15  Wood burning


Wood and other cellulose materials represent stored solar energy, and were the first fuels ever used.  Wood burns about 4 to 5 times more efficiently in an enclosed stove, designed for the purpose, than on an open fire.

Enormous quantities of waste wood from demolition sites, timber yards, packaging and scrap furniture are landfilled each year.  Never burn painted, plastic or melamine coated wood, chipboard or MDF - these give off toxic fumes.  Whilst painted timber and particle boards should only be burned in incinerators with suitable abatement plant, much of the remainder that is unsuitable for logs may be processed to a convenient woodchip fuel for semi-automatic boilers.  These are appropriate not only for domestic use but for small commercial and institutional buildings.  (They also offer prospects for beneficial use of problem wastes such as shredded paper and cardboard, but note that this may be subject to regulatory controls.)

It is claimed that 'wood is a renewable energy source because the carbon dioxide emitted when the wood is burned has been taken out of the atmosphere by the growing plant.  Even allowing for emissions of fossil carbon dioxide in planting, harvesting, processing and transporting the fuel, replacing fossil fuel with wood fuel will typically reduce net CO2 emissions by over 90%' (from www.greenenergy.org.uk/logpile/pellets/index.htm :  wood pellet heating - introduction,  see The Logpile Project, below).  The principle applies to other biomass crops suitable for burning: they are said to be CO2 neutral because the growing crop absorbs almost the same amount of carbon as is emitted during combustion (www.farm2000.co.uk).  

There is also a UK wood pellet and wood pellet stove manufacturing industry developing - pellets are usually made of highly compressed waste sawdust, and have been used for heating in North America, Sweden, Austria and Denmark (see British Pellet Club below). 

One company (see listings below) supplies logs to UK wood burning restaurants.  Wood is sourced from forests working to British Forestry Commission principles, under Big K's  purchasing policy of only using - and thereby promoting - responsibly sustained sources ( managed forests) offering wood off-cuts.  The company also has a packing plant, and a UK manufacturing plant turning charcoal fines into briquettes, both of which lessens transport and environment costs by cutting the need for imports.  It also sells some barbecues made of reconstituted stone, showing an imaginative approach to diversification is possible, within an industry traditionally perceived as specialist. 


Alphabetical list of organisations


1st Call Fireplaces

Tel 01865 777710
61 Boswell Road, Cowley, OXFORD OX4 3HW

Sale and installation of wood burning stoves.


Airplant Ltd

Tel 0116 283 3581  Fax 0116 283 7311
chris@airplant.co.uk  
295 Aylestone Road, LEICESTER LE2 7PB
Contact  Chris Smith, Managing Director

Manufacturer of straw, woodchip and suitable waste fired boilers including automatic types suitable for industrial and commercial premises.   (Updated Aug 2005)


Barton Supplies

Tel 01582 882588  Fax 01582 883314
32 Bedford Road, Barton le Clay, BEDFORD MK45 4PP

Sale and installation of wood and multifuel burning stoves and cookers.


Bentley Fire Shop

Tel 01206 251118  Fax 01206 252145
Unit C5-6, Plough Road Centre, Great Bentley, COLCHESTER, Essex C07 8LQ  
Email bentleyfireshop@lineone.net  Website www.bentleyfireshop.co.uk 

Sale and installation of wood burning and multi-fuel stoves.  (Updated Apr 2001)


Big K Charcoal Merchants Ltd

Tel 0208 808 6336  Freephone 0800 328 5124 (Home delivery)  Fax 0208 365 1452 
Website www.bigk.co.uk  Email sales@bigk.co.uk 
Unit 20, Mill Mead Industrial Estate, Mill Mead Road, Tottenham Hale, LONDON N17 9QU
Whittington Hill, Stoke Ferry, KING'S LYNN, Norfolk PE33 9TE (Tel 01366 500147 or Sales 01366 501485 / Fax 01366 500395)

