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How Storm Ciara could help revive Suffolk’s history

PUBLISHED: 16:30 11 February 2020

Any donated wood will go towards the ship building project Picture: SUTTON  HOO SHIP COMPANY

Any donated wood will go towards the ship building project Picture: SUTTON HOO SHIP COMPANY

Archant

A heritage project is hoping that Storm Ciara could help it to bring back a key element of Suffolk’s past.

Jacq Barnard hopes that the storm can have a positive outcome Picture: SUTTON HOO SHIP COMPANYJacq Barnard hopes that the storm can have a positive outcome Picture: SUTTON HOO SHIP COMPANY

Ship builders working at the Sutton Hoo Ship Company are offering a home to trees that have been felled by the vicious storm.

The team are currently creating a 90ft reconstruction of the Sutton Hoo ship in the Longshed at Woodbridge.

The project will cost around £1 million to create with fundraising work now well underway with members of the public able to sponsor rivets on the new ship.

The project is now hoping for help in a different form and is asking landowners, tree fellers or council departments who have been cleaning up local trees to see if they may be suitable for use on the project.

Jacq Barnard, director of the Sutton Hoo Ship's Company, said: "We are in the process of building a reconstruction of the Sutton Hoo ship that was discovered in 1939 and to do this we need oak for the main ship and ash and larch for the oars as well as goat willow for more than 400 trennails used to fasten the ribs to the planking.

"We are aware that the recent weather is likely to have resulted in many trees being blown down and we would love the opportunity to explore any fallen tree to see if it has any of the desired curves and grown branches that we need in the construction.

"We would like to think that this could be a really positive outcome for a tree that has been part of the landscape for hundreds of years - creating part of a living historical exhibit."

In particular the team are hoping to come across mature oak - probably between 150-220 years old.

They are particularly interested in the curved branches, known as bends, which could be used for the 26 curved ribs of the mid-section.

Larger oak trunks would also be valuable for planking, flooring and seating and ash and larch trees with nice straight trucks which are a minimum of six metres long.

If selected the wood could be seen floating down the river in the near future when the completed ship is used to reenact the burial trail of Anglo Saxon King Raedwald to his final burial place at Sutton Hoo.

Those who may be able to help the team are asked to contact them via email with the location of the tree and some photographs.

READ MORE: British Museum backs Sutton Hoo ship campaign

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