A wood-burning stove is a great way to extend your cooking options. In this blog, we’ll share everything you need to know about wood-burning stove cooking, from what type of equipment you need to what kinds of recipes are best suited.

Wood-burning stove cooking tips

Here are a few tips to get you started:

– Keep a close eye on your stove while it’s in use, and don’t leave it unattended.

– Make sure the space around the stove is clear of flammable materials, such as curtains or furniture.

– Use heavy-duty cookware that conducts heat evenly.

– Keep an eye on the food as it’s cooking, as the wood-burning stove can fluctuate in temperature.

Finally, as always, use dry, well-seasoned wood. Wet wood produces smoke and creosote buildup in your chimney, which can cause a dangerous fire.

Wood-burning stove cooking

It’s important to use heavy-duty cookware that will conduct heat evenly – think Le Creuset, Crane or similar. A cast iron Dutch oven is a wonderfully versatile option and perfect for many recipes including the ones below!

There will be some trial and error required when testing out recipes to get timings spot on. Also, it’s important to remember to keep an eye on the food as it’s cooking, as the wood-burning stove can fluctuate in temperature. We recommend using a stove pipe thermometer to help your accuracy.

What is a wood-burning stove cooking plate?


A wood-burning stove cooking plate is a metal plate that sits on top of the stove. It helps to distribute heat evenly, reduce stove wear and tear and provides stability for pots and pans.

A Charnwood cooking plate is a cast iron plate that has conduction fins on the underside and can replace the blanking plate on a standard Charnwood stove.

The cooking plate is ideal for stoves installed into open-plan living areas where the boundaries of cooking, dining and lounging are merged. The set includes four cast iron trivets for versatility when cooking and the plate is available in two sizes; five or six inch outlet diameters to suit most Charnwood models in addition to the Island II.

Please note: the stove will need to be installed using the rear outlet to allow the cooking plate to be fitted on the stove top.

How to use a wood-burning stove toasting fork?


A wood-burning stove toasting fork is a long, metal fork that is used to toast bread with a wood-burning stove. The Charnwood toasting fork is a neat, highly effective stove accessory designed for use on all our models. The British-made fork and holder are made from stainless steel with a turned beech handle.

The magnetic holder suspends the fork in front of the glass, toasting bread, muffins or crumpets perfectly. The bread will start to toast quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on it. Once it’s done, simply remove from the fork and enjoy!

It’s the perfect gift for any stove fanatic!

What kinds of recipes can I make with a wood-burning stove?

Just about anything! Keep in mind, however, that a wood-burning stoves takes longer to heat up than a gas or electric stove. That means you’ll want to choose recipes that don’t require high heat or that can simmer for long periods of time. Some great examples include stews, soups, chili, pot roast, and casseroles.

3 simple wood-burning stove recipe ideas


1. Sausage and lentil Stew


2. Baked bread


3. Mulligatawny soup


You can toast bread to go with it on your toasting fork!

Bonus super simple jacket potato recipe:

Prick some potatoes and wrap them in foil. Then carefully place in the embers of your fire (wear stove gloves). They’ll take approximately an hour to cook depending on the size of the potato.

while it is safe to cook with your wood-burning stove, please take care and do so at your own risk.

Also explore our log-burner cooking ideas on Valentines day.


Cooking delicious meals while heating your home is one of the great things about owning a Charnwood wood-burning stove. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be an expert at wood-burning stove cooking in no time!

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.

Additionally explore our log-burner fireplace ideas.


Why Choose Us?

At Charnwood Stoves, we’re your trusted experts in wood-burning stoves and cooking. With decades of experience, our passion for quality and innovation shines through in every product. From efficient heating to delightful culinary experiences, our stoves offer the perfect blend of functionality and style.

Count on our reliable support and extensive knowledge to enhance your cooking journey. Join our community of satisfied customers who have embraced the charm and warmth of wood-burning stove cooking.

Contact our team today.


The modern wood burning stoves of today ensure low emission and low carbon heating for our homes. However there have been a number of misleading reports circulating in the news recently suggesting stoves are responsible for contributing far more particulate emissions than they actually do.

It is important to say that some of the air pollution statistics that are quoted are not only incorrect but they lump modern, clean burning stoves together with all sorts of domestic fuels, older appliances and open fires.

The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) have produced this short film to help dispel these reported myths around wood burning stoves with the real facts and address three of the major misconceptions that are being mis-quoted by the media.

1)‘Wood burning stoves are the biggest contributor in the UK of small particulate matter’.

