A LAKE District businessman who failed to impress television’s Dragons' Den entrepreneurs has managed to find success without them.

Richard Bowness, who invented the Truncator saw horse, has reported ‘substantial increases’ of the first-quarter sales throughout UK and Europe.

The award-winning device, which allows for up to 60 logs a minute to be sawn ‘with safety and ease’, is proving particularly popular among Scandinavians.

The company’s website recently had 350 hits from Sweden in under 24 hours. Mr Bowness and his associate Steve Tonkin appeared on Dragons' Den last September when they pitched the saw horse to the panel of five investors, including new Dragons Kelly Hoppen and Piers Linney.

But the pair admitted the show ‘didn't go quite according to plan’ and they walked away without investment. However, since then they have worked tirelessly to promote their product in both the UK and in Europe. On Friday and yesterday (Saturday), they exhibited at the Oslo Garden Show in Norway, meeting new customers and dealers.

The Scandinavian interest in Truncator has grown since last year’s Dragons' Den series was shown on TV in Sweden.

Mr Bowness said “It's incredible. I can honestly say that I've been totally overwhelmed by the extent of the exposure and the enquiries we've received over the last six months.

“It just goes to show that with belief in your product, sheer determination and a lot of hard work there really is life after Dragons' Den. Every day there is new interest from the UK and overseas - we've never looked back.”

Mr Bowness, a retired builder from Langdale, developed Truncator following a back injury. His idea was to develop a saw horse which saved time and strenuous effort whilst log cutting for his own needs. After being convinced of its benefits and following two years of development the Truncator saw horse is now fully adjustable in height and width of log.