The new Speckled Wood building is going to need a number of long timbers for its construction. Bringing in the oak for the underfloor beams was tricky enough at 7 metres, these range from 9 metres up to 14 metres. This was going to require a new plan!
There was no way we could fit them down Collards Lane, the main entrance to Swan Barn, so they were going to have to come in cross country from the far end of the farm.
Our collegues Matt and James from Hindhead very kindly agreed to lend us a hand, they brought along their long hay bale trailer on the back of their Massey Fergusson tractor to act as a transporter for the day. We had skidded all of the timbers as far as we could so that they could be loaded up. The first load was the larch poles from Valewood. These are going to be used for the ridge pole and wall plates, as well as for a couple of long beams.
Quite a long load!
They were driven to Almshouse Common and then down a track into the back of Swan Barn Farm, we had to take them over a ditch and bank (only getting stuck once! Thankfully we had our Big Valtra tractor there to pull out the Massey and trailer) and into one of the fields at the far end of the farm.
Unloading was a bit quicker and easier than loading.
Then it was back out up on to Black Down to fetch the Chestnut. These poles are going to be used for the crucks and tie beams which will form the main frame of the building, they are the ones we were cutting in Ridden Corner Copse.
These were a bit shorter, so could be loaded with the timber crane, which was lucky as there were quite a few to load up and it needed to be done quite gently to make sure we didn’t knock off the ones that had already been loaded.
It all went pretty smoothly, and soon enough another load was on its way across Almshouse Common to be unloaded in the fields.
That was only the first part of the journey, they then need to be skidded (dragged behind a tractor) the half mile or so through the farm to the Speckled wood build site.
Its quite a relief to see them all lined up ready to be used in the building, theres still a lot to bring back, but most of the rest is all a lot smaller and easier to handle, I am really looking forward to seeing them starting to be used in the coming weeks as the building starts to take shape.