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A.J Wells & Charnwood are committed to sustainability and constantly seek innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint and make positive progress towards Net Zero 2050. Our recent environmental-focused efforts, which we will discuss in this blog, have already started yielding impressive results – read on to learn more!

Solar panels
 

Another benefit of the summer sun is all the clean electricity being produced. We are happy to report that we have recently added 50kw of additional solar panels to the roofs of our factories, bringing us to 150kw in total. This has resulted in the generation of nearly 1 gigawatt-hour of clean energy to date and as there is still a little space left on our roofs we will likely add to our capacity in the future!

Charnwood Skye E700 update

 

Modern Ecodesign stoves are 90% more efficient than open fires and 80% more efficient than older stoves, however, there is still much more we can do. That is why we invested nearly £1,000,000 last year and continue to lead the industry in developing cutting-edge wood-burning technology.

A good stove with good fuel has always been possible to achieve. However, the user has until now been the weak point in achieving the best possible efficiencies. The Charnwood Skye E700 uses intelligent technology that automatically ensures your stove burns at the optimum temperature. Developed to be super easy to use – everything you need is just one button away on your stove or on our stove app which allows you to control from the comfort of the sofa.

We have taken time to optimize the stove and the software for maximum performance and have learned more about combustion than we have with any other stove. Electronic stoves are fascinating to work on as you can change a few parameters in the code which will translate into a completely different type of burn, flame pattern, performance and emissions. With the results we have achieved, we passionately believe that intelligent stoves are going to play a significant role in the near future.

The E700 is already available in the US and will be coming to Europe soon. Watch this space!

Supporting environmental & humanitarian projects

 

This year we welcomed Joshua Omulongolo from rural Kenya for 5 months who came to our R&D lab. During this time, he introduced us to the delights of Ugali and together we developed a low-cost cook stove by molding ceramic based materials into a shape that maximized clean combustion and heat output and safely and cleanly exhausted flue gases outside. On his return to Kenya, he has continued the development and made a number of prototype cook stoves that he has tested at his home and his church. We are still in contact with him as he transitions this into a micro business that will help reduce the respiratory problems that are associated with indoor open fire cooking.

15 Ideas to reuse our packaging

As online shopping surges, packaging waste becomes even more of a concern. At A.J Wells, we understand the impact and have offered some innovative ideas to reuse and repurpose packaging materials. Explore our blog to discover at least 15 great ways to give your A.J Wells packaging a new lease of life while reducing waste. Read more here

Green roof

 

While our focus remains on significant initiatives like solar panels and energy-efficient equipment, we recognize that even small ideas can make a substantial impact. Initiatives such as bike-to-work schemes and tree planting programs have proven to be catalysts for change, not only for our carbon footprint but also for engaging our employees and community. These ideas go beyond their obvious environmental benefits, fostering a sense of environmental awareness and inspiring others to join us on our sustainability journey.

One such recent addition to our environmental efforts is the implementation of a green roof. Our green roof not only beautifies our premises but also provides numerous benefits, including improved air quality, enhanced insulation, and reduced stormwater runoff. By integrating nature into our infrastructure, we showcase our ongoing commitment to harmonizing with the environment and promoting a greener future. Read more here

Refurbished signage

 

Refurbishing old signs is a very cost-effective way to extend their lifespan, and our innovative approach involves stripping them down to the frame, examining the frame and trims, improving the decoration, and installing new illumination and acrylic faces. By doing this, we were able to restore these 17-year-old signs to their former glory. Reusing when possible is better than recycling as this saves even more energy. Read more here

Bunhill Energy Centre

We were pleased to manufacture and supply our Wellsclad vitreous enamel cladding panels for the TfL / Islington Council’s, New Bunhill 2 Energy Centre. The heat recovery centre takes excess heat from the London Underground, Northern Line and feeds it into the Islington Council’s district heating network to provide offices, leisure centres and over 1,350 homes with heat and hot water.

We continue to embrace projects that have a direct positive impact on the environment. Read more here

 

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In April the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero announced they were extending the time period for evidencing the purchase of alternatives fuels, including wood and solid fuels to the end of May 2023.

The £200 Alternative Fuel Payment (AFP) is a government scheme aimed at supporting households that rely on alternative fuels for heating. It is available to those not connected to the mains gas grid and covers homes heated by tank or bottled gas, LPG, oil, wood, or solid fuel. The payment is in addition to the £400 payment from electricity suppliers.

