Restoring the UK’s Piers with Reclaimed Timber


The National Piers Society was founded in 1979 under Sir John Betjeman, at a time when some of the finest piers were threatened with demolition. Over the years the Society has grown steadily and has become well established as the leading authority on piers. Ashwells Managing Director Janine Davies-Tutt and Operations & Marketing Director Deb Davies-Tutt have a long-standing history working with this customer group and have recently spoken to Pier Magazine sharing their insight into over 30 years of working on the restoration and care of the UK’s piers, jetties and coastline structures.  

Hear how Ashwells is successfully reclaiming tropical hardwood such as Jarrah, Ekki, Greenheart, Opepe and Keruing, working with sustainability leaders including Southend Pier, Greenwich Pier, The Environment Agency, Tilbury Docks, DiveCo Marine, The Marine Policing Unit and many more. Reclaiming and repurposing tropical and temperate timber for piers, jetties, harbours, pontoons, fenders, decking, pilling, bridge and sea defence works.  

Janine explained: “Many of the UK’s piers are built using vast quantities of tropical hardwood including Greenheart, Jarrah and Ekki. The potential to reclaim and reuse this incredibly durable timber is immense. This provides our pier partners with salvage income, reduces the quantity of virgin timber needed for repairs, and protects valuable architectural history.” 



Benefits of Choosing Tropical Timber  

“These amazing trees take hundreds of years to grow, and the heat of the sun is what made them immensely strong.” Janine explains: What many people don’t realise, however, is that reclaimed tropical timber is just as durable as freshly sawn, with a lifespan of least 25 years – versus around 15 for oak. This longevity, can be harnessed for a huge range of different projects and purposes, and is especially suited to piers and sea defences.”    


Southend Pier  

Ashwells has a long history of working with Southend-on-Sea City Council, to keep the pier in tip-top condition. Most recently…  

  • Ashwells sourced and supplied 6m lengths of FSC certified Greenheart to be installed as structural reinforcements as part of the pier’s £10.5m restoration project.  
  • Ashwells supplied FSC certified reclaimed Balau timber to be installed as cladding on the Pier’s new public toilet block.  
  • Ashwells reclaimed degraded Keruing timber from the pier’s structure before re-milling and supplying for use in the award winning Back to Nature Garden at RHS Chelsea, co-designed By Andrée Davies and Adam White, in collaboration with HRH the Duchess of Cambridge (now the Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess of Wales).  


Free Salvage Guide

Download now