‘Two years before the domestic fuel burning regulations were announced, Guy Mayer reversed up mum’s drive, up-ended his truck, and her first firewood delivery slid out with a biscuity clatter. Golden brown and still warm from the kiln, the logs burned brightly in her new stove.

The regulations (which took effect in May 2021) did not mean curtains for firewood producers like Guy, whose logs already met the required 20% maximum moisture content. Instead, they tackle the particularly high level of air pollution associated with burning wet wood (and coal), which homeowners in England (regulations vary slightly between devolved nations) are no longer permitted to do. And not surprisingly – government data published in February revealed that domestic wood burning is the biggest source of small particulate air pollution in the UK – despite just 8% of us burning wood at home, according to a second report. Which introduces another issue. There is simply not enough land to provide wood fuel for very many homes.’

Read more in the December 2021 issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine