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Mistress Rose

Government legislation on burning 'wet' wood

From next year the government are proposing to ban the sale of what it calls 'wet' wood. I have written about this before, but it seems they are going ahead with it.

In spite of scientific evidence that wood and coal smoke accounts for no more than 9% of PM 2.5 particulates in towns and cities and 3-6% in the country, the government is still bandying about a figure of over 30% caused by it. This is the current blame for everything pollutant from heart disease to depression.

As far as most people are concerned, this will mean that the price of firewood will rise significantly as smaller producers have to register, provide adequate storage and paperwork to go with each load. It will also, in the proposed legislation mean that the purchaser has to be there to be shown that loose wood is under 20% moisture content. You will not be able to buy less than 2 cu m of wood that is not fully seasoned. It may also be extremely difficult to buy log sacks as most small suppliers will similarly have to register and prove dry storage and seasoned wood.

The result is likely to be that most firewood comes sealed in plastic, probably supplied by people like CPL and other petrol and diesel suppliers (CPL is Certas Petroleum Limited) or imported; a bonanza for the big boys again. Another result is likely to be that woodland gets managed less as there will be a limited market for thinnings, wood produced by general management etc. Tree surgery work could also rise in price because the results cannot be sold as firewood, but will have to go to landfill.

A knock on effect will be that country workers who get a significant part of their income from firewood will have to either find other sources of income or be unemployed.

Sorry about the rant but we are probably going to have to rebuild our business, we know the data the government are using is rubbish, and it will affect lots of people who want or even need to have a wood or coal fire, including the most vulnerable.

Crazy...we always bought wood a year or so in advance.
I don't see the point in using fuel to dry fuel Confused

It's the nanny state not trusting the consumers and putting the capital outlay on the producers. Apart from anything else.
We are supposed to conform.....

Hopefully it won't affect potters who fire with wood, using sawmill leftovers

I'm sorry to hear this MR. Of course the government are using wrong figures, they always do and of course big business is going to benefit, that way the government benefits.

I have words for governments but this is a family friendly forum so I'll refrain from posting them. Mad

I hope you manage to get it sorted without too much cost to yourselves.

That's pretty silly. I'm guessing the only argument for it is the difficulty in addressing the real issue which is the people who are burning wet wood, so the plan is to make sure they can't access wet wood.

Will you need to build new storage? Apart from registering, what changes will you have to make to your operation?

I'm also in a humid climate, but folks season their wood outdoors here more often than not. Will they make you build a covered drying area, even if you can show that your final product is below 20% moisture?

Just read the article about this, apparently those buying wood in 2m3 at least won't be affected...
Also explains why our local coal merchant has just changed his delivery lorry to a covered one
Ty Gwyn

In South Wales its a washery based at Onllwyn,handling,washing and packing coal from one underground mine and a few opencasts.

perhaps you are mistaking government and evidence based policy or even using nudge technique

if you want folk to avoid burning wet wood educate them as to the advantages of dry wood and human nature +the market will ensure wood is dry.

the cause of most micro particulates is being greenwashed rather viciously in this case.

Hopefully it won't affect potters who fire with wood, using sawmill leftovers

Why would it?

The ban is on the sale of firewood over 20% not the burning of it.

Should be ok,as sawmills seem to want rid of it!
Mistress Rose

The stuff that come directly from sawmills may be green or seasoned, depending on what they cut. There is no restriction on burning green wood, apart from the possible problem of neighbours complaining to local health people.

We will have to see how it goes, but it will depend on the precise wording and also may affect our outlets for log sacks, if they put in the regulations they were proposing. To manage this we would have to register (several hundred pounds) plus about £100 a year plus find covered storage, plus buy a moisture meter which would have to be calibrated at least every year. We would not be allowed to sell less than 2 cu m for people to season themselves, and as some like to buy 1 cu m in summer and season for winter, it would affect them. Our outlets may also need to register, and they are hardly going to want to both pay to register and prove they have dry storage, so be prepared for plastic bagged logs only available if you want a lot sack.

