All our wood is grown locally in dorset

The Dorset Charcoal Company's Wood Sources

All our charcoal powder is created from oak trees sustainably harvested in Dorset, UK. All the wood sources meet UK Forestry Standards as regulated by the Forestry Commission.

UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) - Forestry Commission - 2017

Practising sustainable forestry means managing our forests in a way that meets our needs at present but that does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs. They will rightly expect that their forests and woodlands offer at least the same benefits and opportunities as we enjoy today. To sustain these expectations, the UK governments have set out their requirements for sustainable forest management in the UK Forestry Standard.

Download the UK Forestry Standard's PDF - The governments' approach to sustainable forestry.

Grown in Britain

The Dorset Charcoal Company is a supporter of the Grown in Britain campaign.

Grown in Britain is creating new sustainably-managed woodland to increase the supply of British timber destined for use by local people and businesses. Whether it’s to heat our homes, in the construction of new buildings, or for retailers to create wood products that shape our everyday lives. The opportunities and the benefits of Grown in Britain are endless not just for the environment, but for people, wildlife, and our local economies”

Opening up the woodland floor

Opening up the woodland floor is vital to the health of our woodlands. The increased sunlight allows flowers, birds and butterflies to flourish. No management is not beneficial to woodlands as they become dark and overgrown, resulting in a lack of biodiversity as flowers that require the cyclical nature of renewal instead lie dormant. This is particularly true of coppice woodlands.

Coppice is a woodland management system that has been developed by humans over thousands of years. When native English hardwoods such as hazel, oak and chestnut are cut at their base the resulting regrowth is multi- stemmed. Over millennia this regrowth has provided suitable harvestable material for numerous products from firewood for heat and power, charcoal, fencing hurdles and thatching spars to name but a few.

The cycle of harvest is dependant on the species but can range from 6 to 20 years. The varied habitats created by these areas of understory woodland being at different stages of growth has actually developed its very own ecosystem with certain species of birds, butterflies and flowers becoming reliant on the maintaining of this cycle.

Quite often when coppice has become neglected or over stood the charcoal burner can be the reason or driver for the woodland being restored and brought back into management. This is because the twisted and by now much broader tree stems are of no use to craftsmen for the earlier mentioned products, but are perfect for conversion into charcoal.

Over the last 20 years or more we are extremely proud of the woodlands in Dorset that we have had a positive impact on by resulting in them coming back into management. By providing an economic incentive to woodland owners by becoming a customer of lower value timber everyone benefits;

  • The wildlife.
  • The woodland owner.
  • The timber that remains - this will also increase in value as it is given the space to grow. Both the larger standard timber trees but also the coppice itself for future craftsmen.
  • The UK customer through access to quality UK products.
  • And last but not least the worlds endangered forests, as we reduce the demand for unregulated products from illegal and unsustainable overseas forest practices.

Jim Bettle, the founder of The Dorset Charcoal Company was also a founding member of The Dorset Coppice Group in 1998 and is a keen supporter of The National Coppice Federation established in 2013.

Photos of Bonsley Wood - May 2010-2011

These pictures show how the woodland floor has benefited from the opening of the canopy to allow sunlight in., resulting in a carpet of woodland flowers, including bluebells, wood anemoies, primroses and violets to name but a few. All brought about as a result of the thinning that has occurred to provide us with wood for charcoal production.

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