The first UK company to achieve FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council - see separate entry) certification for four of its suppliers.  Management of all four woodlands is oriented towards multiple benefits, and the development of uneven-age woodland.  Three of the sites are managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and will include restoration of open ground habitats within the woods.  The sites supply pulpwood to Big K's manufacturing plant near Stoke Ferry for processing, bagging and distribution to retail chains throughout the UK.  Supplies logs to a number of UK wood burning restaurants, using mixed hardwoods, seasoned before cutting and splitting, sourced from UK forests (mainly Ash, Beech, Oak and Elm).  All forests supplying Big K work under principles and criteria of British Forestry Commission, and Big Ks policy is to purchase wood from responsibly sustained sources (managed forests) as off-cuts.  Big K intends to expand its supply base in future.  Originally imported pre-packed products; importing had drawbacks, prompting establishment of own packing plant in Norfolk (reducing transport and environment costs).  In 2001 Big K installed its own briquette plant turning charcoal fines into briquettes, making it the sole UK producer.  Home delivery service Freephone 0800 328 5124.  Advises customers check with your local Environment Agency whether the place you are to burn fuel is in a smokeless area.  Also sells attractive barbecues of natural coloured reconstituted stone, ready for self-assembly.   (Updated Aug 2005)


Bioregional Treestations
Tel 0208 404 4891  Email atolfts@onetel.net.uk 
Contact Andrew Tolfts

The loss of natural forests around the world is a major environmental concern, yet our traditional woodlands lie neglected.  The London Tree Officers Association estimate that London generates 54,000 m3 of tree surgery waste per annum of which 51% is dumped and 11% burnt. Yet this wood is a renewable resource which can be put to good use.  There is potential to produce a range of wood products from sawn timber to energy.  If simple forestry practices are introduced in managing urban trees, both useful lifespan and value as timber can be increased, so contributing to local sustainability. 

TreeStations are sites (either urban or rural) to which local woodland and tree managers and owners can bring woody waste, rather than sending it to landfill.  The station develops new uses for wood, and converts it into useful products.  Managing local trees and woodlands sustainably provides environmental, social and economic benefits: it reduces the environmental impact of transporting timber, and benefits people working and living locally. 

In partnership with the London Borough of Croydon, BioRegional has set up a pilot TreeStation, with a small sawmill, setting an example by good management of trees through Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and improving the environment for local people.  Woodlands are highly valued by local residents, and local people are involved in managing four woodlands, removing invasive species and bringing back young growth and a variety of light and shade, so primroses, bluebells and other plants and animals have returned.  Management of trees in parks and gardens has improved too.  Ecological monitoring, helped by BTCV (British trust for Conservation Volunteers) has reduced the amount of waste wood going into landfill. This links with other examples of sustainable living such as the BedZED development (see sections on Green Building, Energy Use and Transport). Some timber has been sold for pulp,  firewood or charcoal(Bioregional Charcoal Co Ltd); some wood products have been marketed locally.  Croydon is the only urban area in the world certified by FSC (see section on Environmental labelling) as a sustainably managed forest. 

Charcoal was made for 4 years from several hundred tonnes of timber, but production has stopped to avoid smoke nuisance.  Most of the wood from Croydon is to be used in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at the recently built BedZED development.  Commissioned in February 2002, it requires 1000 tonnes of wood chip annually, closely matching the amount of wood produced in Croydon.  BioRegional is planning the first rural TreeStation in co-operation with Surrey Wildlife Trust and Surrey County Council, where there is a great range of woodland types, including a relatively large area of ancient and semi-natural broadleaved woodland.  Lessons learned will be shared through a website, site tours and seminars.  Also see entries in sections 31(paper and card), 430 (green building), 450 (energy use) 460 (transport).  (Updated Nov 2002)   


Brent Wood Burners

Tel 01277 374247  Fax 01277 374949
3-5 Coxtie Green Road, Pilgrims Hatch, BRENTWOOD, Essex CM14 5PN
Contact  Ian Mansfield

Sale and installation of wood and multi-fuel burning stoves.  (Updated Aug 2005)


