T I MBE R FA M I N E
Where did this wood come from? In the first years of the war not
from the British Isles as Britain,particularly Scotland,had suffered
centuries of deforestation.Trees had been felled to power industry
and to clear land for agriculture without being systematically
replanted. Just 5% of Scotland was forested in the years before
the war – among the lowest proportion in Europe. Britain relied
on imported wood from the Baltic, Scandinavia, Canada and, above
all, Russia, which met half of Britain’s demand for timber in 1913.
Only around 5 to 7% of Britain’s timber requirements were met by
By 1915 U-boat attacks vastly reduced the supply of timber
reaching Britain and the situation became critical. Britain had to
find a way of tackling this timber famine.
materials of war 3