Wood Fuelled Heating
With an increase in demand from the commercial sector for wood-fuelled heating, the sustainability of our wood fuel supply is increasingly called into question.
Although current Forestry Commission figures show that today only 53% of our woodlands are being actively managed, they also show that there is a significant and untapped resource of timber and therefore wood fuel.
To promote the need to bring woodlands back into management, the Forestry Commission has been leading a drive to reclaim our vital forestry resources, the economic value of timber produced, the by-products created from it and businesses based on them. It has developed a number of woodland grant schemes, wood use initiatives and it's actively working with key stakeholders to increase our overall wood supply. The aim is to increase the percentage of managed woodland to 66% in five years and woodland cover in England has already returned to the figure it was in the Middle Ages.
Other organisations, such as the National Trust, are becoming proactive in using wood fuel sourced from managing the woodlands on their own estates to burn in biomass boilers in their properties. The National Trust is paving the way as a great example of self-supply, carbon reduction, energy efficiency and in the adoption of renewable energy in its stock of heritage buildings.
This kind of sustainable woodland management underpins the whole supply chain, giving some assurance that this most precious and valuable resource is available in perpetuity, and is fuel sustainability is quite rightly becoming a prominent feature of the Renewable Heat Incentive.