This is not true. At the root of this myth is a statement from Defra’s Clean Air Strategy claiming that domestic combustion accounts for 38% of fine particulate matter. This number was based on a survey carried out by the government in 2015  which wrongly over-estimated the amount of wood being burnt in the UK on stoves and fireplaces. (1)

A much bigger survey carried out in 2019 by the SIA (2) showed the actual figure was less than a third of what the government quoted, making the percentage of PM.2.5 that could be attributed to domestic combustion closer to 13% and NOT 38%.

Subsequent figures recently published by Defra (3) corollate with the SIA’s findings and if their new wood fuel volume figures were combined with the correct emission factors, the real percentage of PM2.5 attributable to domestic wood burning would be less than 10%.

In addition to this the 38% figure was based on emissions from older stoves and open fires. It is proven that modern Ecodesign compliant wood burning stoves (which the majority of our Charnwood models conform to) produce 66% LESS emissions than these outdated appliances. Other sources of PM2.5 were also included in its overall estimation, including wildfires, bonfires, and incinerators which are unregulated sources of particulate matter and certainly not insignificant.

Find out how to clean a wood-burning stove correctly.


2) ‘Wood burning stoves create the same emissions as 18 diesel cars’.

This comes from test results interpreted by the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) but their comparison is extremely misleading and, as the SIA film points out, it is like comparing apples with oranges.

Firstly the comparison is between the appliances running at significantly different efficiency levels, by measuring a car exhaust emissions at an efficient run rate of 21mph and comparing them to all of the emissions at a full run rate for a stove. This completely ignores all the small particle emissions from the car’s brakes and tyres, when frequently the emissions from a car’s brakes and tyres are actually greater than the emissions from the exhaust pipe!

Finally the difference in the dispersal point of particulate matter from wood burning stoves to cars is ignored completely. A car outputs its emissions at face level for a child and therefore there is very little dispersal before it is breathed in, whereas a woodburning stove sends its emissions out of the top of the chimney and there is considerable dispersal of emissions before they even reach human height.

Find out what you can burn in a wood-burning stove.


3) ‘Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are harmful’.

Chair of the Stove Industry Alliance, Morley Sage, explains why this is one of the more concerning misconceptions:

“This view fails to take into account the huge advances that have been made by the woodburning stove industry in recent years. Many critics of woodburning stoves base their assumptions on data linked to open fires, older stoves and poor-quality wood fuel. The SIA would be one of the first organisations to point out that burning wet wood on an open fire, a practice that is still very common today, is one of the least efficient and most highly polluting ways to heat your home. By stark contrast, a modern wood burning stove emits up to 90% less emissions than an open fire and up to 80% less than a stove that is 10 or more years old.”

Members of the SIA (including us at Charnwood) were among the first manufacturers to develop ultra clean burn technology within our appliances to achieve the forthcoming 2022 Ecodesign Regulations (SIA Ecodesign Ready). More recently the SIA has supported and initiated the launch of clearSkies, an independent emissions and energy performance certification scheme for solid fuel stoves and fireplaces. Appliances that are certified under clearSkies will not only meet the performance levels set out under Ecodesign, but also many go a significant way beyond. The majority of our Charnwood stoves achieve highest clearSkies certification: Level 5.

Far from being the problem, modern wood burning stoves are actually the solution to a low carbon, sustainable future domestic heating strategy.

The REAL facts about modern woodburning stoves are that they are a future proof, highly efficient, very low carbon and sustainable way of heating our homes and keeping our families warm, and that is something to be truly proud of.

For further information visit


1) The BEIS Domestic Wood Survey using a sample size of 1,206

2) SIA independently verified research carried out in 2019 using sample size of 10,620 using same questions as BEIS survey

3) The Emission of Air Pollutants in the UK 1970 to 2019 and Defra Research Burning in UK Homes & Gardens Report  


Why Choose Us?

At Charnwood Stoves, we pride ourselves on being your trusted partner in wood-burning stoves. With years of experience and a commitment to quality, we offer the finest selection of stoves that combine timeless design with eco-friendly technology.

Our team of experts is dedicated to providing you with honest and reliable information, ensuring you have all the facts you need to make an informed decision. Choose Charnwood Stoves for a reliable, efficient, and sustainable heating solution that will transform your home while minimising your impact on the environment.

Contact us today.



A.J Wells fabricates a wide range of products from a variety of high-quality materials across our businesses. Our fantastic team are skilled in a range of processes utilising state-of-the-art technology to achieve our exceptionally high standards. With demand for our market-leading Charnwood Stoves growing year on year, we have recently invested almost a million pounds in expanding and improving our welding capacity.

