The Woodstove Shop showroom

The Woodstove Shop

Leading the way in renewable energy since 1973

Sources of wood supply

Located within Kent and Sussex

The huge resource of firewood supply within the Kent and Sussex area is a non-finite supply due to the coppiced rotation system introduced in medieval times.  Within Kent and Sussex are massive coppiced woodlands that used to support a huge industry and workforce.

Coppiced woodland is normally associated with the common Sweet Chestnut (Castanea Sativa) planted very evenly that displaced oak forests that had been cut down to produce timber for building houses, smelting iron and our large naval fleet. Coppiced trees are cut down regularly every 12-20 years producing between 60 to 100 tonnes per managed acre and according to Forestry England (was the Forestry Commission) coppiced woodlands account for over 60,000 acres in Kent an Sussex alone.

How is this crop grown


Following normal harvesting Coppiced shoots sprout up from the base of the original tree normally between 10 to 15 stems per coppiced tree. These are known as 'Stocks' and survive many hundreds of years if left to grow to full maturity of 20 years. Huge amounts were used in the famous hop gardens of Kent as until recently hops were grown on a high pole and wire system that relied on sweet Chestnut timber poles. Many other uses for coppiced were used ranging from fence posts, sheep hurdles, baskets and strangely thatching pins.


Regrettably our traditional use of coppiced materials is significantly reduced and today the outlets for coppiced materials are pulp wood to make cardboard and firewood, very little is now used for hop poles as the hop gardens have all but disappeared and the use of the timber coppiced for fencing was ousted by pressure treated pine, mostly from Russia and Scandinavia, with a healthy homegrown supply from the UK normally Scotland.


Firewood


The government organisation called Forestry England (changed its name from The Forestry Commission on 1st April 2019) assess the amount of firewood generated annually from forestry land in Kent and Sussex is in excess of 60,000 tonnes per annum. A massive sustainable resource without taking the life of any tree and without the need to replant any tree. A WIN, WIN for a natural renewable energy resource.  


The firewood market is strong and sustainable and there is a much larger resource than that presently consumed by woodstoves.


Firewood from Kent and Sussex is so prolific it finds its way outside of Kent and into the Northern Counties of England.


Why burn Coppiced wood?


1)  It's a totally renewable resource requiring no fertilisers or annual maintenance.


2)  When the wood is burnt it puts back into the air that's taken out of the air when growing apart from the uptake of water and low minerals from the planted site.


3)  The minerals left within the burn chamber of a woodstove i.e wood ash can be incorporated into your garden without problems as it's low in fertiliser value.


4)  In a modern woodstove when dry seasoned wood is burnt efficiencies of the woodstove can be over 80% with wood pellet stoves or boilers reaching over 90%.


5)  The harvesting, conversion and delivery of coppiced firewood supports local labour within our small rural villages, giving rise to employment opportunities to agricultural workers no longer needed by larger farmers who have heavily mechanicalized their work. The local farms displacing men and some women previously employed on the farm often find their way into firewood harvesting. This ready supply of firewood is burnt within woodstoves normally purchased from small local retail outlets and installed by reliable registered local installers.


I, Andrew Hemsley as a small retailer and installer of woodstoves have over the last 45 years sold over thirty thousand woodstoves helping to heat at low cost with a low impact on the economy, houses that previously very often were heated with fossil fuels such as oil and gas, very often improving the living conditions of the owners of the properties who were in fuel/energy poverty. Allowing them to enjoy heat from wood that they wouldn't have due to the price of fossil fuels.


I often see owners of woodstoves that I supplied decades ago and their reaction to the question 'How are you enjoying your woodstove' will say without hesitation it was the best expenditure they have ever made with the highest return.


I put smiles on customers faces and keep money in their pockets.


Andrew Hemsley

The Woodstove Shop