The UK’s fence post kings have been named as one of Wales’s top family businesses.

Denbighshire-based Clifford Jones Timber, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, makes over four million wooden fence posts a year at its two bases, in Ruthin and at Gretna in the Scottish Borders.

They have also pioneered a range of laminated timber at their specialist plant in Ruthin and diversified into a range of kiln-dried Hunter’s Fuels products, and wooden gates and garden furniture and send almost 4,000 tons of residue a month for biomass pellets.

They ship their fence posts as far afield as the Falkland Islands while other clients for their timber products have included Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Garden programme on ITV, Center Parcs, a luxury treehouse builder, award-winning vineyards and a deck-chair company.

Now the company has been short-listed by Family Business United for the title of Wales’s Best Family Business which will be presented at a glittering occasion at London’s May Fair Hotel in the heart of the West End in June.

Company chairman Richard Jones, the third generation of the family to head the business, said: “We’re delighted to be in the running for an award that has been won by such household names as Brain’s Brewery and Leekes.

“We’re long established and going from strength to strength and we’re proud of the fact that we are always looking to diversify the business and that we use every scrap of the 100,000 tons of timber that comes through our gates every year.”

Clifford Jones, from Wrexham, founded the company in 1948 as timber hauliers and his son, Alan, succeeded him in 1984 and three years later took over a small sawmill in Ruthin.

That has now turned into a business which employs over 70 staff at two bases, turns over more than £10 million a year and has made major investments not just in the laminating plant but also in a computer-controlled timber engineering machine, production lines, drying kilns and biomass energy.

It has also retained the family ethos with Richard Jones succeeding Alan as chairman in 2016 and his sister, Sarah, also on the board and with Richard’s son, Josh, now spearheading a successful commercial drive as area sales manager.

They work closely with their customers and with Bangor University in a constant search to diversify and have launched a new brand of long-lasting fence post with a guaranteed life of up to 35 years.

This has won them major contracts to supply fence posts and when they hosted a special seminar on sustainability for the Welsh Government it attracted business leaders from all over Wales.

Clwyd West MP David Jones, on a visit to the company, said: “It’s a fabulous operation. This is a business that’s grown to what can only be regarded as a state of the art manufacturing facility.

“It’s incredibly efficient. Almost nothing here goes to waste and it is operating in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.”

Richard Jones added: “We have a longstanding policy of diversification and sustainability.

“We look to make the most out of the 100,000 tons of timber that comes through our gates every year and we’re always looking to add value so that even the residues we produce in making millions of fence posts generate an income.

“Everything is used. That's part of our culture that includes using sustainable timber from Welsh and Scottish FSC-certified forests and we aim to make the most of it because it makes good business sense and it makes sense for the planet as well.”

For more on Clifford Jones Timber go to or for Hunters Fuels go to