Why British cladding is an eco-choice


Here in the UK, our countryside is carpeted with the most incredible woodlands and forests. One of our richest habitats, they gobble up carbon and provide homes for thousands of species, from birds and bats to rabbits, foxes and butterflies.


But did you know that more than 40% of our forests are ‘under managed?’ Keeping these awesome habitats healthy is a delicate balance. New trees need planting, diseased trees need felling and the density of our woodlands must be carefully controlled.


So, how do we help our forests thrive? It may seem counterintuitive, but saving our woodlands means supporting our forestry industry, by buying British timber. And here at Wild & Country, we do just that. Our garden rooms are built to an incredibly energy efficient design, using natural, locally-sourced, regenerable materials. Clad in Grown in Britain certified timber, they are created entirely with the environment in mind.  


According to Grown in Britain – the non-profit organisation dedicated to protecting our woodlands –we import an eye-watering £7.8billion of timber into the UK each year.Shockingly, China is the only country to import more wood! Instead, we should be using more of our own incredible, homegrown resources to protect the planet.


Every time we invest in sustainably produced British cladding, we increase demand and plough money back into our forestry industry. Ultimately, we are supporting the sustainable management of our native woodlands.


This means fast-growing, carbon-hungry trees are planted to replace those that are harvested. Diseased and mature trees are also selectively felled and removed from the eco-system before they stop soaking up carbon or, worse still, start releasing it back into the air. Of course, our wildlife havens are kept in tiptop condition too.


There are other huge benefits for us and our environment. Thanks to climate change, we’ve all seen the devastating impact that flooding has on homes and livelihoods. But well-managed woodland helps mitigate this risk. Leafy canopies slow the rate at which rain hits the ground, while root systems reduce runoff.


Of course, by choosing British-grown cladding, we are also reducing transport miles. We source much of our cladding just a few miles away from our Wiltshire workshop.That’s a far cry from shipping it from halfway across the globe.


As a building material, sustainably-grown timber cladding reduces our reliance on carbon-intensive materials, like concrete and steel too. Notoriously energy-hungry, the cement industry generated around 8% of the world’s CO2 emissions in2015. Yet British timber provides a rapidly regenerable, low carbon alternative that’s right on our doorstep.


And sustainability doesn’t come at the cost of resilience. Take Brimstone cladding for example, which is a thermally modified British hardwood.The natural, toxin-free production method creates an incredibly durable cladding, made from sycamore, poplar or ash. By investing in this pioneering product, we are boosting demand for British timber and supporting the forests we all love.


British-grown cladding also creates an invaluable opportunity to use our beloved ash trees, which are being wiped out by disease. Sadly, it’s estimated that ash dieback will kill up to 95% of ash trees across Great Britain, with far-reaching consequences for our countryside.


But if we fell these trees early enough, they don’t need to be burnt. Instead, the timber can have a ‘second life’ as beautiful cladding, which will protect our garden rooms for decades to come. Ultimately, we’ll be turning a tragic waste into a precious resource.