Honduras mahogany wood sample (RESCUED)

On his way to the hardware store, Tom Roche was surprised to find a discarded 200-year-old Honduras mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) table ‘centre leaf’ in a skip in Tullamore. It had been used by a brick layer as a mortar board.

Due to exploitation and overuse, this mahogany was no longer available. At the time Tom found the endangered sample Ireland had the largest per capita tropical wood consumption in Europe.

As a woodwork teacher and craftsman, Tom saw the urgent need for education on wood and its different uses and abuses to be promoted, especially in the context of learning about species loss, poverty and climate change. Two years later, he founded the education NGO Just Forests.

As the ‘foundation timber’ of Just Forests, the rescued Honduras mahogany featured in the Wood of Life travelling exhibition and was used symbolically to organise meetings, seminars, lobbying activities and facilitated the establishment of the first FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) national steering group for 5 years.

Source: Just Forests

Format: rescued wood sample

Year: 1987

Courtesy of Tom Roche and Just Forests