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.
- To make good use of the woodland that is being thinned as part of the conservation management of Ox Close.
- To reduce the import of charcoal from unsustainable sources, such as imported charcoal produced from tropical rain forest and mangrove swamp clearance.
- To raise funds from its sale to help finance further management on our reserves.
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
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.
As part of our conservation activities, the Trust produces a number of by-products which we offer to the public to purchase. All proceeds go towards further conservation management.
The Trust needs to fell trees for a number of reasons…
- coppicing in order to create woodland glades that allow more light onto the ground so increasing bio-diversity
- to remove dead and dying trees that have been affected by Dutch Elm disease or Ash Die Back
- to remove trees from the side of a footpath that are considered to be a potential public safety hazard
- Logs are delivered free up to two miles from East Keswick and are supplied in volumes of multiples of half a cubic meter. Our most convenient volume is 1cu.m.
Our logs are fully seasoned under cover and comprise mainly of Elm and Ash with some Sycamore and the occasional Hawthorn and Willow. Logs are best stored under cover. We do not supply kiln dried logs as these need to be stored indoors as, outdoors, they naturally re-absorb atmospheric moisture and lose their kiln dried condition.
The Trust can supply chopping blocks which are very useful when using an axe to split wood for kindling. The blocks are squared-off sections of trunks of of Elm, Ash or Sycamore approximately 500 to 600mm long and up to 400mm diameter.
To support climbers such as beans or Sweet Peas. Length up to 3m with a base diameter of up to 50mm.