There have been reports in the press this week advising that plans are afoot with the government to chop down 10 million more trees each year to persuade thousands of homes and businesses to install woodburning stoves and boilers. Woodland owners will be encouraged to fell more than a third of trees from dense forest to feed the growing market for wood fuel, The Forrestry Commission calculates that they can create an additional 2 million tonnes of wood a year without effecting the long term production for the future. Infact, this action of thinning forests will be beneficial as it will bring back light to the forest floor which in turn will encourage the revival of bluebells and other flowers enticing back endangered birds.
The plan is to heat the equivilent of 250,000 homes or 3,000 schools with wood and this will make a saving of 1.5million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by avoiding burning oil or gas. More than half of the UK’s forests are undermanaged at present meaning that few or no trees are currently being extracted from them and that these forests have now become choked up by too many trees competing for very little light. To assist with the additional felling, woodland owners could apply for a share of a £10 million fund to help build access roads for felling equipment.
This plan is supported by the RSPB, Woodland Trust and Friends of the Earth. The plan is great news for woodburning stove owners who will be able to guarantee a good supply of locally sourced wood.