Recently, the government announced an extension to the AFP scheme. Eligible households can now use receipts from June 2022, instead of September 2022, until May 2023 as evidence to claim the payment. This change will ensure that those households that purchased fuel in bulk ahead of the winter 2022 heating season will receive the support they are entitled to.

Most households meeting the eligibility criteria automatically received the payment as a credit on their electricity bill. However, in some cases, the discount was not received automatically, for example if you:

-pay for energy through a landlord, housing manager or site owner

-live in a park home, houseboat or off the electricity grid

Andy Hill, chair of the SIA, commented: “This is a common-sense announcement and ensures that those households that did plan ahead, buying their wood logs and solid fuel supplies in the summer months last year, will not be penalised for doing so. Wood and solid fuel heating is an essential lifeline for the many thousands of homes that are off the gas grid network, and for remote and very rural locations it is vital to ensure that a fuel supply for the winter months is sourced well in advance.”

You can check your eligibility and apply for the AFP scheme via the government’s official website here.

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In today’s fast-paced world, stress and anxiety have become commonplace. While there are many ways to combat these issues, you may be surprised to learn that a wood-burning stove can have a profoundly positive impact on your mental fitness and wellbeing.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the ways lighting a wood-burning stove can benefit mental fitness, including reducing stress and anxiety, promoting relaxation and mindfulness. With Mental Health Awareness Week approaching (15-21 May), there’s no better time to explore this simple yet highly effective technique.

How lighting a wood burning stove can support mental fitness   

 

A wood-burning stove is more than just a source of heat and can support mental fitness in multiple ways. The experience of making a fire, followed by the warmth and soothing crackling sounds it generates, creates a calming and meditative atmosphere that promotes relaxation and reduces stress. Focusing on the process of lighting and maintaining the fire can also help shift the mind away from negative thoughts and distractions.  

Wood burning can also provide a sense of purpose and connection to a timeless practice that has the potential to bring people together. Studies have shown how hearth and campfires can influence arterial blood pressure and defray the costs of the social brain through fireside relaxation. Here is a section from the study:  

‘Results indicated consistent blood pressure decreases in the fire-with-sound condition, particularly with a longer duration of stimulus, and enhancing effects of absorption and prosociality. Findings confirm that hearth and campfires induce relaxation as part of a multisensory, absorptive, and social experience.’ 

By incorporating wood burning into your self-care routine, you can enjoy a mindful and fulfilling experience that promotes mental fitness and overall wellbeing. 

The physical/mental fitness benefits of wood burning   

 

As well as providing a source of heat that is both sustainable and environmentally friendly, wood-burning can also benefit physical health. Chopping and carrying wood requires physical activity that can help improve cardiovascular health and build muscle strength.  

These benefits to physical fitness have a positive knock-on effect to one’s mental fitness: 

“There is a growing body of literature that recognizes the positive effects of exercise on mood states such as anxiety, stress and depression, through physiological and biochemical mechanisms…” 

https://www.maturitas.org/article/S0378-5122(17)30856-3/fulltext 

Additionally, the unique bone warming heat produced by your wood-stove promotes physical activity as it is a great way to ease any aches and pains of the day. For example, a long winter walk is far more tempting when you know you have a warm fire to cosy up to when you get home. 

Wood burning as a type of mindfulness   

Lighting a fire and tending to it requires a level of patience, focus, and attention to detail that can bring a real sense of calm and centeredness. 

As the flames flicker and the wood crackles, it’s easy to become absorbed in the sensory experience of the fire and let go of distracting thoughts or worries. This type of mindfulness practice can be particularly beneficial for those who struggle with anxiety or stress.  

How to get started  

With the fire lit, sit comfortably with eyes open or closed and try focusing on the sound of the crackling wood and the warmth of the flames. Allow yourself to be fully present in the moment and let go of any distracting thoughts as they arise and simply return your attention to the fire. 

Wood burning Increases bonding and improves relationships 

Gathering around the fire with family and friends provides a sense of warmth, comfort, and connection that is often missing in our fast-paced, technology-driven world.  

Invite friends or family to join you around the fire and enjoy the warmth and connection that it can provide. You’ll be surprised how much more the conversation flows when there is a fire crackling in the background! 

Here are some quotes from some Charnwood customers: 

“My grandchildren ask for the fire to be on when they are having a hot chocolate on a frosty day.” 

“Winter evenings with friends. Whenever we have visitors during the winter, we always make sure the stove is running as this usually ensures nobody will request the television be turned on, leading to an altogether much nicer atmosphere with people actually chatting and engaging much more, rather than staring at the screen.” 

