Heart of the Forest Co-operative.

A Collaborative Community Charcoal Project.

The National Forest is a young, managed woodland landscape in the heart of England inspired by recognition of the crucial role trees play in the natural and human world.

The Heart of the Forest Co-operative has been formed through the collaboration two companies with a passion for trees. Each operates within the National Forest in individual ways. Seed funding towards the creation of the co-operative was provided by the National Forest Company & Wild Rumpus as part of the “TIMBER” festival 2018

Two partners produce our charcoal:

  • Abell To is a small local company owned and run by a traditional woodsman. It produces a multitude of woodland products for local markets.
  • Heartwood Community Woodfuel Group is a voluntary group set up to help manage the woodlands within the National Forest. With around 100 members it works with local landowners, the National Forest, the Woodland Trust and North West Leicestershire Council. Our volunteers benefit from a “logs for labour” approach during winter thinning operations. Charcoal production is carried out by volunteers for the benefit of the group. All proceeds from sales help support the group to meet it’s running costs.

Working together to:

  • Embrace the importance of sustainable woodlands.
  • Collaborate, share resources and build commercial networks utilising woodland products.
  • Enhance the social benefits woodlands provide for individual and community well-being.

Producing high quality charcoal?

Our charcoal is created in the Heart of the National Forest from sustainable timber sources. It's high quality outperforms imported charcoal in a number of ways:

  • It has a high carbon content generated from the "Retort" process used to create it. There are zero additives so the charcoal is odour free and will not taint the food being cooked.
  • It is very easy to ignite. Simply use newspaper or a single natural firelighter.
  • The charcoal burns hot and is consistent in giving excellent cooking temperatures quickly and effectively. Further charcoal is easy to add during cooking.
  • Our chacoal has a low carbon footprint.It is sourced and produced from local woods.

Why buy our charcoal?

Our quality charcoal boxes contains charcoal manufactured using either an efficient and environmentally friendly charcoal retort or by a traditional barrel burn method.

It is 100% wood from sustainable, managed, broadleaf woodlands worked and managed by our co-operative members. We do not use additives. The timber source shown on each box of charcoal guarantees traceability.

Our Timber source woodlands:

  • Woodcote Wood, Smisby & Foxley Wood, Linton - Both sites owned by the Woodland Trust and managed by Heartwood Community Woodfuel Group. Both sites are certified FSC woodlands.
  • Nether Hall Wood - Managed on a third party basis for the woodland trust by Heartwood Community Woodfuel Group.
  • Peppa Wood, Coton Park - Privately owned woodlands, wholly managed by AbellTo
  • Donisthorpe Woodland Park - Owned by Leicestershire County Council with thinning work carried out by Heartwood Community Woodfuel Group.


We supply our charcoal in a box which is sufficient for approximately two to three burns and is priced at £8. (Approx size 9" x 9" x 12" / 22cm x 22cm x 30cm).

We can supply wholesale. Please contact us for more information and prices.

If you would like to buy some of our charcoal please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , include your location and a phone number and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.