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Charcoal in the Outwoods

In recent years, the growing popularity of barbecues and chimneys has created a demand for charcoal, which is mostly imported from abroad.

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Following concerns that much of this imported charcoal is produced using environmentally damaging methods, an ancient forestry craft is being revived in the woods to help fuel the growing demand.

Charcoal is produced where the supply oxygen can be controlled. This is done in large circular steel kilns eight feet in diameter and four feet in height. The process takes 24 hours to produce about a tonne of charcoal from five tonnes of timber.

Non-native, invasive trees species like sycamore are being removed and replaced with more wildlife friendly species like oak and rowan. It is these non-native species that we’re using to produce charcoal.

The charcoal produced at the Outwoods isn’t just better for the planet though. Charcoal produced from hardwood is lighter, easier to light and faster to reach cooking temperature which gives better results.

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