“Chopping wood is a great way to relieve stress! Everyone congregates around the fire and the children like to help with the kindling etc. It just creates a special atmosphere.” 

“The stove is the catalyst for family bonding, which helps with relaxation & mood improvement. It helps to unwind after a days exertions at work.” 

“You can just gaze into the fire and be taken away from the stresses of work. It gives opportunity for the family to come together and talk. Talking just seems to come easier when siting around the stove.” 

Source: The Charnwood Wellbeing Survey 2021 

Increased energy security lowers stress 

A wood-burning stove also has some very practical ways of reducing common life stressors. With energy prices going up and supply issues still a real concern, a wood-burning stove provides a great way to mitigate both worries. 

Here are some more Charnwood customer quotes: 

 “We love our log burner. It makes us feel warm, safe and secure. It helps heat the whole house, which has proved an asset in power cuts. Nothing beats sitting in the living room with the warmth of the fire in the depths of winter.” 

“Lighting the stove after a walk by the sea during winter is a joyful experience. Has helped to alleviate the worry of power failures as we live in an area prone to electricity outage during bad weather. Just knowing that we have our lovely stove for independent heat and low light is fab.” 

“As an electric only house, we wanted a plan b during a power cut to heat the home” 

“Having a wood burner means I am less vulnerable in power cuts. I can still have heating, boil a kettle, cook food if I need to.” 

Read more about the wellbeing benefits of stoves here 

Don’t forget!

Ensure you use best wood-burning stove practices to save money, reduce emissions and to stay safe! Read more here 

Look out for the Woodsure Ready to Burn label which guarantees a moisture content of 20% or less. 

For a list of approved firewood sellers in your area click here. 

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With such high demand for wood-burning stoves, particularly in the colder months, now is an ideal time to prepare for next year. We highly recommend purchasing through an official Charnwood stockist where you can be assured of excellent after-care, and you will also qualify for our dealer-backed 10-year guarantee. 

Bonus: Podcasts that contribute to our mental fitness 

Mo Gawdat:  

https://www.mogawdat.com/podcast 

Andrew Huberman: 

https://hubermanlab.com/welcome-to-the-huberman-lab-podcast/ 

Diary of a CEO: 

https://stevenbartlett.com/the-diary-of-a-ceo-podcast/ 

Rich Roll: 

https://www.richroll.com/all-episodes/ 

 

Disclaimer: The content in this blog is not a replacement for professional medical advice. Please always contact your GP for help with any mental health issues. 

 

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Whether we like it or not, autumn (and winter) is on its way, bringing cooler weather and darker nights with it. But what better way to embrace this seasonal shift than with some cosy living room updates?

Today, we’re going to be sharing some interior design tips on how to pull off a cosy living room design. Taking the lead from some of the latest seasonal trends (as well as timeless upgrades), we’ll give you all the ingredients you need to cook up a snug and soothing living space.

Go bold with neutrals


Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Neutrals aren’t typically renowned for their statement-making capabilities, but this year that’s changed.

Neutral hues like beige, grey, taupe and terracotta are standout colours this season and can make a refreshing change from cooler colour palettes like white. Mirroring the natural world outside, they bring an earthy, warm feel that’s perfectly timed for autumn.

To optimise their visual impact, keep the overall colour palette simple. Pairing one anchoring neutral hue with a complementary shade can help to break up block colours, giving it a softer, layered look.

For a classic comforting finish, soft clay-coloured walls with ivory woodwork and accents can transform your living room into a sumptuous space. For a more modern vibe, use eye-catching feature walls to show off your neutrals, like a pale grey wallpaper colour paired with a blush pink or an on-trend mustard yellow.

Turn up the heat

With cold weather on its way, getting your living room heating just right is key to creating the ultimate hunkering-down haven – and nothing makes a living room feel cosier than a real fire.

With the ability to command attention, fireplaces provide a natural focal point for living rooms of any size, so it’s time to make them roar.

For a practical and stylish option, a striking wood burning stove is guaranteed to give your living room that all-star treatment.

Whether you opt for classic black or gorgeous green, a stove that radiates style and heat is never a bad addition to your living room design, helping you to enjoy all the visual beauty of a roaring fire without the worry of a sooty hearth.

Embrace autumnal shades

Neutral hues are primed for giving living rooms a grounded and cohesive base, but unless you’re going for a monochrome masterpiece, there’s always room to add some popular autumnal shades.

