Stock up at firewood fair

WINTER wood supplies go under the hammer at a new event next month.

Members of the public will have the chance to bid for logs at the first Northumberland Firewood Fair on Sunday, October 16.

Organised by Northwoods The North East Woodlands Initiative, the fair is only the second event of its kind in the country. Rural specialists George F White will be the main supporters of the event and partner and auctioneer Tom Oates will oversee all the auction action at Meldon Park near Morpeth.

Already a host of forestry and timber businesses have pledged their support for this community event.

Whatever their requirement, from a few bags of logs up to a full lorry-load, buyers will be able to earmark their lots by viewing all the firewood and roundwood before the auction.

At the top of everyone’s list will be seasoned hardwood, which burns the longest and throws out plenty of heat.

Mr Oates said: “These may be some of the most unusual lots I have had to auction but it fits perfectly with our company ethos. I’m looking forward to the day, I’m sure that there will be a great atmosphere, not only will people have chance to try to get a bargain on their winter fuel costs but it’s a great way of promoting green energy and an industry which is important to the local economy.”

As a company, George F White is committed to helping people produce more of their energy from sustainable sources and as fuel prices continue to rise, it is seeing increased interest in wood boilers and related technologies.

Until recently, firewood was the fuel of choice for heating the home and it seems that man’s most ancient form of heating is about to make a comeback.

“Wood, if managed properly is a major source of renewable and relatively cheap energy and has many environmental benefits,” said Mr Oates. “Firewood suppliers are often involved in tree-planting schemes and this is allowing the conservation of our woodland habitats.”

Both timber and green energy are important for the North East as they are among the few industrial sectors which are seeing growth. About 1,500 people are employed in the region’s timber industry believed to be worth around £40million.

Ben Tansey, Director of Northwoods says: “This event is really important for creating awareness of the timber industry and we are pleased that George F White will be bringing their expertise to the sale ensuring we have a professional and enthusiastic first auction.”

The Northumberland Firewood Fair opens at 10am on Sunday, October 16, at Meldon Park five miles West of Morpeth; the main auction begins at 12 noon. In addition to the firewood auction there will be a trade show with advice from companies providing wood stoves, boilers and processing equipment to encourage people to make more use of this sustainable source of energy. For further information please visit www.northumberlandfirewoodfair.co.uk or www.georgefwhite.co.uk