Updated: May 13
Using wood as a fuel has a number of benefits. Firstly, contrary to what many people think burning wood and charcoal can be environmentally beneficial. Much of the woodland in the UK is semi-natural woodland and benefits from being managed. Many small woodlands are under-managed, so cutting firewood and producing charcoal from them can help rekindle traditional woodland management to the benefit of both the trees, the wildlife and the owners. Continued neglect is not an option for these woodlands.
Bringing coppice woodlands back into rotations encourages a greater diversity of flora and fauna. Cutting wood opens up woodlands for flowers, insects, birds and small mammals letting in light. Dorsets woodlands are seldom ‘natural’ but have developed thanks to a long history of management by man. New woodfuel markets will secure the future of our historic wooded landscapes.
In addition producing charcoal and using wood as a fuel also benefits the rural economy by providing local employment, and an opportunity for diversification for farmers and other landowners to find value in low grade wood. Also local deliveries eliminate the necessity for long-haul transportation and the production and supply of local charcoal has been shown to reduce fossil fuel consumption by over 85%, compared with imports from South America or South Africa. Moreover, providing the wood comes from a sustainable source, as ours does, wood is a source of renewable stored solar energy.