Read on to learn about our upgraded welding bays as well as our state-of-the-art robot welding arms.

Welding Bays


While redesigning the factory the Charnwood production manager and team leaders came together to develop a new design aiming to create the ‘perfect’ welding bay for the space. A modular, flat-pack approach was agreed upon with individual bays being standardised and optimised for comfort and efficiency.

One of the main improvements involved putting a roof canopy on each bay with extraction from the top. This stops welding fumes leaking out and massively improves the whole factory environment.

In the bay, the placement of all elements were optimised including tools such as grinders, our existing lifting tables, shelfs for clamps and even the radio etc. This was all with a view to maximise comfort for our great team of welders who work long hours in the bays.

Once ideas had been gathered, a prototype was built and the welders tested it out and provided feedback and suggested any changes they’d like made.

Some of the feedback included increasing the height, changing the air inlets, and improving the temperature and the lighting. A significant depth of detail was considered, even analysing shadows being cast and adjusting things accordingly.

The aim was to standardise the bays so that all workers would be familiar with any bay they worked in.

Space for another 5 welding bays to be installed in the near future has been allocated.

Upgraded Equipment


Here are some of the standout features that convinced the team to choose the Lincoln welders supplied by our friends at Rapid Welding:

– They enable our team to achieve high-quality welding finishes

– They are energy saving

– Have helpful preset settings

– Are easy to teach employees

– Lincoln are a high-quality, reliable, brand

What the upgrades provide

These welding bays and new equipment have significantly improved the working environment of the whole factory. Improving the comfort of our hard-working welders and also providing some significant efficiency benefits.

Some quotes from our team of welders now the bays are up and running:

“Nice and bright, the light is a lot better than the old welding bays.“

“Nice and compact for what we produce – everything is close to hand.”

“Easy access to bring in your work and remove a complete stove from the lifting table using a sack truck. A lot better than the old welding bays.”

“The extraction helps so much. It keeps the fumes away from people in the rest of the fabrication shop.”

New Robot Arms


In addition to our upgraded welding bays we have invested in two more cutting-edge robot welding arms.

This has doubled our robot welder capacity from 2 to 4 robot arms and is allowing us to produce stoves at a much more efficient rate. Our skilled robot operators have been working intensively, learning to program new models and learning how these machines work to maximise their output.

These robots produce less spatter with pulse welding, removing the need to spray the stoves with anti-spatter products. This has decreased the amount of processing needed post-weld significantly, which is an incredible boost to productivity, cutting energy consumption, and making it an improved place to work.


A.J Wells continues to look for new ways to improve the business for our wonderful customers, our fantastic team of hard-working employees and the environment. Our latest investment manages to positively impact all these areas and the size of the investment is testament to the significant growth of the business for which we are truly grateful. Watch this space for the next steps in A.J Wells’ journey!

You can get in touch here to discuss your project.


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…” 

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. 


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: 

Andrew Huberman: 

Diary of a CEO: 

Rich Roll: 


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. 



With demand as strong as ever now is the perfect time to prepare for next winter. Here’s a quick overview of the top 7 reasons to buy a wood-burning stove. 

 1/ Save money on your heating bill  

An efficient stove can massively reduce your reliance on your central heating. With gas and electricity prices remaining high, kiln-dried/seasoned wood can save you £££’s! 

You can save even more on fuel bills by accessing free sources of wood.  

Find out how/why burning the RIGHT wood saves you money & protects the environment!   

 2/ Increase your wellbeing  

A whopping 93% of Charnwood stove owners replied definitively that their stove has a positive impact on their wellbeing. 

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

Click here to learn more about all the well-being benefits users regularly experience! 

  3/ Energy Security  

Power outages are unavoidable, but with a wood-burning stove and a sufficiently stocked fuel supply, you can still stay warm, illuminated and even cook in case of a blackout. 

“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.” Charnwood Customer 

 4/ More sustainable than coal-fired electricity 

Electricity generated through burning fossil fuels is not carbon neutral. Even when renewable energy is used, there are still many limitations and challenges that can have a negative impact on the environment. 

Responsibly sourced wood is a carbon-neutral fuel as it gives off the same amount of carbon whether it is burnt or decays naturally. The carbon released from burning wood is balanced out by the carbon absorbed by the tree during its lifetime. 

5/ Multi fuel options  

We always advocate for using kiln dried wood as this is the most sustainable and efficient way to burn. However, multi-fuel stoves open a world of possibilities when it comes to heating your home, offering you the ability to switch to smokeless fuels such as briquettes and wood pellets. 