To keep the colour palette warm and welcoming, why not introduce flourishes of spice-inspired hues like burnt orange, turmeric, mustard yellow and mulberry that match the natural colour changes outside?

Alternatively, give your living room a luxury edge using stunning jewel tones like cobalt blue and emerald green. Perfectly matched to pale grey or taupe, these rich hues are guaranteed to indulge the senses.

To ensure these hues don’t overpower the room and take the vibe from soothing and serene to busy and bold, use them in moderation as accents through your selection of accessories and soft furnishings.

Snuggle up with layers

During the cold, dark winter nights, we all crave (and deserve) some extra comfort. The introduction of different textures can be just what’s needed here, giving your living room a layered look that feels like a giant hug every time you enter the room.

To pull this off without the finished look feeling frumpy and cluttered, choose your fabrics and furniture wisely. These can be statement pieces like a new sofa covered with soft, sumptuous and on-trend boucle, velvet or corduroy.

Alternatively, use accent pieces to do the leg work, creating an indulgent and inviting space. A new statement rug, extra sofa cushions, throws and assorted accessories will create a wonderfully layered look.

While contrasting textures and finishes work well, you need to find the right balance, so don’t be afraid to play around with your positioning and fabric options before deciding on your final design.

Giving your living room some TLC this autumn could be the ideal way to ensure your home epitomises comfort when the cold sets in.

Whether your living room’s due a full overhaul or you just want to make a few updates in time for winter, we hope these ideas give plenty of seasonal inspiration to create a cosy and charming space.

For more information on living room ideas, check out our additional blog here.

 

Author bio

Alex Jones is a content creator for 1ClickWallpaper – one of the UK’s leading online suppliers of affordable wallpaper and decorating supplies, offering a huge online range of wallpapers, paints and decorating essentials.

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Every year we send a limited-edition Charnwood calendar to each of our fantastic Charnwood stockists. It has become something of a tradition and a nice way to share some beautiful artwork and our latest wood-burning stove images.

We are delighted that the wonderful author/illustrator, Rachel Bright, has generously given us a beautiful graphic poem to take pride of place on this year’s front cover.

It’s so wonderful, in fact, that we just had to share it with you.

Meet me by the fire at midnight 

by Rachel Bright

Doesn’t it just capture the imagination? It weaves a story that surely resonates with anyone lucky enough to own a wood-burning stove – it really makes you want to light the fire and snuggle!

Most of us have our own magical stories that were only possible due to the warm and cosy focal point the fire provides. Bone warming heat and mesmerizing flames that draw loved ones together and into orbit around the woodstove on a cold winter’s night.

And to some peoples’ surprise, many of us actually look forward to winter precisely because of the joy our wood-burning stove brings.

With all the uncertainty in the world, it’s truly comforting to sit back on a cold night with a warm fire blazing. Knowing that you can depend on it whatever the weather and circumstances in the wider world. This is a huge motivator for us to continue creating the latest, most efficient stoves on the market and contribute to a more sustainable future.

_________________

All of us here at Charnwood and A.J Wells & Sons wish you a very merry, warm and toasty Christmas.

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Interior design can have a dramatic impact on the overall look and feel of a room, but this doesn’t always require a complete overhaul of a space – or even super matchy-matchy decor, for that matter. No, often it takes just one or two key features to transform a room from bland to beautiful.

Want to know more? Well, luckily for you, today we’ll be sharing a number of focal feature ideas for different areas of the home that are guaranteed to completely change a room’s ambience. From eye-catching staircases to cosy boiler stoves and more, we’ll show you how just one focal feature can steal the show.

1. Use stairs to create heavenly hallways

There’s no escaping the fact that most hallways simply serve the purpose of ushering people through to the more exciting rooms. However, as the gateway to your home, let your hallway be the star of the show for a change, using your stairs as an eye-catching feature.

If you have the space and budget, one idea is to install a fairytale spiral staircase. Curving around as you ascend to the next level brings something magical to a typically mundane act, as well as creating a stunning focal point for your home.

For more traditional staircases, why not use colour to accentuate their natural beauty? This could be brightly coloured carpet runners or a bold wallpaper print used on the back of stair treads. You could even go for painted stair treads or spindles in an ombre effect for a more playful look. The key here is to pair bold tones and patterns with pale, neutral hues like white, light grey or cream to allow the colours to speak for themselves.

