Family traditions continue at Carve Carrbridge

Sam Bowsher claimed top honours at Carve Carrbridge 2022 – photograph courtesy of Jamie Ross

Sam Bowsher followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a multiple winner of Carve Carrbridge, the BSW-sponsored Scottish Open Chainsaw Carving Competition.

Sam has been attending the competition since the age of six and his ‘Otterly Delightful’ chainsaw-crafted creation saw him retain the title he won virtually in 2020. This makes it 10 titles for the Bowsher family, with Sam’s dad Pete Bowsher, an Area Timber Buyer at Tilhill – a member of BSW Group – having previously won eight gold and two silver medals.

In all the years that Carve Carrbridge has been held, Pete has carved at every one, except for when he missed out due to a detached retina. Pete said: “I would like to think that I have been a part of the event’s growth, from six carvers on the football pitch to a very highly respected world class chainsaw carving event, which attracts carvers from around the world.

"The four-hour chainsaw only competition attracts about 4,000 spectators during the day, and I'm still amazed at what can be accomplished in such a short amount of time."

"Carve Carrbridge wouldn't be possible without the help and support of volunteers and sponsors, and BSW's supply of suitable carving logs is essential and very much appreciated."


Sam followed in his father Pete's footsteps and won the 2022 competition with his 'Utterly Otterly' creation – photograph courtesy of Jamie Ross

Sam, who's been attending and watching the event alongside his dad for years, explained: “I now find the event even better being able to compete, but winning this year really is the icing on the cake.”

BSW Group’s sponsorship came through the donation of Sitka Spruce logs from its Fort William Sawmill, while Dave Mills, Mill Manager at BSW Timber, judged the event and presented awards to the winners at the Cairngorms National Park.

He said: “Having been a regular supporter of the Scottish Chainsaw Carving Championships, I was honoured and privileged to be part of the judging panel and present the prizes for the 2022 event.

“The weather was mercifully dry and once again the standard of the carving was just outstanding. Every year that I’ve been involved in judging this competition, we all seem to find it harder and harder to separate the top contenders as the standard just keeps on improving. This year Sam Bowsher’s ‘Otterly Delightful’ was a classic example of how the standard of carving just seems to be getting better.”

Dave commented that seeing the evolution of designs through the four-hour crafting window is fantastic to watch and he highlighted the importance of the event in raising the industry’s profile.

He added: “Aside from the creative reward from supporting this great event, it’s also important to raise awareness of the forest industry and how much it contributes to our local communities in the North Highlands.

“As a timber professional for over 35 years, it is great to demonstrate that, as an industry, we provide jobs that build communities and sustainable futures, whether in the forest, sawmill, haulage sector or indeed the supply end to customers and builders.”

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