6/ Add value to your property  

Not only can you enjoy the warmth and beauty of a wood burning fire, but installation can also add value to your home, with estimates ranging between a 5-12% increase. So even if you plan on moving soon, it’s well worth considering a wood burner to add value to your home. 

7/ Make your house a home  

Studies have shown how hearth and campfires can influence arterial blood pressure and defray the costs of the social brain through fireside relaxation. A wood-burning stove is able to harness this powerful effect and help turn a house into a home. 

“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!” Charnwood Customer 

You’ve read the reasons, now here are the facts 

There is a lot of inaccurate information out there, so to gain some clarity the Stove industry Alliance (SIA) have detailed some important facts that set the record straight. 

If you’re ready for the next step, we strongly recommend that you buy through an official Charnwood stockist, where the after-sales support will be of a standard approved by us. 

By purchasing through this channel you will also qualify for our dealer-backed 10 year guarantee, so lookout for the Official Charnwood Stockist badge. 


Find your nearest Charnwood stockist here! 


There is a misconception among some in the media that people are installing wood-burning stoves purely for aesthetic appeal. However, the reality is there are many reasons including energy independence and security, significant well-benefits, supplementing other renewables, off grid living etc. The fact a wood-burning stove looks nice and makes a home feel like a home is usually just a bonus.

Well-being benefits  

When people do talk about ‘aesthetics’, however, they are often underestimating just how sizable this benefit can be. The Charnwood Wellbeing Survey 2021 showed wood-burning stove owners enjoyed significant well-being benefits. While this is connected to how a stove ‘looks and feels’ the effects on the people and families are far from superficial. 

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.’ 

Here are some quotes from Charnwood customers discussing the well-being benefits of their stoves. 

“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.” 

“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.” 

“Fire is deep within the human psyche and sits in a happy place in our limbic brain. You get lost from the day to day in a fire – it’s a little bit of wilderness in the order of the day to day.” 

“The stove just provides a much-needed atmosphere on a cold winter’s 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.” 

Energy Security (Stoves provide a real sense of security) 

There are many other wellbeing benefits that come from owning a stove including the peace of mind people get from feeling they have proper energy 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.” 

Click here to learn more about the other well-being benefits users regularly experience! 

As you can see, even when considering just the aesthetic appeal of wood-burning stoves, this isn’t purely a superficial quality as some with agendas would like you to believe. The well-being benefits associated with wood burning, even infrequently, are significant and provide people with an important tool for dealing with stress and extracting greater joy from daily life. 

People install a wood-burning stove for the multiple benefits outlined below. The fact there are so many is the REAL reason people choose to install a wood-burning stove. 

-Renewable source of energy  

-Local fuel 

-Lower start-up costs 

-Independent of weather variability 

-Supports other renewables 

-Promotes sustainable living practices 

-Provides energy independence & security 

-Significant well-being benefits 

-AND YES, they look great too! 

We understand the well-publicised desire to improve PM 2.5 emissions from all areas of society, including wood burning. However, modern wood-burning stoves are part of the solution, and it would be far more productive to acknowledge ALL their benefits and not look to invent narratives to manipulate public discourse. 

There’s no denying that a wood-burning stove looks great, but it is far more important to acknowledge how it makes you feel. 


From Shepards huts, yurts, and local authority housing to the most impressive London townhouses and countryside estates, we are proud to manufacture wood-burning stoves for a diverse range of homes which house people from all backgrounds. 

Far from being just a trendy middle-class luxury as some newspapers have suggested, wood burning stoves offer perhaps the most inclusive and accessible heating solution on the market. Providing a long list of benefits and an affordable heat source for all. 

Read on to learn about all the advantages of owning a stove and how anyone in society can benefit! 

History of the Charnwood LA (Social Housing Solution) 


In the early 1990s Charnwood pioneered the LA (Local Authority) Multi-fuel Roomheater and became the UK’s leading supplier to Housing Associations and Local Authorities for many years. The Charnwood LA was installed in thousands of homes throughout the whole of the UK and Ireland. It was designed, in particular, to help in areas that had good access to solid fuels/wood but where open fires were predominantly used.  

Our founders were early to recognize the inefficiency of open fires and set about designing something that was affordable and that could be slotted into an existing fire opening to provide a far more efficient heating solution. 

Charnwood also developed the ‘Firefront’ which effectively used the existing chamber of an open fire to retain and convect heat and burn fuel more effectively. The majority were sold in rural areas, in Wales, northern England and Scotland and provided an affordable and efficient heating solution for thousands of homes.  

