First you need to establish what wood you need and what woodlands you may have access to.
Wood as a fuel gives indicative figures for how much woodfuel you will need according to the size of your heating system and how this translates into managed hectares of woodland.
You may own some community woodlands or have private woodland owners in your group but you may also want to look for other woodlands to bring into the project.
If you aren’t aware of who owns the woodlands in your area, it’s worth having an initial chat with your local Forestry Commission Woodland Officer who may be able to help identify who owns the woodlands and whether or not they are already actively managed.
PlanLoCaL offers a useful group exercise for identify woodlands and woodland owners in your area and calculating potential timber yields.
If you have established skills as a community woodland management group, private owners may let you take on management of their woodlands, although they will probably want to know that you have suitable skills and experience within your group or that you are working with a forestry professional.
If you aren’t keen on managing woodlands and producing woodfuel but you would like to get local woodland owners involved in the project, see section ‘buying woodfuel from a woodfuel supplier’ for information on linking up local woodland owners with your woodfuel supplier.
If you are targeting undermanaged or unmanaged woodlands it’s important to realise that you are unlikely to start felling immediately. Depending on the condition of the woodland and existing tree profile, it can take a considerable amount of time to bring it back into productive management. If your heating system will be operational within a shorter timeframe, you may need to work with already productive woodlands initially or get fuel from an existing supplier while developing your own supply.