Woodfuel: a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario

This picture captures everything that makes our Woodlands magical and worth preserving at all costs.

Woodland Matters

It’s almost exactly six years since the Forestry Commission in England launched its Woodfuel Strategy, which talked about the potential to bring many unmanaged woods into active management, delivering biodiversity benefits and stimulating rural economies.

There’s definitely been some growth in this sector, but as identified by the recently launched Ecosystems Market Task Force (EMTF) report, there are still significant challenges. In particular the report identifies what it calls a “chicken and egg” scenario, with the main barrier being lack of confidence in the long term consistency of the supply chain preventing demand, and lack of demand holding back the confidence to increase supply.

There are mechanisms in place: grants for installation of boilers, and for putting access routes into woods to enable management, not to mention the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), already on stream for non-domestic properties and due to come in for domestic users in July. But…

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