This origin story runs counter to the false media narrative that wood-burning stoves are only for the middle classes in major cities. We are proud of our heritage and having contributed to families’ warmth and well-being across the UK for generations. 

Wood-Burning: A Heat Source for All Budgets 

In 2023, with multiple ongoing global crises, wood-burning stoves continue to be a home heating solution for all budgets, playing a vital role in helping families survive these challenging times.  

Low start-up costs 

A wood-burning stove is one of, if not, the cheapest heating solutions to install and maintain. Upfront costs of a few thousand pounds are far more accessible compared to the tens of thousands it can cost to install a heat pump, solar panels, wind turbine etc.  

There is a modern ultra-efficient stove available for nearly all budgets, making it a widely adopted heating solution. Our Country 4 is our current entry-level stove and has replaced the LA providing more style and greater efficiency. Its traditional good looks and competitive price means it is perfect for a wide range of homes. 

These figures are estimates 

Lower fuel costs  

Wood has remained more competitive than rising fossil fuel prices, and offers the potential to save even more on fuel bills by accessing free sources of wood. Fallen trees, industrial woodworkers and online sources like Gumtree and Freecycle are often fruitful sources of free wood.  

Find out how/why burning the RIGHT wood saves you money & protects the environment!  

Long-term savings 

Ultra efficient modern wood-burning stoves can last 20 years plus with good care and upkeep. Additionally, most components used within a Charnwood stove are modular and can be replaced when or if they wear out, further extending the life of your stove. 

Wood stoves enable eco-conscious & alternative ways of living 


Wood-burning stoves are fantastic in virtually any home environment. In fact, they are often one of the only options for people seeking to live sustainably off-grid in log cabins, yurts, shepherds’ huts, and other ‘tiny home’ accommodation. 

Tiny homes are a fantastic way to bring comfort and relaxation to the most beautiful and remote locations and help people seeking to live with the lowest possible environmental impact. Typically, in these situations access to mains energy supplies is unavailable and a wood-burning stove is the only option for a constant heat source.  

Our Stove Pod is perfect for tiny home accommodation – click here for more information 


Here is a list of some of the benefits enjoyed by wood-burning stove owners from all areas of society: 

-Renewable source of energy  

-Local fuel 

-Lower start-up & maintenance costs 

-Provides energy independence & security (Independent of weather variability & supply issues) 

-Supports other renewables 

-Promotes sustainable living practices 

-Significant well-being benefits 

We believe wood burning stoves are for everyone and when used responsibly can be a massive positive for society and the environment. For this reason, we take our responsibility seriously to educate our customers about wood burning best practices. We acknowledge the need for ultra efficient wood burning stoves and we have made it our mission to continue innovating and leading the industry forwards in this area.  

We are aware that many families on lower incomes rely heavily on wood burning to heat their homes more affordably. So, we find it incredibly rewarding to supply people across the world from all walks of life with the most efficient stoves on the market today. 


In response to the recent headlines, the SIA set about investigating the data to see if negative rhetoric around pollution from wood burning in modern Ecodesign stoves was justified.

Spoiler alert, the answer is a definitive no, but please read on to see for yourself.

Monitoring London’s air quality

London has been at the centre of the controversy and as it is monitored extensively for air quality, with information readily available, it is an ideal place to focus investigations. The London Air website, a platform run by Imperial College London, holds data from no less than 131 monitoring sites located across the capital.

You can look at the data for each site using the drop-down boxes within the monitoring section of the website. It allows you to select air pollutants, including PM2.5 and PM10 particulates, and display the data for each.

Below is a summary of the results presented by the SIA’s communications manager, Erica Malkin:

-PM2.5 (tiny particles caused by things like construction, road traffic, aviation and shipping, agriculture, domestic and commercial combustion, outdoor burning, and wildfires) values in 2022 at every London monitoring site that has information for last year (22 in total) were below the current UK legal limit of 20ug/m3 annual mean, without exception.

-For 2023 year to date, 41 out of 42 sites record levels below the UK legal limit, with the average being 13 ug/m3.

-7 out of the 42 sites monitoring PM2.5 record 2023 YTD levels as falling within the much lower previous WHO recommended limit of 10 ug/m3 annual mean.

-In 2022 the average PM2.5 level recorded across all sites was 10 ug/m3 which means London met the WHO recommended limit (at that time) last year.

