Forestry Commission logo

Woodfuel makes business sense for Yorkshire charity

This news story is now over a year old and information may no longer be accurate or up-to-date. It might also contain obsolete links.
Please use our search link on the left to look for more recent information.
Staff with final packaged product

A North Yorkshire charity and the Forestry Commission are proving that going green is good for business and the environment.

Chopsticks, a Northallerton charity for adults with learning disabilities, is working with the Commission to increase the amount of woodfuel available. The result is sales are soaring.

David Stockport, of Chopsticks, said they had sold record amounts of kindling in January and, coupled with this, they are making woodchips to power their own biomass boiler and four more boilers on local estates.

He said:

“We sold a third more kindling  in the first three weeks of January, than in the whole of January 2009, and there is a high demand for our woodchips.

“Our wood is all recycled from waste timber products and processing it into fuel, provides work for up to 40 local adults. It also avoids wood going into landfill, so our business is good for people and good for the environment.”

David added:

“We have our own woodchip-fuelled boiler at Chopsticks, which uses waste wood, so our heating bills are zero.”

Rudie Humphrey, the Forestry Commission’s regional woodfuel co-ordinator, is encouraging more businesses to consider using biomass heat boilers.

“We are leading the way with green energy, with a recent Forestry Commission survey identifying more biomass boilers in Yorkshire and the Humber than any other region.

“This is creating business opportunities along the woodfuel supply chain, from woodland owners, through to foresters and woodchip suppliers.”

He added:

“Yorkshire and the Humber has 230,000 acres of woodland and more than half is under-managed. A cycle of regular planting and felling ensures a good sustainable timber supply and helps wildlife by opening up the tree canopy to achieve diversified habitats that encourage all manner of creatures and plantlife.

“Rising energy costs have focused minds, and using timber makes strong economic as environmental sense.”

1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. Further information can be found at

2. For national and regional information about woodfuel, including grants and events, go to:

3. Contact Rudie Humphrey for more information on or 01904 382317

4. The Biomass Heat Boilers in England 2009 survey was commissioned for the Forestry Commission, by the Renewable Energy Association Ltd. The survey was based on the responses from 35 installers about non-domestic biomass boilers.
5. David Stockport is available on 01609 761661.

Chris Johnson, Press Officer, Forestry Commission England, tel 01223 346034, email