What's going on?

We have two organised session at Heartwood HQ where we are running craft/skills sessions and there's always the opportunity to run one or both charcoal retorts, check the Heartwood HQ section in the members area of the website. 

David Gravett - Membership Coordinator


What's In this Woodfueler

Training

Phoenix Scouts Project

Timber Festival 2022

Charnwood Geopark Charcoal Initiative


Training

We still have plenty of places on both the Thursday 25th August and Saturday 17th September first aid courses. The course is from 9-5 and is held at Rosliston Forestry Centre. The group covers the cost of course feed and car parking for the day.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book on.

We are welcoming members to refresh early this year, so if you are already a first-aid certificate holder with a year left then you can book this year instead.

Robin Barber - Training Co-ordinator


Phoenix Scouts Project 

Over four sessions we have been working with the local Phoenix scout group to introduce them to woodland management. This has incorporated all aspects of what we do as a group, with the main sessions being background to why we manage woods, safe use of tools and working in woodlands, felling trees, managing the timber, including processing and brash management, woodland products including charcoal and some of the other craft items we create as a group.

There have been around 15 scouts on each session, the first one held indoors and the remainder at HQ. We have had a team of HCWG members leading the sessions along with the scout leaders to ensure small number groups. The feedback from the group has been very positive and rewarding for the team from Heartwood. The group would like to come back later in the year to do some form of craft, probably making Reindeers for Christmas.

scouts 1 scouts 2

As always with this type of project anyone can get involved. The time commitment is small and its very rewarding for members and great opportunity for the group as part of our community engagement.

Kevin Banton - Heartwood Chair


Timber Festival 2022

Heartwood has been part of the festival since its inception meaning we have a close relationship with "Wild Rumpus" the organisers. This year we were allocated a spot in the campfire story telling area which proved to be a great location for interacting with the festival goers and the other exhibitors. We ran the charcoal retort every day (twice on Saturday which was a new experience) and managed the camp fire in the story telling area.

Retort

We had 14 members covering shifts over the weekend which ensured we all had chance to take-in the other attractions at the event. Sales of charcoal were steady and certainly better than previous years and Paddy sold plenty of his high quality carved spoons and ladles. The main bar in the National Forest tent had been created by our very own David Gravett, In The Shed Woodcraft, from timber "rounds" and was a stunning piece of work.

Charnwood 1

We will hopefully be attending again next year and have already requested a similar spot for our pitch. Let me know if you are interested in attending, but more detail will be available next spring when plans start to fall into place again.

Kevin Banton - Heartwood Chair


Charnwood Geopark Charcoal Initiative

Heartwood is working closely with our friends at the National Forest Company on an exciting project looking at the Geology of Charnwood Forest. The specific area we are involved with is looking at heritage woodland skills, in our case charcoal making. A fantastic project has been pulled together with the NFC which is delivering an educational package covering the history of charcoal making, the science of charcoal, it’s use in art and the ancient skill of charcoal making itself.

The project has been through a number of trials to test the education package, with a number of local schools and teachers attending a session earlier in the spring. At a recent weekend event HCWG members helped fire a 7 foot ring kiln as part of the heritage side to making charcoal, plus the modern method using a retort.

Charnwood 1 

The education package is now complete, so the intention is to deliver to schools initially in the Charnwood area, but delivery to any local schools can be arranged. We now need your help to bring the package totally in-house. The NFC will continue supporting us, but we need a small number of members to help deliver the science, artistic and heritage aspects. You really do not need any teaching or specialist background, just a desire to share our love of woodlands with the next generation. We envisage a small number of schools per year, so the commitment is very low.

If you feel you can help, please let me know. We will need to take the handover from the NFC during this year, we have our first school booking on the 13th September. The funding to put all of the resources in place has been provided by the NFC as part of a National Lottery Heritage Grant, but the package becomes ours and will provide a new income opportunity.

Charnwood 2

By the way the delivery of this package is paid for by the school, so group funds will benefit from every booking we deliver.

Kevin Banton - Heartwood Chair