Charnwood is passionate about championing wood as a sustainable and eco-friendly fuel source. As the world transitions towards cleaner energy, wood continues to be a renewable, local, and efficient option that works perfectly in tandem with other renewable heat solutions.
Wood fuel has multiple benefits
Wood isn’t just great for generating heat; it also contributes to the health of our environment and the well-being of our communities. So, it is great news that, according to the Woodland Trust’s 2021 report, the UK’s woodland cover has more than doubled in the last 100 years, reaching 13.1% of the total land area. Forest coverage is set to continue increasing which provides a host of benefits, including:
Carbon Sequestration: Wood absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it grows. When wood is burned responsibly, a closed-loop carbon cycle can be created with the carbon dioxide released being reabsorbed by new trees.
Biodiversity Enhancement: Woodlands are the habitat for a diverse range of wildlife, including many insects and birds. When done sustainably, harvesting wood encourages new growth and benefits biodiversity.
Local Jobs: Wood fuel production and distribution creates jobs and supports economies in rural areas. This is crucial for maintaining the vibrancy of local communities.
Harvesting & using wood sustainably
To ensure the long-term sustainability of wood as an energy source, it’s essential to adopt responsible practices including:
Silviculture: Silviculture encompasses the nurturing and management of woodlands. It’s the practice of controlling the growth, composition/structure, as well as quality of forests while supporting timber production. A wide spectrum of silvicultural systems exists, each tailored to specific woodland types and areas.
Practicing coppicing: a traditional method of harvesting trees by cutting branches and shoots, allowing them to regrow and provide a continuous supply of wood.
High-Efficiency Stoves: Using high-efficiency stoves that burn cleanly and efficiently, minimising emissions and maximising heat output.
Avoiding Freshly Felled Wood: Avoiding burning freshly felled ‘wet’ wood, as it produces higher emissions due to its high moisture content.
Why seasoned wood matters
Seasoned wood is wood that has been dried so that its moisture content is 20% or lower. This is crucial for several reasons:
Reduced Smoke Emissions: Seasoned wood burns with a cleaner flame, producing significantly lower levels of smoke and harmful pollutants.
Better Burning Efficiency: Dried wood ignites more easily and burns more evenly, ensuring maximum heat output and minimising waste.
Extended Stove Life: Burning seasoned wood helps to protect your wood stove from damage caused by excessive moisture and creosote buildup.
At Charnwood, we recommend using Woodsure wood. Woodsure is a UK-wide wood fuel certification scheme that ensures the wood you’re buying is sourced responsibly and is of the highest quality. Woodsure wood is always seasoned to the correct moisture content, ensuring you enjoy a clean, efficient, and eco-friendly heating experience.
Wood, when harvested and used responsibly, can play a significant role in a sustainable energy future. Charnwood are committed to creating a cleaner, greener future powered by renewable energy sources while preserving the natural beauty and wonders of our woodlands. Choosing your wood wisely and using best stove practices, you can be confident that you are contributing to a sustainable future while enjoying the warmth and comfort of a wood-burning stove.