Winning the Garden Product Supplier of the Year award at the annual TTJ Awards is an achievement in itself, but for last year’s winner, BSW Timber, it was more than that.

“I think there is still a perception that BSW only produces construction timber but over the past few years our product range has diversified and we’ve introduced more valueadded lines,” said James Brennan, head of marketing at BSW Group.

“To be recognised for our fencing, landscaping and gardening products really acknowledges the efforts that we have made and is a great achievement. We are really proud to have won the award.”

In fact, the fencing and landscaping side of BSW Timber’s business is just as important to the company as its construction timber production, with output being around the same in terms of volume.

Incised UC4 sleepers have a 15-year warranty

“It’s a really key product line for us alongside construction timber,” said Mr Brennan. “We want to make the best use of home-grown timber and the fencing and landscaping products allow us to do that.”

He added that parent company Binderholz is also a fan of BSW’s fencing and landscaping products. “European markets don’t typically have fencing in the same way that we do in the UK and they’ve shown a keen interest in some of our product lines,” he said. “We are working with them to review whether there is a potential market for our British fencing and landscaping materials in Europe, and will consider if there is an opportunity to export these products.”

BSW’S comprehensive product range includes every type of fencing component staple, from featheredge and post and rail, to UC4 incised posts. The latter are incised and treated on site, with high pressure treatment impregnating the timber to 6mm, and are supplied with a guaranteed 15-year life span.

The incising technology is also deployed on BSW’s UC4 joists, which are manufactured in the UK from home-grown spruce; and – in the landscaping range – UC4 sleepers.

The latter complement the existing BSW sleeper range for gardeners or landscapers who want the added security of a 15-year warranty.

BSW’S product range includes every type of fencing component staple

Other sleepers in the range are treated to UC3 and include standard sawn, smooth and charred ‘Brushwood’. The charred timber sleepers make use of BSW’s IRO yakisugi technology to create a unique raised woodgrain effect.

Among BSW’s most versatile landscaping products are its tongue and groove boards, which can be used for building raised beds, planter boxes, cladded structures, and dividing walls.

The company’s range of decking products is equally extensive, encompassing traditional timber decking and an array of composite products.

This year sees some new reversible options added to the timber decking portfolio. These comprise two types / six profiles – grooved and reeded (125mm wide, 150mm wide, or 125mm wide anti-slip) and grooved and smooth (also 125mm wide, 150mm wide or 125mm anti-slip).

The option of a smooth reverse side rather than the more customary stress grooved reverse is down to a growing trend for customers to use the smooth side of decking uppermost, said Mr Brennan, pointing out that the anti-slip variant is also available with either a smooth or a reeded reverse side.

“The product development came about because BSW Group acquired the Building and Supply Solutions division of SCA Wood UK – now BSW Timber Solutions – in 2020 and it had a vast range of decking profiles. We’ve evaluated it we believe it’s easier for the customer to make their decision based on six quality profiles, rather than tens of them.”

The company’s versatile landscaping products can be used for building raised beds

While the new decking range is manufactured from European redwood, everything else in BSW’s fencing and landscaping portfolio is made from homegrown timber. As part of Binderholz and with forestry operations within the BSW Group – such as Tilhill, Dick Brothers, and Maelor Forest Nurseries – there are no problems with access to raw material. However, said Mr Brennan, there is no room for complacency.

“It’s one thing being OK now but that’s not to say it will be OK in 30, 40, 50 years’ time when a new rotation of trees is needed. We believe there is still work to be done on planting trees and we’re keeping a close eye on the government’s Timber in Construction Roadmap.”

After the boom in demand for garden products in 2020/21 and then the sharp dip in 2022, last year the market “plateaued at best”.

“There was a hope that there would be an upturn at Easter, but very unusually we didn’t get that,” said Mr Brennan. “That really indicated that there was still a good volume of stock within the merchant base [accumulated during the lockdown-related boom] and that is only just starting to sell through.

“We expect that merchants will need to replenish that stock, even if, ultimately, the end user demand is similar to what it has been over the last year or two. So, we’re cautiously optimistic that it will pick up as people work through that volume and, at the very least we’d expect an upturn this Easter.”