STORM Arwen-felled oak will take centre stage at the National Trust's Chelsea Flower Show exhibition next week. 

Just under 50 tonnes of roundwood have been supplied from the charity's Brockhampton Estate in Herefordshire, which were used to create hand-carved benches and a striking garden building. 

They will form part of the Trust's Chelsea Flower Show Octavia Hill Garden – created alongside Blue Diamond – which will celebrate social reformer Octavia Hill (1838-1912), a founder of the National Trust. 

Iain Carter, National Trust trees and woodland adviser, said: “In the past, our estates would have been self-sufficient for materials like timber, so supplying timber for this project felt like the right thing to do from a historic point of view.

"But it can also lower our carbon footprint, and ensure that, as a charity, we get the best quality timber from our woodland management while improving the habit for our wildlife.

“My team has supplied wood for countless National Trust visitor reception areas, bridges and ranger huts. Keeping our timber within the places we care for feels really important.”

As part of the process, a mobile sawmill was brought to site to process the wood, which was then sent to woodcarver Kate Hanrahan in Sussex (21 tonnes of sawn wood) and to designer and maker Sam Ogilvie (5.5 tonnes). Following the show, the garden will be rebuilt at Bridgemere Show Gardens, owned by the Trust's collaborator Blue Diamond Garden Centres – giving the timber yet another lease of life.

Forestry Journal: The timber will form part of the Trust's Chelsea Flower Show Octavia Hill GardenThe timber will form part of the Trust's Chelsea Flower Show Octavia Hill Garden (Image: Supplied)

Speaking about her work, Kate said: "Most of the drive behind what I do is the pursuit of beauty. To try to replicate natural beauty is really hard, but that’s what drives me.

"What makes a line beautiful? That really fascinates me. When I’m carving, I start by roughing out, then there’s a middle phase, but then there’s a point where you can take it to another level and that’s what I’m looking for. It’s a battle, but you know when you’ve reached it." 

Storm Arwen is widely seen as one of the most devastating storms to hit the UK in the last 100 years. Arriving in November 2021, it is believed to have torn down around about 12,000 hectares of woodland. 

The Chelsea Flower Show runs from May 21 until 25.