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Tim’s at the sharp end of recycling

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Tim’s at the sharp end of recycling

SPENT shotgun cartridges and washed up beach plastics are being repurposed by an enterprising Wigtownshire man.

And the resulting hand-forged knives by Tim Westley have become highly prized by foodies cooking in restaurants or their own homes.

As a former professional chef himself, he understands exactly what they want from a knife, while also tapping into the drive towards zero (or minimal) waste kitchens.

Now visitors to this year’s Spring Fling weekend, at the end of May, can visit Tim’s forge in Newton Stewart and find out more about how he creates his knives by beach combing and foraging.

The blades use steel from the tiny NOx (laughing gas) canisters used by substance abusers then dumped in Glasgow and London.

The colourful handles are made by melting and reshaping plastics from spent shotgun cartridges, provided by estates and shooting ranges, and from items like fish trawler boxes that wash up on local beaches.

Tim said: “A really good knife is so important to people who love cooking and there’s a drive towards sustainability – which involves everything from not wasting ingredients to having responsibly sourced equipment.

“The knives I make are from materials that I have 95 per cent recycled myself. Each one is made individually using blades I forge here in my workshop.”

The idea came to him when he was living on a narrowboat in London and had a workshop on an island in the Thames. He used to go out in a canoe collecting litter that was polluting the river and coming up with ways it could be positively repurposed.

Later, while travelling the UK in a campervan, he fell in love with Dumfries and Galloway.

His Clement Knives firm attempts to go even further than being zero-waste and actually uses far more waste than it generates – underlined by the single black bin of rubbish which is all he has generated this year.

  • Photo by Colin Hattersley

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