Yew from Brackenburgh Estate...

23 August 2013, Woodturning in practice, Would you like to leave a comment?

I had a call from a contractor last week, who’d been doing some tree felling work at Brackenburgh, near Penrith. This is a very large country estate and has about five separate farms within its grounds. It turns out that the gardens of the main house were becoming overgrown by yew trees, some of which had to be removed.

I had a good look around and was surprised by the number of trees which had been felled – they had grown very close together and the felling was certainly justified. I must admit, most of the trees were quite small, probably about 12” in diameter. However, they had been cut at about 2’ above the ground and the lower sections were of a better size. Some of these stumps were quite thick and I guess, of no real use apart from firewood (or woodturning!).

I prefer to use yew, which is fairly irregular in shape. The ones which grow perfectly round are fine, but make for less interesting bowls. These were quite good and should allow for some wavy natural edges. I marked up the ones I wanted and will be back next week to collect them – I hope they’ll still be there!


The stumps were of a good size and ideal for woodturning



X marks the spot... these are the ones I've chosen

Jonathan Leech

Written by Jonathan Leech

Jonathan Leech is a woodturner working and living in Cumbria. He specialises in making bowls, dishes and platters from local sustainably sourced timber. Read more or about Jonathan or see a selection of his work.

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