2. Create a focal feature with fire

Fireplaces are a tried and tested focal feature in many homes, and for good reason. Back in the olden days, they were the place to gather to keep warm and cook, but in modern homes they offer the perfect opportunity to make a stylish design element – regardless of whether the fireplace is functional or not.

If you’re blessed with a traditional-style open fireplace with a mantlepiece or chimney breast, bring it bang up to date with a colourful makeover. This could be embellishing the hearth with patterned tiles or giving the fireplace itself a fresh coat of paint. If the fire isn’t usable, don’t leave it empty. Use candles, flowers or other decorative ornaments to draw the eye in and transform it from a functional element of the room to an integral design piece.

Of course, open-fireplaces aren’t your only option. If you’re looking to give your living room a cosy feel, then a free-standing stove could be the way to go. With models available in a choice of colours and styles, you can give the heart of your home that centrepiece it deserves. Finish your design with a collection of stove accessories like a funky wood basket and a sumptuous rug laid in front of the fire for soaking up that warm glow of an evening.

For further information on enhancing your fireplace design, check out our blog here.

 

3. Give your kitchen the wow factor

Whatever set up you have in your kitchen, this busy room is primed for making a style statement in your home – and it doesn’t require a full-scale kitchen makeover either. Instead, pick one key feature to update and let this be the core focus of your kitchen interior.

As the workhorse of most kitchens, we love the idea of making your kitchen worktops do more than just food prep and display various kitchen appliances. With a simple countertop update, you can transform the entire look and feel of your kitchen without even having to consider replacing any other integral pieces like cabinets and appliances.

For a timeless look that can be adapted to both classic and contemporary kitchen design, sleek and elegant granite worktops are a sensible choice. Not least, they’re incredibly durable and practical, meaning they’ll stay looking pristine and beautiful for decades with minimal effort, but also the wide choice of colours gives them incredible versatility to suit almost any decor style.

For more information around why you should have a fireplace in your kitchen, check out our blog here.

 

4. Let original features shine through

Whether you’re updating your bedroom, living room or kitchen, sometimes you don’t need to invest in adding new decorative details to a space to give it a fresh new look. Stripping back rooms to accentuate their original features can work equally as well in altering its aesthetic.

If your property has some quirky original features like exposed brickwork, wooden ceiling beams or vintage parquet floors, let these features come to the fore. You may think this will only work if you love rustic or industrial interiors, but you’d be wrong.

Contrasting old and new interiors correctly can make these design elements even more distinctive. Think a high-end modern all-white kitchen set against a striking red brick backdrop with pops of zesty coloured accents added in to soften the look. Or an ultra minimalist bedroom design that’s centred around original wooden floors, using a cool colour palette and simplistic decor to highlight its natural beauty.

Whichever avenue you choose to go down with giving your home defining focal features, we hope this gives you plenty of ideas on how to use one or two core elements in your interior design to transform the space.

Author bio:

Sophie Armstrong is a content creator for granite and quartz worktop specialists Burlington Granite who provide a full bespoke worktop solution by offering templating, cutting, polishing and fitting, all driven by 25 years of industry experience

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As the heart of the home, the kitchen is the perfect place to pay attention to when it comes to your interior design. If you love to spend time whipping up a culinary storm and dining together as a family, it makes sense that you give the kitchen the touch of TLC it deserves when it comes to decorating. In the name of creative inspiration, we’re here to help. Today, we’re looking at 3 reasons you should consider bringing a fireplace into your kitchen design - offering tips and advice along the way so you’re left with a space the whole family simply loves spending time in.

1. It can be stunning focal feature

Unlike most other rooms in the home, the kitchen serves several practical purposes, and this means that the appliances often act as the focus points in this space. While you might have an attractive looking fridge or top-of-the-range washing machine, it’s unlikely that you want to draw attention to functional appliances when you’re considering interior decor.

By bringing in a fireplace, you can accessorise the borders and hearth with fireplace tiles to completely transform the look of your kitchen and make the fireside the focal point. A wood burning stove, acts as an eye-catching feature in its own right. However, you can always add the finishing touch by having a basket of wood and any pokers or accessories beside the stove.

2. It will provide warmth in winter

When the winter months set in, home cooked food is what most of us crave. But preparing to spend potentially hours in a frosty kitchen doesn’t hold much appeal, especially when you can be sitting snug and cosy with your throws by the fire in your living room – so how do you remedy that? Bring the fire into the kitchen, of course!

Heating your home using your kitchen fireplace can also be a way to keep energy costs low. Most modern stoves today are highly efficient and very clean burning. From wood pellets and firewood to mineral fuels, there are several options available to you when it comes to using your fire, so you can spend some time figuring out the best option for your home.