Brighton & Hove Wood Recycling Project
Tel 01273 570500  Fax 01273 570600
4 Inverness Road, BRIGHTON, East Sussex BN2 3JB (postal address only) 
Unit 32-36, Municipal Market, Circus Street, BRIGHTON, East Sussex BN2 9QF (site address only)
Email info@woodrecycling.org.uk  Web www.woodrecycling.org.uk 
Contact  Richie Simpson, Managing Director; Christian Bernard - Director  

Originator of National Community Wood Recycling Project ( see entry below) set up by Richard Mehmed, and
developer of the Recycled Wood Marque.   About 6,000 tonnes of wood a year is landfilled from the Brighton and Hove area alone.  Much is worth saving - the Woodstore is filled with tonnes of  reusable timber, most from the construction / demolition industry.  There is also wooden packaging waste and many non-returnable pallets. (see section 52).  Much household wood ends up at the local tip, or stays in garages and sheds for years.  As most "waste" timber is commercial, a charge can be made to take it away - at less than the cost of a skip, so there is a financial and environmental incentive to recycle.  Sponsored by 3 environmentally aware local building companies, a small truck was bought to collect from their building sites.  Timber was separated and stacked for collection.  The loads are sorted and as much as possible re-used, for instance as floorboards, skirting, shelves and craft materials.  Only 15% of the timber collected is returned to the waste stream.  Also collects from firms with packaging waste and pallets, and members of the public.  

A classification system was developed with the following grades:  
Grade 1   Timber good enough to sell back to the DIY / builders market.  Altough virtually anything will be useful to someone, grade 1 is wood at least 2 metres long, relatively sound, free from bad splits, nails and other contaminants.  Also sheet materials including ply, chipboard, hardboard and MDF over  1 metre square; doors in good condition; pieces of hardwood and anything "interesting".  Al though the wood might look dirty, it is suitable for many uses. 
Grade 2
Clean and sound, but too short or small to be easily sold for DIY.  Suitable to make wood products, from compost bins, bookshelves, art &craft items to high quality furniture.  Making and selling such items is a good way to raise cash and to get across the potential for using recycled wood.  The Recycled Wood Marque helps too, making it easier to identify recycled wood products. 
Grade 3
Around 80% of all wood waste, this grade is the biggest challenge - rotten fence posts, small offcuts, broken doors and everything that doesn't fit into the other two grades.  Much firewood is sold to local farmers with wood-fired boilers heating greenhouses;  lots is re-manufactured into chipboard.  A reasonably sustainable use for the large volume of this grade is as a fuel; one aim is to encourage installation of wood-fired heating / hot water systems in suitable buildings. With the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, wood could be widely used. 
(Updated Nov 2005) 


The British Pellet Club (BPC) 
Tel 01908 665555   Fax 01908 665577   Freephone / 'Renewable Energy for the Home' Helpline 0800 138 0889  
Email  saffron@greenenergy.org.uk
Website  www.greenenergy.org.uk/logpile/britishpelletclub.htm
National Energy Foundation (NEF) Renewables, National Energy Centre, Davy Avenue, Knowlhill, MILTON KEYNES, Bucks MK5 8NG  
Contact  Saffron Myhill-Hunt 

Trade association for UK wood pellet industry.  Formed 2003 to promote wood pellet heating, and excellence in the industry.  Not for profit company limited by guarantee, to benefit members.  Its main objectives are to: promote wood pellet heating; be a central body presenting views to Government, agencies, Parliament, European Commission / Parliament, and other organisations; provide information to industry and customers to ensure high standards of fuel, appliances and installation; provide a forum for exchange of non-competitive information.  National Energy Foundation (see listing below) in Milton Keynes provides secretariat services, and is working on a Pellet Regulatory Study.  Pellets are usually made of highly compressed waste sawdust.  It is claimed pellets are easier to handle and store than wood chip (CRI-East, listed below - www.greenenergy.org.uk/cri/CRIEastPresentation.htm, see slide on pellet fuelled heater); and 'have higher energy density and are more economic and convenient to transport.  Pellet fuels open domestic heating markets to biomass with automatic pellet stoves and domestic boilers being reliable, convenient, clean, efficient and affordable' (British Biogen, listed above -  www.britishbiogen.co.uk/bioenergy/pellets/biofuelpellets.htm).  See also The Logpile Project, below.  (Updated May 2004)


