The East Midlands has 80,000 hectares of woodland, which is more than five per cent of the region's total land cover. Over 60% of this is broadleaf, less than 20% conifer and the remainder mixed woodland. The Forestry Commission directly manages about 17,000ha of woodland in the region which is divided between two Forest Districts: Sherwood and Lincolnshire in the north and Northamptonshire in the south. Around thirty eight percent of these woodlands, are currently undermanaged and could supply up to 90,000 oven dry tonnes (ODT) every year to local markets.
Wood has an important contribution to make to our future;
- Woodfuel will reduce our reliance on burning fossil fuels and help mitigate against climate change
- This material could be used within the region to help develop the growing woodfuel market
- New and emerging markets for woodfuel will help to create and maintain rural jobs as well as contribute to the sustainable management of our woodlands
- Biodiversity will be improved as more woodlands are brought back into management.
The Forestry Commission through A Woodfuel Strategy for England, wants to see an extra two million tonnes (2mt) of woodfuel brought to market each year from sustainable sources by 2020. The focus will be on community users and small businesses utilising wood from currently under-managed woodlands for local heat generation in modern, efficient boilers.
- England’s Trees, Woods and Forests delivery plan (ETWF) and The Regional Forestry Framework, space4trees outline both the value of woodfuel in economic terms and the Forestry Commission’s commitment to the long term development of the sector.
- The Forestry Commission in the East Midlands has just come to the end of a fixed term arrangement with the east midlands development agency (emda) in terms of developing the use of woodfuel. We now have the opportunity to re-think how our aspirations in the Region will be delivered and we are working with emda, the Biomass Energy Centre (BEC), The Energy Saving Trust (EST) and others to develop a strategy for future engagement.
Schools and colleges may find the WOOD FOR ENERGY poster useful.
Should you want further information about using wood as fuels in The East Midlands please contact the East Midlands Forestry Commission
Telephone: 01623 821474