Timber for garden projects

Date Published

5 September 2022

Document Type




Wood is a natural product that can be used in a huge variety of ways to immediately enhance any garden. It is important to choose the right timber for the job so that it will last longer. Timber garden products can last for years, but that little extra care will help maximise their service life.

This Choose and Use sheet covers a number of important factors when specifying garden projects, with a focus on how the use of preservative-treatments on outdoor timber can allow a low-cost softwood to match the performance of a naturally rot-resistant hardwood.

Key Information

This sheet also covers a wide range of other garden projects, including weathering and maintenance, the disposal of waste wood and some of the considerations which should be made with regards to timber fencing.

The importance of treated timber when it is going to be exposed to the weather, planning the necessary permission according the location of the project.

Case studies

The new store at Cheshire Oaks, the third ‘sustainable learning store’ to be built, is also the second largest M&S store in the country and is the company’s flagship for sustainability, carbon efficiency, biodiversity and material innovation, with the use of
timber, both for construction and for fuel, as a central concept of the design.

Walking into the new railway station at Abbey Wood, the immediate impression is of the elegant timber roof which arches over the interior, imparting a warm, natural quality to this large public space – more than 25 metres by 25 metres.