Bromley Community Wood Recycling
Tel 0208 659 9992  Fax 0208 659 5258  Mob 07947 340 180  
Email  bromleywoodrecycling@hotmail.co.uk 
Oakfield Centre, Oakfield Road, Penge, LONDON SE20 8QA
Contact  Terry Cottle, Supervisor

Charity working for Shaw Trust at Oakfield Day Centre, a base for social firms - part of a 5-year rolling contract.  Collects from businesses (eg building sites) and individuals, minimum charge 70 - half the price of a skip.  Uses high cage transit, 6 cu yds - takes up to 12 yds.  Main sources two thirds builders, one third joiners.  Sells reclaimed timber in shop such as skirting, floorboards, joists, dismantled staircases and banisters, beading, sheeted wood, wooden items from house clearances.  Hard and soft wood, firewood and kindling.  Big area, with wood lathe.  Self-employed carpenter makes garden furniture: tables, benches, hand-crafted wood, bird boxes etc, associated with gardening project on same premises.  Hoping to restore household furniture.  Open 9-4 Mon-Fri 9-12 Sat.   (Updated Nov 2005)


Clarke International

Tel 01992 565300  Fax 01992 561562
Email info@clarkeinternational.com  Website www.clarkeinternational.com
Hemnal Street, EPPING, Essex CM16 4LG

Sale of popular workshop equipment including cast iron coal / wood burning stoves up to 15kw capacity.  Stockists throughout UK.


Coals and Flames

Tel / Fax  01277 227043 
147 Kings Road, BRENTWOOD, Essex CM14 4EG

Sale and installation of wood and multi-fuel burning stoves, on request.  (Updated Aug 2005)


Colne Stoves and Fireplaces Ltd

Tel 01787 222608
Website www.colnestoves.com/traditional_stoves.htm 
42 Halstead Road, Earls Colne, COLCHESTER, Essex CO6 2NL

Sale and installation of traditional, wood burning and multi-fuel stoves and fireplaces - large selection.  Can design and build traditional fireplaces and surrounds; sympathetic renovation of old fireplaces using seasoned oak beams and traditional bricks.  Technical advice.  Open Mon-Sat 9-5.  Map on website.  (Updated Nov 2005)


Culworth Forge / Culworth Engineering 

Tel 01295 760439  Fax 760778
The Green, Culworth, BANBURY, Oxon OX17 2AZ
Contact  Tony Grice

Sale and installation of wood and other solid and multi-fuel appliances, and gas, oil and electric burning stoves.  Also open fire baskets and associated equipment.   (Updated Aug 2005)


Essex Fireplaces

Tel 01702 510000  Fax 01702 511111
Email essexfireplaces@aol.com www.essexfireplaces.com 586 Rayleigh Road, Eastwood, LEIGH ON SEA, Essex SS9 5HU
Graham Marlow, MD

Sale and installation of wood and multi-fuel burning stoves.  Builds all types of brick fireplaces, from tiny hole-in-the-wall to walk-in Inglenooks - all from reclaimed materials including timber mantles.  Operates sister companies from the same site:  Marlows Reclaimed (see sections 24 Architectural Salvage, 22 Building Materials Reclamation or 23 Timber Reclamation), which deals in reclaimed materials and also provides them for Marlow The Feature Building Company (see section 430 Green Building and Decorating) which can build, rebuild or remodel houses, buildings or gardens from reclaimed and architectural materials.  Willing to talk through ideas for any projects - for example, rebuilt a 1970s house-front using minimum 100 yr old materials giving a different appearance.  Chimney stacks built - newbuild, rebuild, and stainless steel twin lined.  Chimney sweeping service also.  Oak flooring and joinery made and supplied from both new sustainable (managed forests) and old reclaimed timbers - for example, flooring and windows made in collaboration with a bespoke designer.  Reclamation yard has 100,000 bricks always in stock, and architectural antiques of all descriptions - indoor, outdoor, garden ornament and statuary - including York flagstones (deliverable even by lorryload from York) and London cobbles.  Stocks chimney pots of all descriptions, for use as chimneys, ornaments or planters.  'Given time, anything in the world could be sourced.'  (Updated Aug 2005)


