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Morecambe BID installs new benches in Morecambe

Morecambe Business Improvement District (BID) has installed 10 unique wooden benches, on the BID planters, down the business-side of the promenade and on Victoria Street in Morecambe.

Each bench is made from sustainably-harvested timber and is left with a waney-edge (live edge) on the outward-facing side. The benches all have a unique story engraved into them – whether it be the Midland Hotel, the Winter Gardens or the Birds of the Bay, they are intended as educational and informative pieces.

Instead of using the normal go-to woods such as pine or oak, Morecambe BID commissioned Rick Liles of Woodies Woodland Crafts, Training and Education (from Oxcliffe Hill, near Overton) to design and make the benches out of timber that has been sustainably and locally sourced. Sustainable, in this instance, means trees that had been hit by lightning strikes, storm-damaged or had died naturally. The timbers used are Larch, Cedar, Maple, Sycamore and Cherry and each one has a beautiful character and definition.

Rick has been a tree surgeon for 30 years and has been a volunteer all his life. 10 years ago he came to Morecambe, faced a family tragedy and then needed a triple heart bypass which stopped his tree climbing activity. He set up Woodies and started working with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) who started referring adult males to work with him and learn wood crafting skills.

Rick said: “We only use dead dying and storm damaged trees where we mill the timber and make anything and everything using traditional tools and methods. The lads take home what they make. It’s great to see the benches out in public where a lot of people can appreciate the beauty of wood.”

Ruth Wilkinson, Chair of Morecambe BID, commented: “We are very pleased to see this project come to fruition, thanks to the hard work of John O’Neill (BID Manager), not only will residents and visitors now have a place to sit, relax and take in our views, but also having such seating allows visitors time to sit down in comfort whilst they decide which of our independent shops and businesses to visit. Morecambe BID remains committed to our plan to bring more footfall to Morecambe, and indeed to do this whilst upholding our green values and credentials.”



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