Scottish forestry and woodland news

Building a new timber stacking yard

16 December 2013  post by Nick Marshall

With log sales increasing constantly we have been having to increase our stock piles of timber so as to keep up with future demand.  This, coupled with an increase in harvesting activity on the farm, and the associated timber needing to be stacked for uplift, had left us with a huge shortage of space. 

With nowhere for lorries to drop incoming loads it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep the differing timber sorted so that we could keep track of varying ages and species.

Luckily we had a wet field behind the log yard with good access to the road which was ideally suited for a stacking yard.  All it needed was some drains, all of the top soil removed and a couple of hundred tonnes of hardcore brought in.

One of the many benefits of our new timber harvester is that we can remove the harvesting head, put buckets on and we are left with a conventional excavator.  Pefect for digging the new drains, excavating the yard, digging stone from an existing quarry on the farm and finally levelling the whole site and tidying up.  The final trick up our sleve being that Andrew, our operator, worked for several years in a groundworks company and so has lots of experience of this sort of work.

The final result, after 4 days and a couple of long evenings can be seen in the pictures below.  

All that is left now is to fill it up with firewood...

  • Digging into the night to make the most of a dry spell Digging into the night to make the most of a dry spell
  • Starting by digging a drain across the top of the yard before lifting the topsoil Starting by digging a drain across the top of the yard before lifting the topsoil
  • Importing hardcore to give a firm base Importing hardcore to give a firm base
  • Opening an outlet for the drainage in the background. Large amounts of topsoil heaped to the right Opening an outlet for the drainage in the background. Large amounts of topsoil heaped to the right
  • Just finished rolling the hardcore to compact it Just finished rolling the hardcore to compact it
  • New drain passing under a field access with heap of topsoil being tidied in the background New drain passing under a field access with heap of topsoil being tidied in the background
  • Just finished leveling the ruts and sealing the stockpile of topsoil Just finished leveling the ruts and sealing the stockpile of topsoil
  • First timber into the yard, a row of biomass bales drying on bearers First timber into the yard, a row of biomass bales drying on bearers