Fire Place, The

Tel 01869 322389  Fax 01869 322396
Website www.the-fire-place.co.uk 
45 Wedgwood Road, BICESTER, Oxon OX26 4UL    OX6 7UL  

Sale of wood and multi-fuel burning stoves.  (Updated Aug 2005)


Firewood Co

Tel 0207 267 0444
31C Ospringe Road, LONDON NW5 2JB

Sale of wood and multi-fuel burning stoves.


Flamewave Fires
Tel  0845 257 50 28  Fax 0845 257 50 38
Website www.flamewavefires.co.uk 
DK UK Ltd, PO Box 611, Rye, FOLKESTONE, Kent CT18 7WY

Range of fireplaces including traditional wood-burning (convector) fires and stoves. Open Mon-Fri 9-5.  (Updated Nov 2005)


Haussmanns

Tel / Fax 01295 279122 
28 Parsons Street, BANBURY, Oxon OX16 8LY

Sale and installation of wood burning stoves.


The Log Pile Project
Tel 01908 665555   Freephone / 'Renewable Energy for Homes' Helpline 0800 138 0889   Fax 01908 665577  
NEF Renewables, National Energy Foundation (NEF), The National Energy Centre, Davy Avenue, Knowlhill, MILTON KEYNES, Bucks MK5 8NG
Email  saffron@greenenergy.org.ukrenewables@greenenergy.org.uk  
Website  www.logpile.co.ukwww.greenenergy.org.uk/renewable_energy/index.htm
Contact  Saffron Myhill-Hunt

Promotes use of wood as a renewable energy source.  Benefits of the project include:  online database of wood fuel suppliers with search facility;  guide on how to use wood as a sustainable energy source;  opportunity for wood fuel suppliers to increase sales;  detailed information on wood pellets www.greenenergy.org.uk/logpile/pellets/index.htm ;  supplier lists of wood pellet stoves and boilers.  Supported by DEFRA through Environmental Action Fund;  managed by Sandra Hayes at the National Energy Foundation (NEF - listed below).  See also British Pellet Club, above.  (Updated May 2004)


The National Community Wood Recycling Project (NCWRP)
Tel 01273 465666  Fax 01273 465616
Email info@communitywoodrecycling.org.uk  
Website www.communitywoodrecycling.org.uk  
Premier House, Shoreham Airport, West Sussex BN43 5FF
Contact  Melaine Hickford, Communications Manager;  Richard Mehmed, Project Director 

Not-for-profit environmental group set up in February 2003 (at Brighton & Hove Wood Recycling Project - see above) to provide encouragement, help and practical advice to individuals or groups interested in setting up and developing community - focused wood recycling.  Helps and monitors a network of wood recycling projects across UK dealing in waste timber from construction and other users.  Wood is collected mainly from building site demolition, joinery, packaging and domestic waste, sorted into grades, then sold to the public via 'wood shops' or converted into wood products, firewood, woodchips for fuel, mulches or animal bedding.  Aims to see 20 more UK wood recycling projects (typically not-for-profit social enterprises) set up by 2007, saving thousands of tonnes of wood from landfill, creating sustainable jobs, training and volunteering opportunities, and aiding local waste minimisation strategies.  To encourage use of recycled timber, has developed the "Recycled Wood Marque", making it easier to identify recycled wood products.  They hope it will be adopted nationally and internationally.  People choosing products with the marque will encourage use of recycled materials.  More info on website.  (Updated Nov 2005)


National Fireplace Association

Tel 0121 200 1310  
Website www.nfa.org.uk  Email enquiries@nfa.org.uk 
6th Floor, McLaren Building, 35 Dale End, BIRMINGHAM, West Mids B4 7LN

