tree by retaining it’s unprecedented length.
Is it to make money?
This project is entirely not for profit and is dependant upon sponsorship and donations generously given by people who understand how significant and important this fabulous sub-fossilised material is.
We passionately believe this material is our most precious native hardwood and that having spent 20 years developing techniques for drying and preserving this beautiful timber, we have a duty to try and raise awareness and preserve as much as possible for future generations before there is simply no more buried in the peat.
Due to the unique nature of this tree and its importance nationally, the Worshipful Company of Carpenters is managing all financial administration transparently and the project is entirely non-profit.
It is for the reasons given above that this project is so important so we can continue to preserve as much of this timber as possible. Some farmers take the view that these rare trees are a national treasure and have been very generous and supportive of any efforts to preserve as much as possible, there will come a time when there are simply no more buried in the peat due to the level of cultivation that is going on in the UK today.