29 Nov, 2023 Impact Reporting

2023: Year in Review

Almost 4,000 cubic metres of waste wood collected, 14 unique volunteer projects and an (almost) unquantifiable number of bespoke projects and pieces.

These are just a few of the things that happened at Glasgow Wood in 2023!


2018 was the last time we did an official year in review. Now 5 years later, we think it’s safe to say things haven’t stopped moving since. This years review covers 12 areas (rather than the typical 12 months), essentially covering all the facets of everything that we do at Glasgow Wood. You’ll also hear a little about what’s coming next for us…


Remember you can click anything underlined to see or learn more.
Please also allow time for images to load!



Environmental: our first complete year of waste wood collections statistics

We’ve made improvements to how we record the meterage of timber collected during our waste wood collections service.

In the financial year 2022-2023, we processed 3,812 cubic meters of timber! Approximately 52% of this wood was recycled and 48% was reused (high-grade and low grade).

Of course, recycling into chipboard is still great compared to sending it to landfill. But moving forward, our aim is to increase reuse–especially high-grade reuse–because this keeps the timber in circulation for much longer. Read more about this here.



Social: our Volunteer projects are launched

Whilst with us, our volunteers predominantly work on helping us to fulfil your projects and orders. Sometimes this isn’t always the most thrilling, so we decided to establish a programme which thanks them for this hard work and offers them time to spend on something personal.

In late summer we launched our volunteer projects, offering volunteers the time to build something for themselves or a loved one. Part of phase 2 was Euan, who made himself a Crash Bandicoot crate to use as a side table!

Phase 4 should be complete by the end of the year, taking our total to 16. Lots more to come in 2024.



New outdoor signage & a rennovation!

If you’ve made a trip to see us on South Street, you’ll have seen a couple of upgrades to our office & workshop space.

You’ll find new outdoor signage and a transformation of what was once our showroom. Our new delivery van was also given some fresh wraps by DS Graphics in March!


Our showroom has been completely transformed inside. It’s been divided by three to become a 1-to-1 space, changing room and meeting room.

John worked with the GW team to utilise all the unusual reclaimed timber we received via wood collections, along with waste generated from machinery like the CNC. Several doors, offcuts, prototypes and half oval timbers all feature.

Thanks to everyone in the team who’s worked to transform this increasingly unused space!



Product developments

This year saw the launch of 4 new stock products alongside a wider offering of steel framed furniture. You can find the Oronsay Bench, Buddy Bench, Cube Stool, Log Store and Sandpit Playbench all in our online shop. Then due to popular demand, you’ll see all sorts of steel framed table and bench options on our Dining Table Calculator gallery.

There’s even bespoke pieces being made using reclaimed hardwood and hairpin legs too! For the keen eyed among you, you might also have noticed several older products have disappeared… watch out for the re-designs.

Photo by Chloe Tunnell on a visit with Edinburgh Napier University.



Play & Learning products get colourful and begin to evolve…

In the early part of the year our finishes supplier, Osmo, approached us to submit content for a feature on our colourful Play & Learning equipment. As the year went on and we had our schools open day in March, orders came in and the rainbow came out!

We’re looking forward to more in the new year after our Schools Open Week where you’ll be able to test out the climbing frame John is trialling here. Check out our online shop or download our PDF brochure to see the full range.



CNC machining developments

Throughout this year, we’ve slowly expanded our CNC services allowing us to take on a range of bespoke personalised orders.

To reuse more than just scaffold boards in products, we’ve prototyped the storage crate (and a stackable Euro Crate version too!) and Iona bench using sheet materials as a potential addition to our stock range. We also made a large order of peg boards for Scottish Libraries.

The option to personalise products and bespoke orders is now very much available! Check out examples within the Storage Crate, Campsie Chest and Buddy Bench listings for inspiration, and complete our bespoke enquiry form if it’s something you’re interested in.



A huge range of bespoke pieces

So many bespoke pieces of all shapes and sizes continued to leave our workshop, destined for a whole host of different settings. For just a teeny tiny handful (photographed):


As usual, a huge variety storage units were also ordered. Flourish House, Blackhill Bakery, @highlandfamilyhouse, and other private customers ordering bespoke TV units (a Clyde/Kelvin hybrid!) got their work and home spaces organised!



Lots of community creations

As usual, you’ve all been crazy busy with up-cycling our reclaimed timber.

Check out our Instagram highlights for a small selection of what you’ve made and shared with us this year. There’s also a few highlights within our community creations section in news.

Watch out for something bigger coming in 2024 to showcase these, and please keep sharing all your projects!



The Glasgow Wood team

As is the same in every organisation, teams are ever-changing. And here at Glasgow Wood there’s been a continual evolution of the team in the workshop, office and within our board.

In January we saw Robin Webster appointed chairperson of our board, and in November it was announced that founder and CEO, Peter, will be stepping down from his position. Within the board we have a couple of new members, all bringing unique skills and experiences to the table; and Janet our development officer has brought several new volunteers on board.

Whilst the circumstances of the departures has varied widely, we’d just like to thank every single team member and volunteer for their valued contributions. Big and small, they’ve all had an impact.



Projects, big and small

Over the last 12 months, we had two large projects officially launch with our ongoing partnership with erz. Gro Garden at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital was opened in June and several Halo Gardens have been installed.

18 whisky barrel carriages were also installed and planted out at several ScotRail stations across Glasgow, and we supplied a wide range of furniture and timber to JoJo Macs on St Vincent Street to help with their September opening. There’s also other bespoke projects we’ve worked on this year of varying scales.

If you’ve got something you’d like to work on in 2024 with us, please get in touch! We welcome partnerships and collaborations of all shapes and sizes.



Spreading the circularity

Every so often, we have students and organisations to visit to be shown behind the scenes of everything we do with reclaimed wood. This is all to keep pushing reuse across different sectors, by providing inspiration to reuse a wider variety of timber, and to also begin conversations for how we might be able to develop our facilities and broaden our visibility. At the end of the day, it’s a circular economy we’re all working towards!

Edinburgh Napier University students came to visit in January as part of their ‘No Blank Slate’ module, and a group from the Glasgow Institute of Architects came in July to see what we could contribute to buildings.

Erin and Ryan from Architextures have also visited us to photograph our timber for their digital materials library. If you’re an architect, designer or creative, it’s a great resource for bringing your visualisations to life (and maybe using more reclaimed materials in the end product!).




In March we held our Schools open day, offering bird box and planter making workshops to students, and the opportunity to put our Play & Learning equipment to the test. In January we’re offering a Schools Open Week!

We also had John go over to Impact Arts to hold a bird box making workshop as part of their Creative Pathways project. It’s really great to be able to provide woodworking opportunities to all types of people in the community.

To see young people begin to consider it as a career path, along with others see it’s value for improving mental health is the reason we exist.

In 2021, we worked with Hyndland Secondary School students to build a memorial bench; and in 2022, we went to the Govan Craft Café to build planter boxes. We love making these contributions to the community, so please get in touch if there’s something we could help with.


So lets hope 2024 is much of the same! If the last 18 years have shown us anything, is that a smooth ride is definitely not guaranteed.

If anything of the above inspires you to get in touch, please don’t be shy! Anything people and the environment and you’ve already got us hooked.

You can also subscribe to our newsletter to hear about anything from workshops to special sales and events. Our social media platforms are also always a good port of call!

Facebook  X  Instagram  TikTok  Linkedin

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!