-For PM10 there is not a single monitoring site showing levels this year or last that exceed the current UK limit of 40 ug/m3 and, again, many are within the WHO recommended limit which is HALF the current UK limit at 20 ug/m3.

Looking beyond the headlines

As you can see, these results paint a very different picture than what is being published by the media. In fact, you’d struggle to find a single newspaper with even the slightest reporting on this positive news.

However, it is much easier to find hyperbolic news articles that continue to muddy the water by using the catch-all term “wood burners” instead of analysing the data in depth and acknowledging the fundamental differences between open fires, older stoves and modern ultra-efficient stoves.

If the media could only communicate this distinction between the different forms of wood-burning, they would achieve so much more in the pursuit of reducing overall PM2.5 emissions.

Erica Malkin rightly observes:

“What is becoming increasingly clear from the data, is that it is “modern, technically advanced stoves, coupled with effective stove user education, Smoke Control Area enforcement and industry regulation, that are the key to helping us do better and reduce air pollution linked to indoor domestic combustion.”

“The Environmental Improvement Plan points out, it is vital that we “Design and implement measures to drive a shift away from older, more polluting appliances, to newer appliances which meet our tough new emission standards.”

We can all do our part in reducing emissions by replacing an open fire or older closed stove with a clearSkies 5 certified stove (the most advanced currently available). In conjunction with wood-burning best practices, they can drastically reduce emissions from this sector by up to 90%!


It is essential that we examine air quality monitoring data rather than attention-grabbing headlines. This is the only way to ensure that statistical information is presented in an unbiased manner to provide the accurate information required to make sensible decisions that benefit society.


You can read Erica Malkin’s excellent article in full here.


At a time of multiple global crises when thousands of people have been thrown into fuel poverty, wood-burning stoves are playing a vital role in helping families survive these troubled times. So, it’s wrong and dangerous for certain newspapers to misrepresent data to blanket criticise a heat source that is helping so many. We agree that updating open fires and old wood-burning stoves will make a massive difference to PM2.5 emissions. However, we ask you to be discerning and take a closer look at the data which reveals that modern ultra-efficient stoves are a big part of that solution.

Our heritage (why we’re passionate about wood-burning stoves)


In 1972, Alfred J Wells and his two sons started a small engineering business in Niton on the Isle of Wight specializing in tractor and machinery repairs. A combination of the 70s oil crisis and the spread of Dutch Elm disease in the UK led the trio to produce a small wood-burning stove as an alternative way to help people heat their homes efficiently.

Our founders were the original environmentalists who knew that responsibly sourced wood is a carbon-neutral fuel that is local, sustainable and reduces the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels. Their cutting-edge stoves were a cleaner and more efficient way to burn than open fires, significantly reducing emissions.

Now in its 50th year, A.J Wells has grown from humble beginnings to making Charnwood a leading global stove brand. We are a proudly British business, sourcing raw materials here in the UK and providing significant local employment. We remain motivated to push innovation well beyond Ecodesign standards and lead industry developments towards manufacturing the most efficient wood-burning stoves possible.

So, is PM 2.5 from wood-burning stoves damaging our health?

Inside the home

PM 2.5, or fine particulate matter, are microscopic particles or droplets present in the air that can be damaging to health when inhaled in sufficient quantity. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has established that the safe daily average limit for PM 2.5 in the environment should be ≤ 10 µg/m3 (1). As a point of reference, the air in Central London averages between 18-25 µg/m3.

A study conducted in the US in 2019 that featured in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, examined 137 homes and found that the average daily level of PM 2.5 particulates in homes was 6-7 µg/m3 while those with a wood-stove was just a fraction more at 6-8 µg/m (2). A tiny difference that is well within the WHO safe level.

This doesn’t surprise us, as we know that a correctly functioning wood stove draws air, smoke and particulates out of a room and up the chimney. However, best wood-stove practices are vital in achieving these low levels and something that we are passionate about teaching our customers and other wood-stove users alike.

Read more about best-wood stove practices to save you money and reduce emissions!

Outside the home (addressing the HGV scare story)

Data is too often twisted and cherry-picked to bolster a blinkered argument. For example, comparing the emission rates between wood stoves and HGVs has caused much unnecessary concern. Claims that a wood-burning stove is worse than 750 HGVs make a good headline but is shockingly misleading.

Closer inspection reveals that their data excludes brake and engine wear and in fact, just one Euro 6 HGV (let alone 750) produces 13 times more PM2.5 emissions than an Ecodesign wood-burning stove over the course of a week’s real-world use. Furthermore, emissions from HGVs are emitted at ground level (nearer head height) while wood smoke is dispersed more safely, higher up via a chimney flue.

