09/12/17

Wood Fuel business helps ‘green up’ the woodlands

by Grange Property Services

In 2009 Andy Waugh took the bold decision to sell off his share in an agricultural and forestry business he had been involved in for 20 years and start up a wood fuel-based enterprise on his wife’s family farm in north Essex.
 
Andy saw a business opportunity in the green energy market to sell wood fuel harvested from the woodlands on the family estate. Six years on and the Lynderswood Farm woodlands near Braintree are on a 20-year Forestry Commission approved woodland management plan with a 10-year felling licence - and Andy is selling large quantities of wood fuel in Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
 
When Andy started the business the Lynderswood Farm woodlands hadn’t been properly managed since the late 1940s. Bringing them back into controlled management now means the woodlands, and especially the coppice woodlands, will continue to thrive, provide habitat for wildlife and regenerate themselves rather than be lost to future generations.
 
The business is ‘green’, the wood fuel produced is a sustainable product. It is carbon neutral as the trees take up more co2 in their growing life than they do when the wood fuel is burnt. All the wood from Lynderswood Farm is fully traceable back to where it was felled and even back to the original Forestry commission felling licence number.
 
Andy points out that almost half of the woodland in England is under-managed; “There is a common misconception that woodlands are wild places that thrive without human interference. But to the contrary our woodlands thrive from management and intervention. Managed well they support an important ecosystem and provide markets for woodland products. Restoring neglected woodlands is a good way of providing more forestry jobs and improving wildlife habitat rather than just leaving the woodlands alone.”
 
Andy's company Enviro-Waugh, www.logon4firewood.co.uk, produces a high quality product that is good value for money and is locally sourced. Air dried wood is cut and split then seasoned for at least 18 months to between 20- 25% moisture. Kiln dried wood is dried for 5 days to 14-17% moisture. It is essential to use dry firewood in a stove or open fire.
 
Andy says; “Stove manufacturers often recommend a maximum of 20% moisture content, but up to 25% moisture content is the recommended HETAS quality standard. This quality will ensure a clean burn with no blackening of the stove glass or build-up of soot or tar in the chimney. It also means that in an efficient stove, you will actually use far less firewood which is more cost effective”.

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