Biggest ships berth at Bideford

Joseph Bulmer

Port logs on to lucrative timber trade

BIDEFORD’S burgeoning port trade saw a new record last month, with its two longest ships berthing at the quayside simultaneously.

It has also been boosted this week by the news of more timber ships for next year.

The record breakers were sister ships Baltiyskiy 201 and Konstantin Paustovskiy, which arrived the same day in September. Both are 90 metres long and they made an impressive sight along Bideford’s quayside, drawing many onlookers.

The Baltiyskiy 201 took on board 2,820 tonnes of ball clay bound for Lovisa in Finland and the Konstantin Paustovskiy loaded 2,412 tonnes of Spruce logs for Wismar in Germany.

The success of the new timber trade, won by the port from Euroforest, stands to bring �40,000 into district council coffers this year – around �4,000 per ship - and now there is news of even more to come.

Harbour master Roger Hoad revealed this week that the company has just indicated plans for one ship a month next year.

The quality of the local timber is a key to the valuable new trade.

A spokesperson for Euroforest told the Gazette that while Germany does have large areas of its own forest, it imports from Bideford because of the better quality of the wood.

The timber is harvested from Torridge and North Devon forests and a storage area has been provided at the former Bideford cattle market site for assembly prior to loading.