Wild cherry logs – such a treat in the firewood pile. Whack with a splitting maul, and the clean inside shimmers with warm orange, yellow and green swirls.

What double joy that the woodland is now producing cherry stems big enough to venture beyond aesthtic log piles into the realms of sawn timber and woodworking.

In 2020, we decided to start planking some of the larger thinnings from our 22-year-old woodland. The resulting 3 tonnes of boards have pulled us into the world of stacking, seasoning and grading timber.  After 10 months, we are delighted to find it has dried to 15% moisture content – ready for use. But is it any good?

Cherry dovetail box

Wild cherry log







This beautiful box with sliding lid is David’s first attempt at dove-tail joinery. He used wild cherry for the sides and sweet chestnut for the base and lid.  Ably guided by top woodwork expert and tutor, Paul Sellers, David spent a week dashing between the kitchen table to watch the next half hour of Paul’s multi-step project YouTube videos and top tips, before disappearing to try and recreate it in the workshop.

As well as guiding viewers with his woodwork projects, Paul provides instruction on refurbishing and sharpening hand tools. So David’s adventure saw him setting up bench planes and sharpening long-forgotten tenon saws, to his very great satisfaction.

I think he surprised himself when his game, started out of curiosity for the usability of the timber, grew into a stunning little box. What a step up from a firewood log!