How It Works

How Hinterland Fuel Wood Supply Works

Wood needs to be cleared for the replanting of trees. Members of the Findhorn Wood Co-operative, who own a small grey Fergusson tractor, and other local people who have had specialist chainsaw training cut and stack timber on Chainsaw Group Work Parties which are on the first Saturday of each month during the winter season.

These people benefit from gaining new skills through their chainsaw and first aid training and gain insurance all of which is partly funded by a Forestry for People Grant provided by the Forestry Commission. They pay back this expensive training by volunteering work in the woods for sixteen hours a year over the next three years.

The wood co-operative tractor is used to extract the wood with the help of work party volunteers. This operation is also insured through the Forestry for People grant. The round timber delivered to local customers is split by them using the electric splitter which was part funded by a generous donation by the Findhorn Wind Park.

Once the land owner, Duneland Ltd, has been paid for the standing timber, the Co-operative given a contribution for the use of the tractor and other expenses paid, about two thirds of the money donated by the customer can be used by the Findhorn Hinterland Group. This goes to the many aspect of the conservation work that the group are involved with on the land but particularly to buy trees and guards for replanting. This is expensive at over £2/ tree but this means that for every load, more than ten trees can be planted. Each year between £700 and £800 have been generated in donations for the Hinterland Group in this way.

The Importance of Producing Dry Wood

Much of the timber already supplied has been down for some time which has meant that it has been seasoned but sometimes damp. This is important as for the same effort, properly seasoned and air dried wood (30% moisture content) can provide three times the heat of unseasoned wood (70% moisture content) and twice as much as relatively damp wood (45% moisture content).

It takes between one to one and a half years to properly season wood by stacking in the open and covering. Either users need to be educated to think a year ahead and buy green wood to season in a covered area or the Findhorn Hinterland Group need to do this and charge something extra for doing so as drier windblown timber will eventually run out. We are at present stacking wood to dry in the forest.

Findhorn Hinterland Trust, Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC045806
228 Pineridge, Findhorn, Forres, Moray IV36 3TB