Oxford Planters creates longest Accoya® wood bench for the Thiepval memorial site in France

31 Oct 18

The longest seat in the world to be made from sustainable wood Accoya® has been unveiled at the Thiepval memorial near Amiens in Northern France by President Macron.

The 36 metre long bench, created in commemoration of the WW1 Armistice, comprises Welsh Oak and Portland stone reflecting the sacrifice of Welshmen who lost their lives, as well as the stone that is used within the Thiepval memorial.

Created and installed in collaboration with Oxford Planters, designers and makers of hardwood outdoor furniture, and  Fisher Tomlin & Bowyer, garden designers and landscapers, the bench – the feature piece in the ‘peace garden’ – took six weeks to build, with a further two days to install it on-site.

Timber suppliers Arnold Laver, provided the 2.5 cubic metres of Accoya® wood that Oxford Planters used to create the bench. Each panel was sanded down and left uncoated to age naturally in the forest.

Selected for its sustainability credentials, as well as its long-life – it comes with a 50 year above ground guarantee – Accoya® gives peace of mind and also benefits from minimal maintenance requirements.

Andrew Fisher Tomlin, Director at Fisher Tomlin & Bowyer comments: “We always aim to create sustainable landscapes that not only look good but where all the elements are beautifully made by craftsmen using traditional skills and that have built-in longevity in the materials that are used, Accoya® wood and Oxford Planters fit that brief perfectly.

The seat is inspired by the ribbon of history that connects both the past and the future. It is there to prompt a gentle, thoughtful reflection on those who fought in the Battle of the Somme and how individually and as communities we can prevent this happening again. The main structure is of a single seat that sits gently upon the ground within a very quiet part of the woodland next to the Thiepval Memorial. The seat wraps around and engages with existing trees. It sits lightly on the ground where some of the worst fighting during the Battle of the Somme took place.”


Oxford Planters Bench
Oxford Planters Bench