For more information around making the most with a fireplace during winter, check out our additional blog here.

 

3. It will create an atmosphere

Last but not least on our list of reasons for adding a fireplace to your kitchen is the atmosphere that this can create. A fireplace can add character to a room that has perhaps previously been all about being functional. While it still provides a purpose, it can be an attractive centrepiece even when not in use.

If you’re lucky enough to have space for a dining table and chairs in your kitchen, a fireplace could be the perfect finishing touch. In the winter evenings, you can light it up and allow the warm glow of the fire to bathe the kitchen in an ambient light as you eat together as a family. In summer when the fire isn’t needed, use the hearth to display candles and freshly picked flowers.

By choosing to have a fireplace in your kitchen, you can create a truly unique focal point that is practical, yet gives off bags of aesthetic appeal.

Author bio:

Suhayl Laher works at Tiles Direct, one of the UK’s largest independent tile distributors and retailers – bringing design inspiration to homeowners, architects and developers.

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At the bottom of a garden in Hackney, London, lives this striking, modern, geometric ‘Writer’s Shed’ by British architects Weston, Surman & Deane. It was designed as a writing retreat for an author and acts as his city sanctuary where he immerses himself in his work. A Charnwood C-Four was selected to feature prominently in the design from both a visual and functional perspective.

Read on to learn why Charnwood was the ideal choice for these designers

The shed’s design responds to the client’s passion for literature and mythology. Outside, the glowing cedar façade, shingle cladding, log store and chimney invite you into its world. Inside, a large skylight floods the workspace with natural light. The bookcase on the gable wall is carefully crafted around the Charnwood C-Four wood-burning stove situated in the heart of the space.

The Writer’s Shed was shortlisted for the architect’s journal small projects competition 2014 and won the Hackney design award and Hackney People’s Choice award in 2015.

Charnwood C-Four
 

The C-Four, with its large picture window, benefits from Charnwood’s latest Cleanburn technology and delivers a heat output of between 2 to 5.5kW. It’s a classically styled wood-burning stove that features one single air control and an integrated inlet for ducting external air to improve performance and efficiency. This stove meets Clean Air Act requirements and allows you to burn wood in smoke control zones in London and other densely populated areas.

Key Features:

-Cleanburn airwash technology

-Drop down throat plate enabling the chimney to be swept through the stove

-DEFRA exempt for burning wood in smoke control areas

-The stove can take logs up to 282mm (11”)

Relaxation & focus
 

The crackle and warmth produced by fire creates a perfect creative, scholarly and stress-free environment. It blocks out and reduces the need for distractions allowing you to be present and focused on the task at hand. Below are some quotes from our customers from a recent well-being survey that highlights how a stove can be an antidote to the digital age and help create an ideal workspace.

“Helps to switch off from the technology that takes over our everyday lives. You feel a sense of achievement when the first sparks ignite.”

“It’s extremely relaxing to sit by the fire and watch the flames dance away. So much so in fact, that we opted to cancel our Netflix subscription and we simply don’t watch it any longer. We’d much rather sit and watch the fire instead!”

“Sitting round the fire has become a special tradition. We’ve removed our technology from the living room and now have the fire and bookcase”

“We watch the flames not the TV (even the dog likes to sit and stare)”

“I sit on the sofa watching the flames. It’s better than watching tv”

“Mesmerising flame watching takes us away from our worries and concerns. The room has a focus that isn’t a screen and gives warmth with it.”

Read more about our customers’ experience with their log-burner and how it helps their wellbeing! 

Where to buy?

As well as excellent after-care, by purchasing through an official Charnwood stockist you will qualify for our dealer-backed 10-year guarantee.

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Willow Cottage is both a photography/film location and a unique homestay. Its charming interiors have featured in publications such as Conde Nast Traveller and Country Homes & Interiors as well as attracting visitors from near and far. Charnwood were delighted to supply our Island I wood-burning stove which brings real warmth and comfort to this gorgeous little cabin.

Read on to learn more about Willow Cottage and why Charnwood fits perfectly.
 

This gorgeous rustic little cabin is located at the bottom of the garden on the grounds of Foster House in Rye, South East England. It is self-contained behind a picket fence and elegant New England Style gates. A luxurious ‘shabby chic’ interior with a rough wooden floor and a small Everhot Aga-style cooker is complemented by a Charnwood Island I wood-burning stove.