Promotional body for the fire, stove and fireplace industry -
appliance manufacturers, fireplace and chimney constructors, and retailers - particularly  companies who are members of the Association.  Information on fires , fireplaces and stoves (including wood burning) as a means of space and water heating.  Provides advice on product availability and expertise in chimney construction and renovation.  Website can be used to find local retailers or national distributors, or order technical information leaflets (3 each), and has glossary and safety information.  Also private area for members to update their own profile.  (Updated Nov 2005)


Newbury Fireplace Centre

Tel 01635 40480
Email info@fireplacesberkshire.co.uk  Website www.fireplacesberkshire.co.uk 
Alan T Wright & Co Ltd, Shaw Hill, NEWBURY, Berks RG14 2EQ

Sale and installation throughout Berkshire of wood burning and multi-fuel stoves, refurbished Aga and Rayburn cookers.  Also marble and stone fireplaces, worktops, monumental mason, gas fires.  Domestic and commercial.  (Updated Nov 2005)


Rigby Fireplaces
Tel 0208 868 7899
7 Pinner Green, PINNER, Middx HA5 2AF
Contact  Michael Rigby

Sale and installation of wood burning stoves.  Also Rigby Heating, 298 Kingshill Avenue, Hayes, Middx, Tel 0208 8422499.  (Updated Nov 2005)


Teisen Products Ltd

Tel 01527 821621  Fax 01527 821665
Website www.farm2000.co.uk  Email peter.teisen@btinternet.com
Droitwich Road, Bradley Green, REDDITCH, Worcs B96 6RP

Manufacture of Farm 2000 range of biomass (straw, wood, woodchip, cardboard and combustible waste) fired boilers, including automatic types, suitable for domestic, commercial and industrial premises.  Supplies smokeless boiler made in Denmark that burns woodchip / woodpellet, and crushed or shredded scrap timber even with nails in.  Replaces fossil fuels and reduces CO2 emissions.  Also supplies chimneys and boiler accessories, and offers assistance with design of heating systems.  Equipment sold throughout UK.  Some technical info on website.  (Updated Nov 2005)


Theale Fireplaces (Reading) Ltd

Tel 0118 9302232  Fax 0118 9323344
Website http://theale-fireplaces.co.uk  Email mail@theale-fireplaces.co.uk 
Milehouse Farm, Bath Road, Theale, READING, Berks RG7 5HJ

Sale and installation of all styles including traditional wood burning stoves.  Keeps extensive stocks of well seasoned locally grown timber (20 species of home grown hardwoods from sustainable sources or reclaimed timber) so grains and veins can be chosen to complement fires, panels, furniture and rooms.  (Updated Nov 2005)


Todaysure Projects Ltd

Tel 0161 929 7172  Fax 0161 929 6210
Email sales@todaysure.com  Website www.todaysure.com 
154 Oldfield Road, ALTRINCHAM, Cheshire WA14 4BJ

Markets woodburning combustion units, for woodwaste, pallets, chipboard, MDF, skip debris, woodchips, dust, cardboard and paper, producing hot air and hot water. Capacity from 1 to 120 tonnes per week.   (Updated Aug 2005)


Wood Energy Ltd
Tel 01398 351349  Fax 01398 351115 
Website  www.woodenergyltd.co.uk   Email  info@woodenergyltd.co.uk
Pinkworthy Barn, Oakford, TIVERTON, Devon  EX16 9EU
Contact  Patrick Thornberry

Leading installer of biomass boilers from domestic to large scale industrial heating.  Sole UK distributor of Binder wood chip and wood pellet boilers 15kW - 3000kW.  Distributor of Enviro range of pellet stoves and boilers, and ExtraFlame pellet stoves (pellets are denser than chips with 10% higher calorific value, cost more than woodchips but less than heating oil, and more cost-effective to transport).  Carbon-neutral, cost-effective, automatic wood heating suitable for a wide range of sites including schools, hospitals, residential care homes, leisure facilities, district heating networks for homes, country estates and industry requiring space and process heating.  Useful info and FAQ on website.  (Updated May 2005)