Charcoal Burns

Why we make charcoal

In 1995 the Wildife Trust joined Britain’s tiny band of charcoal burners by buying two kilns for Ox Close Wood. There were three main reasons for doing this.

  1. To make good use of the woodland that is being thinned as part of the conservation management of Ox Close.
  2. To reduce the import of charcoal from unsustainable sources, such as imported charcoal produced from tropical rain forest and mangrove swamp clearance.
  3. To raise funds from its sale to help finance further management on our reserves.

    After the lid settles onto the body of the kiln, it is sealed and the chimneys are inserted. We then have to wait about 12 hours for the charcoal to be formed.

    Soon after lighting the kiln.

    Soon after lighting the kiln.

Facts about charcoal

Did you know the majority of charcoal we buy for barbecues has been produced by clearing endangered mangrove swamp and tropical rain forest. It can be of poor quality as sand, coal dust, stones and tar are often mixed in to add weight. This is why it is often difficult to light this type of charcoal. British charcoal is the best you can buy as it is usually is produced as a by- product of conservation management and its purchase helps to fund more woodland conservation work and keeps this small home industry financed.

Our native hardwoods are less dense than wood used for imported charcoal and this makes our charcoal easy to light, no need for fuel or fire lighters. It reaches a good cooking temperature in 10 minutes and burns evenly giving the food a delicious taste.

The kilns are two metres across and when the burn is in progress they make a very impressive sight.

Where to see and get involved with the charcoal burn

The burns take place in Ox Close wood three or four times a year
Come and see this woodland art which had its heyday 100 years ago.
Bring some food to barbecue, and join us for a meal round the camp fire.
Check our calendar page for dates, our Member’s bi annual newsletter and the Parish Magazine.

Where to buy our charcoal.

  • Setchfield Butchers on Main Street, East Keswick

Contact Us

If you cannot find the information you are looking for or have a question about charcoal burning with East Keswick Wildlife Trust, please get in touch at with the general details on our contact page.