There were so many different woods used on HMS Victory, from the structure of the hull down to the food barrels and the brooms used to sweep the decks.
The figurehead would have been carved from elm or oak because it had to be able to withstand the elements in the very exposed position it held.
- Black poplar
- Alder, birch, rowan and willow
- Silver Birch
After a long list like that, it's easy to see that woods and forests played a huge part but were quickly depleted. Three of the ships built in Bucklers Hard were at the Battle of Trafalgar so the demand for wood was high. Nelson himself acknowledged the importance of trees to the success of the British navy and, in 1803, wrote to Parliament calling for more trees to be planted to safeguard ship building timber supplies. Two hundred years after that battle, the Woodland Trust is engaged in a five year project to plant 12 million trees in 33 woods throughout the UK, the Trafalgar Woods project. Each wood is named after one of the ships in the battle - 27 ships of the line plus support vessels.
The Project celebrates the crucial part played by timber in the UK's nautical past, links the past with the present, and regenerates the landscape. It is a unique but very appropriate way to remember the battle, echoing commemorative tree-planting done at the time.