At the back, it opens onto a secret garden with decked and shingled areas and flower-filled raised beds. A conservatory and hot tub allow guests to absorb the peace and tranquility of this magical secluded retreat.

It’s such an evocative location and one can imagine lazy mornings with breakfast in the magnificent 4-poster bed, sunlight pouring in, the sounds of nature and of course a roaring fire in the evening after a blissful day.

Well-being well and truly restored.

Charnwood Island I
 

The all-new Island I is the smallest stove in the Island collection and is perfectly suited to the space at Willow Cottage.

Its uncomplicated looks and gentle curves ensure it sits well in any situation; be it modern or traditional. It can take a log length of up to 370mm (14.5”) and with a rated output of 5kW the Island I, in certain situations, can be installed without the need for external air. This stove meets Clean Air Act requirements and boasts an efficiency of over 85% and an extremely low smoke particle level of 9mg/m3 (the Ecodesign limit is 40mg/m3).

With groundbreaking new burn technology, the Island I not only meets Defra exemption limits (allowing wood to be burnt cleanly in smoke control areas) but vastly exceeds the new 2022 Ecodesign standards.

Cultivating a deeper connection to nature
 

Much like taking a trip to the Rye countryside, using a woodstove gives its owners a deeper connection to nature. Collecting firewood, chopping and preparing a stove feels primal and awakens a natural sensibility.

Below are some quotes from our customers from a recent well-being survey that highlights this connection.

“Worked in forestry for 36 years, just a natural thing to do, can’t beat a real fire.”

“Chopping and stacking wood is very calming and lets my mind focus on that one task. Building, lighting and getting the fire to the perfect temperature does the same and gives a real sense of achievement. It all makes me feel closer to nature.”

“For me, sitting around a real fire has a deep connection to something ancient.”

“There’s something deeply Primeval about lighting a fire and benefiting from its heat. Every time you light it there is a deep sense of satisfaction”

“Splitting logs gets me outside and keeps me active, which is good for my body and mind. There’s also a great sense of satisfaction in getting the wood pile ready for winter, and I’ve also learned a lot about different types of wood and how to manage trees sustainably.”

“Watching the stove in full display is almost hypnotic and has great relaxing properties. It also has a back-to-nature feel and without any electrical devices in the room is perfect for de-stressing.”

Ready to take the next step?

Whether you’re ready to buy or just want to discuss your options, we strongly recommend that you contact an official Charnwood stockist, where the before and after-sales support will be of a standard approved by us.

 


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This blog is a review and closer look at the results of the Charnwood Wellbeing Survey 2021. A survey of over 1200 wood-burning stove users and the impact of stoves on their wellbeing. The vast majority of stoves owned by participants utilise Charnwood’s modern clean-burn technology and are EcoDesign ready.

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In recent years we have seen a move towards a greater understanding in society of mental health and the need for self-care. The lockdowns only brought this more into focus and it was no coincidence that stove sales rose steeply during this time. It was clear from our conversations with customers that there was a strong relationship between owning a stove and a happier home.

We recently conducted a survey of stove users to better understand the significant and unique benefits that wood-burning stoves provide their owners and family’s wellbeing. The response was phenomenal with 1227 users (we thank you all) providing deep insight into the wider benefits of owning and using a stove.
 
A whopping 93% replied, definitively, that their stove has a positive impact on their wellbeing, while the bar graph below shows the range of ways these benefits manifest.
 

Participants were then asked to elaborate on their choices, and we were overwhelmed with the response. You can view the Charnwood Wellbeing Survey Results here.

Here are some of the best responses that provide some wonderfully deep insight into life with a stove.

The benefits of a wood-burning stove to wellbeing

“The wrap round warmth the fire provides improves the feeling of well-being that no other heating system seems to provide.”

“The world seems much better with a stove! It has huge mental health benefit, particularly during pandemic “

“I live alone and work a very stressful and emotionally draining job. Coming home to my stove provides so much comfort, even in the absence of having someone to come home to. Literally couldn’t live without it.”

“I find the process of building and lighting the fire therapeutic and sitting watching the flames is very relaxing.”

“It helps me to switch off after work and also to consider things more clearly and calmly. It seems to warm my soul as well as my feet!”

Increases bonding and improves relationships

“My grandchildren ask for the fire to be on when they are having a hot chocolate on a frosty day.”

“Winter evenings with friends. Whenever we have visitors during the winter, we always make sure the stove is running as this usually ensures nobody will request the television be turned on, leading to an altogether much nicer atmosphere with people actually chatting and engaging much more, rather than staring at the screen.”

