Wet Firewood Ban - Ready to Burn | Not Sure What This Means, or Why it Matters?

Wet Firewood Ban - Ready to Burn | Not Sure What This Means, or Why it Matters?

As you may already know, a new law in England has banned wet fire logs from being burned in the home, as well as requiring firewood suppliers stop selling wet firewood in crates smaller than 2m3. You may be worried about log burners, stoves and open fires becoming obsolete. We are here to reassure you that this is not the case. In 2017, White Horse Energy joined the Ready to Burn scheme, which ensures all firewood we sell contains less than 20% moisture. This has now been enforced in England since 1st of May. Wales and Scotland are both working on their clean air plans, with similar proposals to restrict the sale of wet wood

ready to burn logo

What is Ready to Burn?  

  • A certification scheme administered by Woodsure. 
  • Backed by the Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in support of The Air Quality Regulations 2020 (England). 
  • Ready to Burn wood means it’s been certified for immediate use and has moisture content of 20% or less. 
  • Firewood sold in volumes under 2m³ should have the Ready to Burn certification logo with the company name and certificate number. 
  • The label must be present at point of purchase. For bulk orders the logo must at least either be on the crate/pallet, on an invoice, or a poster that comes with the delivery. 
  • Please note that all crates over 2m3 are not ‘Ready to Burn’ accredited - even kiln-dried wood that meets the moisture levels. Crates over this size cannot carry the ‘Ready to Burn’ logo but suppliers can still inform customers of their firewood's low moisture levels. 

Who is Woodsure?  

  • Woodsure is a non-profit organisation striving to raise the quality of woodfuel in the industry.  
  • The team have extensive experience in the woodfuel industry and constantly evolve to keep pace with this rapidly developing sector. 
  • Their independent experts work alongside other national bodies, including industry and government representatives. In addition, to working with retailers, installers and sweeps to promote the benefits of quality wood.  

What is the New Ban? 

  • This new law has been introduced in England to ban the sale of the most polluting fuels, wet wood, and house coal. 
  • Wood products sold in volumes over 2m³ do not need to be certified as Ready to Burn, but they must be sold with advice on drying, if needed, and an explanation of the issues of burning wet wood.  
  • The legislation makes it possible for local authorities to issue fixed penalty notices for offences without the need for a conviction. 
  • Smaller suppliers, those who supply less than 600m³ between 1 May 2020 & 30 April 2021, have until 30 April 2022 to comply with legislation. 
  • Although this ban doesn’t affect Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, each country will eventually have their own strategies in place. We’ll keep you informed of any changes in these areas. 

Why Change Things Now?  

  • Pollutant levels are worryingly high in the UK, especially in built-up areas such as London. This is harmful to our health and the environment, and subsequently leads to climate change. 

What is the Problem with Wet Firewood? 

  • Wet firewood releases these harmful PM2.5 particulates and excessive smoke when burned, into the atmosphere and inside your home.  
  • Particles can get into the bloodstream and airways, damaging organ tissue. Air pollution and smoke can lead to respiratory issues or cardiovascular disease. 

How is Firewood Dried? 

  • Wet wood must be kiln dried at controlled temperatures or seasoned until it reaches the right moisture content. The length of time to season wood will vary and is dependent on many drying factors. 
  • We would recommend checking seasoned wood with a pin moisture meter to check it is 20% or less before burning - however pin meters will measure on a dry basis and you will need a good quality meter for more accurate readings. Make sure it’s on the correct settings according to the type of wood you’re check in too. 
  • You can check your firewood for loose bark and radial cracks along the grain which shows less moisture within the logs, although this may not guarantee moisture levels below 20%.  

Although the new ban and this scheme may not make much sense to firewood burners in rural areas, it is essential we all do our best to adhere to these standards no matter where we live. Hopefully, this ban will encourage everyone to take part in protecting the environment. We love our woodstoves, but we also love our planet too. Right?  

Simple guidance of the legislation can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/selling-wood-for-domestic-use-in-england 

To read more about the Ready to Burn scheme, visit their website: www.readytoburn.org/about-woodsure/  

You can visit our website here or watch our video about the scheme below: 

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