photo of wooden objects and forest

Good Wood Guide How and why to use sustainable timber

photo of wood stored in workshop

Guide to wood options

Do you know your ash from your ebony? Your endangered wenge from your English willow? Find the most suitable, sustainable wood options in our helpful A-Z of timber types.

photo of wood stored in workshop
A photo of a wooden cabinet on wooden floorboards in a living room

Why choose good wood?

We need wood for lots of things, from furniture to floorboards. It's natural and renewable, so it's often a better choice than alternatives like steel or plastics.

But our demand for wood is having a devastating impact on the world's forests. Forests that give us everything from oxygen to medicines – and help combat climate change. 1 in 3 tree species harvested for timber are currently at risk of extinction.

Our Good Wood Guide helps you choose wood from healthy sources, avoid at-risk species and find alternatives to using new timber.

A photo of a wooden cabinet on wooden floorboards in a living room

Want more sustainable lifestyle tips?

What's so good about trees?

Forests and woodlands aren't just magnificent to look at and walk around in. Trees are crucial for life on Earth – for food, water, air, medicine... as well as reducing climate change.


Tree facts: a path through the autumn woods

More trees please

Trees are our biggest natural allies against climate chaos. They remove pollutants from the atmosphere, and help clean the air we breathe.

Yet 30% of tree species are considered threatened, including by over-exploitation, habitat loss, climate change and extreme weather. And just 10% of England is covered in woodland, compared with an EU average of 38%.

That's why we're campaigning to double UK tree cover. We want to encourage tree planting (right trees, right place), but also rewilding  and lots of natural regeneration of our native trees.

Tree facts: a path through the autumn woods

About The Good Wood Guide

The Good Wood Guide was produced in 1997 in partnership with Fauna & Flora International through Fenside Waste Management Ltd and The Rufford Foundation