Hard Landscaping Materials: Eco Showcase

The hard landscaping materials you use in your garden design can have a negative impact on the environment. Traditional hard landscaping materials – referring to elements such as paths, fencing, decking, steps, and walls – are known to contribute high carbon emissions, in addition to being detrimental to wildlife friendly habitats. Luckily, there are many eco-friendly alternatives available to help you make a ‘greener’ decision for your next outdoor space project.

In this blog, we showcase some of the recent landscape design and hard landscaping projects Ashwells Reclaimed Timber has featured in. You’ll see, being sustainable might take slightly more effort – you need to think ahead a little more – but there’s plenty of reclaimed timber ready and waiting to become a durable and beautiful addition to your design.


1. Volkerwessels UK: Sea Groynes and Beach Access Ramp

Volkerwessels UK were awarded the contract for both sea groynes and a beach access ramp by the Local Authority at Southend-on-Sea. We were delighted to supply the Greenheart piles which formed a stable structure for the disabled access ramp and steps to be built on.


2. London Zoo

We are proud of our longstanding partnership with London Zoo, regularly supplying them with reclaimed tropical timber. It was a delight to supply Ekki reclaimed from the Taplow Bridge on the Jubilee River to be used to repair some floorboards in the Gorilla enclosure.


3. Seeking Resilience Garden, RHS Tatton

It was a pleasure to supply young garden designer Camellia Hayes with FSC certified Ekki decking for the walkway, which was reclaimed from Tilbury Docks. As well as Oak fenders for benches, reclaimed from a jetty in Tilbury. These took centerstage in her silver medal winning Seeking Resilience Garden at RHS Tatton 2023.


4. Cook Piling: Bourne End

This stunning project is a great example of how reclaimed sea defence timbers can be re-sawn and prepared into decking. The owners requested a bespoke rustic look using reclaimed and upcycled tropical timbers sourced from previous marine environments. The decking will last for over 25 years when in contact with the marine environment.


5. Garden for a Green Future, RHS Hampton Court 

We supplied a range of reclaimed crossing timbers and crane mats which were re-used as decking boards in Jamie Butterworth’ Garden for a Green Future. The weight and superior quality of the timber allowed the fitting to be completed in under an hour.


Reclaimed Timber Provenance

As a Forest Stewardship Council® certified reclaimed tropical timber contractor we provide a transparent and traceable chain of custody for all our reclaimed timber, whatever its source. Our reclaimed tropical timber, including Greenheart, Jarrah and Ekki, is sourced by us from marine, built environment and infrastructure sites across the UK.

If you’re new to using reclaimed timber as a hard landscaping material Janine Davies-Tutt, MD at Ashwells has this advice:

“Source your reclaimed timber from credible reclamation contractors with the FSC stamp of certification.  This gives concrete assurance that your project’s timber supply chain complies with the highest social and environmental standards.”

Choosing to source reclaimed timbers through an FSC accredited process provides you with a credible solution to complex environmental and social issues. Our landscape architect and garden design clients find that it is an effective way to gain public and consumer recognition of their responsible supply chain procurement practices and helps to make progress against Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets.

Feeling inspired?  Walk through our step-by-step guide to help you use more reclaimed timber in landscape architecture projects.  Download our guide, click here.