The Mersey Forest has teamed up with Northwich community group the Friends of Anderton and Marbury to launch a pilot 'wood fuel allotment' that may prove to be the way forward for many of the area's young woodlands.
The Cheshire test project will enable local stove and fire owners to pay a small fee to harvest logs from their own row of trees in a young plantation at Northwich's Carey Park. The scheme will not only provide people with locally sourced renewable fuel, but will also provide a valuable service by thinning the growing woodland to ensure its future health.
Potential model for other woodlands
As the Friends of Anderton and Marbury explain in their newsletter: "We are using this location as the trees are small enough to handle and cut with a bow saw but large enough to make decent logs."
This is key, since thanks to the work of The Mersey Forest Partnership over the past twenty years, there is now a whole cohort of young woodlands across Merseyside and North Cheshire approaching this stage of growth, also with an upcoming need for thinning. Eyes are therefore on the Carey Park project to see the viability of the 'allotment' approach at other sites across The Mersey Forest area.
Participants in the project must be members of the Friends of Anderton and Marbury (find out how to join) and must undertake a short induction on site in the felling and removal of the trees. For this pilot, the licences will run from September 2011 to February 2012 inclusive. To get involved or find out more, contact Marbury Country Park rangers on 01606 77741.