The SIA say, “ The claims are based on simplistic calculations using permitted rates of emission and do not consider either real world use or non-exhaust emissions. Furthermore, these permitted emissions rates rely on vastly differing measurement protocols and techniques. It should also be noted that there are several unreferenced assumptions, and the report does not appear to have been independently peer reviewed.”

Click here to read more

Not all wood-burning is the same

Another common error is to lump in modern efficient stoves with all other forms of domestic wood-burning, including open fires and outdoor bonfires which are far more polluting (3).

However, a high-quality ClearSkies rated stove that is properly installed and serviced and is burning properly seasoned wood fuel, reduces emissions by up to 90% compared with an open fire and by up to 80% compared with older, basic stove models.

Additionally, logs that are sourced from properly managed woodland can be a sustainable practice that works in harmony with our forests. In fact, copsing is key for wildlife proliferation and the future of our woodlands.  

When the UK government released its 2020 figures for PM emissions the data showed that the overall percentage of PM2.5 attributable to domestic indoor burning (including open fires and old stoves) was 17%. More importantly, it showed that modern Ecodesign compliant wood burning stoves were contributing just a tiny 1-2% to emissions. (4)

Trusted Chief Medical Advisor Chris Whitty in his latest report acknowledges this saying, “For air pollution emissions, there is substantial difference between the different open fire and stove designs, the age of the appliance and how well maintained it is, and the moisture content of the wood, for those who want to burn wood.” (5)

Therefore, a far more pragmatic and impactful approach to reducing PM 2.5 levels would be to target the significant percentage from open fires and old stoves by actively encouraging people to switch to the very best modern wood-burning stoves!

Not all stoves are equal either (Ecodesign is just a start)


It’s also important to note that not all Ecodesign wood-burning stoves are the same. The figures above are based on the most basic Ecodesign models on the market. However, ClearSkies 5 rated Charnwood stoves are up to 30% more efficient than standard Ecodesign.

That’s a super clean burn! Yet we continue to innovate and believe we can increase efficiency and reduce emissions even further in the near future. After all, 10 years ago Ecodesign was considered difficult to achieve and here we are already beating that standard – we are excited about the innovations to come.

No pure way to keep warm

The uncomfortable truth is that it’s impossible to remove PM 2.5 completely from our lives and a level of risk must be accepted if we are to function as a society. When you consider that roasting a chicken in the oven or even making toast can produce levels of PM 2.5 in the home far in excess of a wood stove, it helps put things in perspective!

It is also clear that, despite how things may be presented, there is no 100% clean and easy home heating solution. While each option has merits, they also have their limitations and challenges.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps have been championed by the government as the leading home heating solution, however, they have high start-up costs while full efficiency during the cold seasons cannot universally be reached. Electricity is required to run the heat pumps, which unless 100% renewable means they are not carbon neutral. Even when renewable energy is used, these energy sources also have their limitations and challenges as we detail below. However a great solution can be heat pumps in conjunction with a wood-burning stove – in fact we do this in our offices – as the heat pump provides background heat with the wood-burning stove topping up the heat for the cold days.

Solar panels

Solar panels are dependent on the sun which means that they cannot be fully relied on. Batteries used to store solar energy require lithium mining, while the manufacturing, installation, transportation, and maintenance of solar panels produce 0.18 pounds of CO2 for every kW hour. Solar panels also have toxic metal components containing cadmium and lead and are hard to recycle. (6)

Wind turbines

Wind turbines can be devastating for birds and other wildlife, while they are also weather dependent meaning a constant supply is impossible. There is also much resistance from individual communities due to how they affect the beauty of the countryside.


Modern nuclear plants are a promising option for cleaner electricity; however, they have a difficult past which means there will always be societal resistance and a level of risk will always be there. They also produce highly toxic waste which requires careful management.

Natural gas

Natural gas is a non-renewable fossil fuel and as global stocks continue to decrease, fracking is increasingly being relied upon. Fracking can be highly damaging to the environment and can contaminate local groundwater supplies. It has been blamed for leaking millions of tons of methane, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide and is also associated with releasing airborne hydrocarbons that can cause health and respiratory issues.

A hybrid co-heating solution that can help unleash other renewables


We are not saying these technologies are all bad, in fact we have made a significant investment in solar panels on our factory roof producing over 1GW of energy to date. We are just pointing out that all energy sources require compromise and tradeoffs. The key is to maximise the benefits while reducing the negatives.