“After a day of sledging and building snowmen and having snowball fights with the family it was very relaxing and comforting for us all to warm up in front of the fire.”

“Chopping wood is a great way to relieve stress! Everyone congregates around the fire and the children like to help with the kindling etc. It just creates a special atmosphere.”

“The stove is the catalyst for family bonding, which helps with relaxation & mood improvement. It helps to unwind after a days exertions at work.”

“You can just gaze into the fire and be taken away from the stresses of work. It gives opportunity for the family to come together and talk. Talking just seems to come easier when siting around the stove.”

Digital detox – an antidote to the digital age

“Helps to switch off from the technology that takes over our everyday lives. You feel a sense of achievement when the first sparks ignite.”

“It’s extremely relaxing to sit by the fire and watch the flames dance away. So much so in fact, that we opted to cancel our Netflix subscription and we simply don’t watch it any longer. We’d much rather sit and watch the fire instead!”

“Sitting round the fire has become a special tradition. We’ve removed our technology from the living room and now have the fire and bookcase”

“We watch the flames not the TV (even the dog likes to sit and stare)”

“I sit on the sofa watching the flames. It’s better than watching tv”

“Mesmerising flame watching takes us away from our worries and concerns. The room has a focus that isn’t a screen and gives warmth with it.”
 

Stoves provide a real sense of security

“We love our log burner. It makes us feel warm, safe and secure. It helps heat the whole house, which has proved an asset in power cuts. Nothing beats sitting in the living room with the warmth of the fire in the depths of winter.”

“Lighting the stove after a walk by the sea during winter is a joyful experience. Has helped to alleviate the worry of power failures as we live in an area prone to electricity outage during bad weather. Just knowing that we have our lovely stove for independent heat and low light is fab.”

“Back up for central heating given no of power outages,”

“As an electric only house, we wanted a plan b during a power cut to heat the home”

“more efficient than previous coal fire and, in extremis, if gas supply fails or is too expensive, will provide warmth.”

“Having a wood burner means I am less vulnerable in power cuts. I can still have heating, boil a kettle, cook food if I need to.”

They cultivate a deeper connection to nature

“Worked in forestry for 36 years, just a natural thing to do, can’t beat a real fire.”

“Chopping and stacking wood is very calming and lets my mind focus on that one task. Building, lighting and getting the fire to the perfect temperature does the same and gives a real sense of achievement. It all makes me feel closer to nature.”

“For me, sitting around a real fire has a deep connection to something ancient.”

“There’s something deeply Primeval about lighting a fire and benefiting from its heat. Every time you light it there is a deep sense of satisfaction”

“Splitting logs gets me outside and keeps me active, which is good for my body and mind. There’s also a great sense of satisfaction in getting the wood pile ready for winter, and I’ve also learned a lot about different types of wood and how to manage trees sustainably.”

“Watching the stove in full display is almost hypnotic and has great relaxing properties. It also has a back to nature feel and without any electrical devices in the room is perfect for de stressing.”

Making special occasions even more special

“Christmas Day spent with all the family and grandchildren gathered around our stove brings happy memories all year round.”

“Christmas especially. The stove just provides a much-needed atmosphere on a cold winters night. You feel relaxed, cosy and there is something about it that just welcomes you into the living room. I couldn’t live without it.”

“It’s a ritual on Christmas morning to rekindle the stove, and to unwrap the presents without a fire is unthinkable. There’s something magical about children in their pyjamas sitting on the rug in the cosy space in front of a blazing stove.”

“My young nephew visited at Christmas & we built the fire together. It was the first time he had ever lit a real fire. We celebrated with toasting marshmallows! It wasn’t just building a fire – it was building a memory.”

Conclusion

This survey is the first of its kind (that we know of at least) and brings real weight to the argument in favour of wood-burning stoves beyond their already strong heating and environmental credentials. When having the debate on the viability of various home heating solutions, we should recognise the powerful effects that wood-burning stoves have on wellbeing – effects that no other heat source can replicate.

If mental health and wellbeing are, as we believe, important considerations that are rightfully getting more attention, then it is vital that this is properly considered when arguing for and against all types of energy solutions. Let’s be clear, the experiences discussed above are nothing short of what makes life worth living – we shouldn’t downplay or underestimate the important role wood-burning stoves play in people’s lives and the positive knock-on effect to society.

 

Read More:

The Truth About Wood Burning Stoves and Air Quality