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Knysna Timber Festival

“There was a time when everything in Knysna revolved around timber; it was the reason the town was established and its biggest employer. It attracted skilled and talented people whose knowledge and enthusiasm filtered through society and affected everything from sawmilling to furniture making and even literature.”

These words by Jock McConnachie, vice presidentof the Knysna Timber Initiative, perfectly describes the philosophy behind the third annual Knysna Timber Festival. This year the festival is themed: “Timber is in Our Nature” and will take place from 11 to 13 November at Knysna’s Timber Village in Welbedacht Lane.

The festival takes place at an economic crossroads in the Garden Route. In the last 20 years, the closure of a numerous sawmills led to the loss of more than 7 000 jobs. Approximately half of a planned 19 800 hectares of land, previously used for plantation forestry, have been transferred to the Garden Route National Park in favour of conservation. The termination of plantation forestry in these areas, GRNP says, will now be added to the largest complex of indigenous forests in South Africa.

The rehabilitation of forest promotes job opportunities and creates options for the development of new tourism products, says Theo Stehle, a retired forest officer. The Knysna Timber Festival aims to revive the rich forest heritage that is deeply entwined with the history of Knysna and its surrounds.

While local creators and woodworkers will showcase their talent and skills to visitors, it is also an ideal platform for national and international craftspeople and exhibitors to display their quality products and services to a growing and influential industry. DIY enthusiast and hobbyist will have a great opportunity to rub shoulders with artisans and experts while discovering new and exciting tools.

The Outeniqua Fatstix, a 7-speed fat bike with a frame made of stinkwood, candlewood and hard-pear, is expected to go on show during the festival. With this work of art being created in just six weeks by the team from Kluyt’s MakerSpace, team leader John Noble hopes to highlight the experienced and talented local people, by harnessing Knysna’s timber heritage to build a product for the future.

A workshop on the future of timber in the Garden Route, presented by Dalena Stander, will be hosted by Knysna Hollow on Friday the 11th of November at 15:00. On Saturday Richard Müller, Program Manager of Wood Technology at NMMU: Saasveld will be presenting talks on the explanation of the colour and figure variation in wood, as well as timber shrinkage and the related distortion of timber.

Kidbuddie will be at the festival with their spectacular children’s play area creations, as well as the very popular Tool Time workshop area where children can purchase kits and assemble them with guidance and supervision. The Knysna Honorary Rangers will host an exciting installation of a forest scene and sounds.

The food and beer garden will feature local favourites such as Mitchell’s Knysna Brewery, Whitewashed Restaurant and Tannie Joan’s pannekoeke.

A Knysna Timber Festival is a festival to experience with all the senses while celebrating the history of one of the most beautiful spots in our Garden of Eden.


You can visit the festival:

Friday from 10:00 to 16:00

Saturday from 10:00 to 16:00

Sunday from 10:00 to 15:00


SABC’s Expresso was at the 2015 Knysna Timber Festival. Have a look at the festival here:


You can contact the Knysna Timber Festival on 082 571 2464 (Picca)

Find them on Facebook at

Visit their website at


Pictures: Supplied

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