This is what ClearSkies standards achieve. Unlocking all the benefits of wood-burning while keeping emissions to a bare minimum.

A reminder why wood-burning stoves are a vital part of the equation:

-They can produce heat for long periods, unaffected by weather variations

-Allowing them to work in conjunction with wind, solar and other energies helps make these renewable technologies more viable

-They provide energy independence and security

-Are an ideal emergency/low-frequency heat source

-Allow single-room heating rather than heating the whole house/empty rooms

-Responsibly sourced wood is a carbon-neutral fuel as it gives off the same amount of carbon whether it is burnt or decays naturally. The carbon released from burning wood is balanced out by the carbon absorbed by the tree during its lifetime

-Ability to source fuel locally and without fracking, deep-sea oil drilling and excessive transportation

-A good quality stove can last many decades and provide an affordable source of heat for low-income households

-The right to repair. Most components used within a Charnwood stove are modular and can be replaced when or if they wear out, further extending the life of your stove

-Significant well-being benefits have been reported from wood-stove users

We believe that the optimum path forward is a co-energy solution that involves combinations of renewable technologies AND modern efficient wood-burning. When insufficient sun or wind prevents solar panels and turbines from working, an ultra-efficient wood-burning stove is there to provide a reliable source of heat. People can more confidently embrace renewables when they have a wood-burning stove to fill in gaps of supply.

Let’s pull together and collaborate

We understand the general concern with PM 2.5 emissions and welcome stringent regulations, but it is vital we target the appropriate sources. Wood-burning critics are right to point out the issues with open fires, outdoor bonfires and poor-performing stoves. However, we urge you not to muddy the water by targeting modern ultra-efficient stoves along with them – the differences are vast!

We also fully accept that wood-burning best practices and burning appropriate fuel are vital. That is why, on top of the information we continue to share, we are developing a free training program for all our customers as well as anyone who wishes to inform themselves.

A grown-up debate that is nuanced and considers a wider range of factors is essential. Otherwise, we risk throwing the baby out with the bathwater and finding ourselves in an even more compromised position regarding our energy security.

We can achieve so much more if we come together, and we urge those of you who resonate with this to help spread a positive message.










Other useful sources of information:


We are looking forward to exhibiting at the Flam’expo Show being held at EUREXPO in Lyon, France from the 21-23 of March 2023. Flam’expo is the leading wood energy event in France and will be a wonderful opportunity to meet many of you and enjoy some time with our French Dealers.

Charnwood will be providing an exclusive preview of the highly anticipated Charnwood Haven (one of the first public viewings in Europe) as well as a great selection of our other modern ultra-efficient stove models.

Read on to get inspired by our fabulous range of wood-burning stoves and bring any questions to our stand!

The Charnwood Haven


There is a real appetite for a contemporary wood-fired range cooker that combines the charm and functionality of a traditional range with the ultra-efficiency of the latest clean burn technology. The feedback we have received so far has been incredible and we can’t wait to hear from our European friends.

The Charnwood Haven is based on the size and dimensions of our iconic Island III model, producing a rated output of 6kW of heat. It comes equipped with a well-sized oven and large hot plate enabling you to cook with a wide array of pots, pans and trivets. The integrated thermometer allows for greater temperature control and cooking accuracy. It’s a surprisingly versatile and delicious way of cooking, allowing you to create soups, stews, roasts, baking and more!

The pictures are beautiful, but we strongly encourage you to come and see it in person – it’s so impressive!

The Cranmore 3 & Stove Pod

The Cranmore 3 is an ultra-efficient 5-star ClearSkies-rated wood-burning stove, demonstrating 86% efficiency on independent tests. This makes it one of the most efficient stoves on the market today. With a 2-5 kW output, it’s the perfect size for most glamping spaces and provides a crystal-clear burn. Easy to operate, with a single air control and removable ashpan, it lends itself to guests that may not have previous wood-burning experience.

The Stove Pod is a freestanding unit that requires no wall attachment. It is incredibly sturdy and features a curved design which directs heat into your space. The steel casing is magnetic, and Charnwood provides tools and cookware that can be attached. The flue support has a convenient warming shelf for plates, pots and pans – perfect for Glamping!

Its available in a matt black hammered powder coat with the option to add a VLAZE vitreous enamel liner for a stylish, easy to clean finish. Again, this is definitely worth seeing in person as photographs can never fully capture the splendor of Vlaze.


We hope you’re suitably inspired! Come along to our stand 2.1H44 to experience all of our wonderful stoves. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be waiting to chat and answer your questions – we hope to see you there!

Find out more here!