It appears that the government data did not get vetted by the Office of National Statistics, so the National Statistician, may be nailing someones tie to their desk and having a rant at them at some point. I do hope so.

"we dont need experts" Rolling Eyes
Ty Gwyn

I dare say you have seen this consultation paper Chris,but if not ,here it is,luckily the boy`s still working in the Collieries in the Forest of Dean have managed to get an exemption for their coal.

knowing what we know is that a good thing?

swapping life down a smelly hole for say a breezy forest to make a living with an energy harvest of managed tree wood might appeal to folk with wet boots, a stoop and a fear of tommyknockers(or what ever the local evil mine sprites are called)
similar rules apply regarding procedures and safety so they have transferable skills

happen tis a heritage industry but unless it is a material rather than a fuel leave it in momma
Mistress Rose

Yes, thanks Ty Gwyn, I have read that. I am pretty sure a couple of the quotes in it are the ones I put in too. It seems that there are some people who want to get rid of wood burning all together, and they may have a more powerful voice. It seems Small Woods are not exactly being helpful, but I have asked to join their group and will be asking them what their 'simple technology' to dry wood is as they think everyone should be able to get wood down to 20% moisture content.

Currently fuming as it will mean unless there is an ethical and legal way round the actual legislation when it is detailed, we may have to give up firewood and try to make a living on other things such as charcoal, crafts, hedgelaying and fencing. Sadly, so will a lot of other people.
Ty Gwyn

I was shocked to see it posted on the Mining Forum last night as not seen any mention of the consultation anywhere before,when was this taking place.?
Its a headache for you,to store a year`s worth of timber to season takes a lot of space,and not everyone can take the larger loads to season themselves.
The only way I know of to cut down on moisture in timber is to fell in the winter months when the sap is down,as we used to years back when dropping an oak tree for fencing posts.
Well I`m glad the FOD boy`s have obtained an exemption,all the sizes of coal are sold locally in a non smokeless zone.


So far this only affects England.

Scotland & Wales have not taken this up yet.

that experiment was interesting

at the mo the house is warm
2kg of hardwood lump charcoal in a late victorian parlour grate works very well.

maybe it burns a bit hot, i could spray it like forge coals but it works a treat.

that avoids the smokeless/wet wood issues big style.

i have no idea if it is economically viable or what the by-product load might be but at point of use tis practical.
Mistress Rose

Ty Gwyn, it came out in 2018. I don't know if it was publicised in the mining press, but we saw it and responded to it. Only house coal is affected; no other grades at the moment, so higher quality coal is allowed. At present this is only going to affect England, as this type of legislation is devolved to Scotland, Wales, and I think Northern Ireland. I can't see it making a lot of difference to the PM2.5 levels quite honestly, and none at all to the other pollutants.

Dpack, go careful with charcoal. It can burn pretty hot, so may damage your grate or fire. A Victorian grate should be all right, but I would also have a CO monitor in the room just in case.

i was careful and knocked it down, same as i do when i make charcoal in a woodburner for a flying start for breakfast.

the grate has a refractory hearth and back, the sort with a metal grate might be at risk, i melted one of those with anthracite once i got it going.

i always have CO and smoke alarms, everyone should have, cheap and rather good at saving your life.

it was still going this morning but i did top it up quite late

fluffed up it would be too hot for most grates as you say
Ty Gwyn

Whether it makes much difference is hard to say,but it shows the authorities have been un capable to monitor their smokeless zones,and with the rise in popularity of multi fuel stoves in urban area`s and people burning housecoal on them for cheapness.

Regarding the boy`s in the FOD with their exemption,because of the imminent close of Aberthaw power station,their outlet for small coal/duff,they are stock piling waiting arrival of a briquette machine which will give them an outlet for the duff and an increase in revenue.

I wouldn't know where to find coal if I wanted to here!
Ty Gwyn

What area of New England are you Slim?

Coal deposits mined years back in Newport,Rhode Island.

Northern. I can imagine you could mine much of Rhode island before losing Rhode island! (Actually it's all just too populated there to be able to do much of anything outside of suburban living)
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