How Will The Wet Wood & Coal Ban Affect You?

This winter has been a tough one for a lot of people. As well as trying to keep everyone safe in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s been difficult not being able to invite friends and family over for some welcome cheer. In the meantime, our small multi-fuel stoves have done their bit to keep spirits up and to fight off the winter chill, which means that many of our customers have been affected by the recently announced wet wood and coal ban.

As part of its Clean Air Strategy, the government has implemented a number of restrictions on the sale of wet wood and coal for home burning from 1st May 2021. While this is a great move for public health and the environment, it has left small stove owners with a lot of questions. What exactly are the restrictions – and what kinds of fuel can be used instead?

What Are The Restrictions?

The wet wood and coal ban affects both fuel retailers and owners of small stoves and open fires. The first thing to note is that people who own these kinds of tiny wood burners can still use them – it’s the type of fuel that you burn which has been restricted, rather than the stoves themselves. You can see a list of alternative fuel types that are both health- and eco-friendly below.

For retailers, the news isn’t quite so cheery. Sales of wet wood and coal are now banned in units under 2m³. Sellers can continue to provide wet wood in larger quantities, but they’ll also need to provide instructions on how to dry the wood before burning it, as dry wood doesn’t release the same pollutants as wet wood. Dry wood also produces less soot and more heat than wet wood, making it a much more efficient fuel for small wood burning stoves.

Why Have The Government Restricted Sales Of Wet Wood & Coal?

The logic behind these new restrictions largely comes down to air quality, public health, and the environment. When burned, coal and wet wood also emit a pollutant called PM2.5. The World Health
Organisation has identified PM2.5 as a significant emission that can be harmful to human health if inhaled. By minimising the amount of wet wood and coal that we burn, we can reduce the amount of smoke, soot, and other pollutants sent out into the air we breathe.

burning dry wood in small wood burning stoves

While coal is a finite resource that must be used sparingly, wood is a much more renewable and sustainable fuel type. Provided that trees continue to be planted and harvested sustainably – and that wood is burned in a way that minimises air pollutants – it’s a much more environmentally friendly fuel source than coal.

While the environment minister has lauded the ban as the latest step in the UK’s Clean Air Strategy, there are further steps that need to be taken to fully address the nation’s environmental issues, especially in the motor and aviation industries.

What Alternative Fuels Can You Use?

Standard dry wood is an obvious alternative to wet wood. If wet wood is dried out so that its moisture content is less than 20%, it can be sold as dry wood – meaning that wet wood suppliers can feasibly transform the fuel into dry wood and sell it on to small stove owners. The process is a little more time-consuming for suppliers, but it means they can make use of their existing stocks. 

sustainable fuel for tiny wood burning stoves

You can also choose from a variety of other eco-friendly fuel alternatives. Eco logs made from recycled wood fibre are a great alternative to standard fossil fuels for your small stove or tiny wood burner. Made from clean recycled wood such as pallet wood, these logs reuse materials, so no new trees are cut down to produce them. Lots of our eco logs are made in the UK, giving them a smaller carbon footprint than logs produced abroad, and they’re already chopped into convenient lengths that make them perfect for small wood burning stoves. 

With a moisture content of just 5%, Hot Rod eco briquettes are another fantastic alternative to traditional fuels. Because of the low moisture content and the extruded shape, these eco-friendly logs don’t expand much when they’re burned. This makes them perfect for our small stoves or any other tiny wood burners. Similarly, these clean burning sawdust eco briquettes will burn for up to 2 hours, making them another great solution. If you’re looking for an alternative fuel but you don’t want to compromise on the traditional crackle of firewood, then these Hotmax heat logs have been tried and tested to produce a bright flame and a hearty warmth in any small stove. 

There are so many eco-friendly fuel options on the market that it can be tricky to decide which to choose. We’ve tested many fuel types and eco logs to help small stove owners find the best eco fuel for their little wood burner – check out the reviews for more information.

Thinking Of Upgrading Your Wood Burning Stove?

If you’re thinking of buying a tiny wood burner or a small wood cook stove for your home or glamping space, don’t let the wet wood and coal ban put you off. It’s really easy to source alternative fuels for our small stoves – and your family and guests will thank you for putting the environment first. Our Hobbit stove is designed to burn these eco-friendly fuels, without compromising on the cosy crackle you get from a warm hearth. Plus, its compact size and cast iron build makes it the perfect addition to all kinds of small spaces – from shepherd’s huts to houseboats. Find out more about our Hobbit stove here.

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Our Hobbit Stove Has Been Fitted!

"We had a Hobbit stove fitted this week by Alex Reay from Flues and Fires, and I just wanted to get in touch to say it is AMAZING and we love it! We have a lovely cast iron tiled fireplace which I was desperate not to lose when we installed a small wood burning stove, but until I found the Hobbit on Google, everyone told me it would be impossible to keep the fire surround. The Hobbit is perfect - not only does it fit very snugly, but it looks fantastic and the blue door complements the tiles very nicely. We are sitting enjoying a fire now and absolutely loving it! Thanks for creating such an amazing product."

Nicola Williams

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

The Best Stove Ever!

"It’s the best stove ever! It’s easy to light, very efficient, burns anthracite and stays in overnight (ours has been in for three weeks now). It even keeps a kettle of water at the ready for a cuppa! What more can I say, we love it! Just the thing to make our Yorkshire home cosy, and the cat loves it too!"

Lynn and Andrew, West Yorkshire

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

First Small Stove Installation

Was looking for a small stove for my first self-install. Found Mark very helpful. Knowledgeable, friendly service. Stove burns well and generates lots more heat than the previous open fire. What is not to like?

Sam

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

A Huge Thank You!

"Dear Mark and Gill, a huge thank you for designing and making the Hobbit stove! We had two different London-based fireplace companies tell us that we simply had to knock out the old cast iron and tile fireplace to fit in a woodburning stove, and that there was no other option! Then we found you online. We are delighted with our little Hobbit, which swallows up logs and kicks out a good amount of heat. Perfect for the winter! I will also be writing to the London-based fireplace companies to put the Hobbit on their radar. Best wishes."

Nat

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Delighted With Our Hobbit Stove!

"Mark, Gill, thank you for your assistance, we are delighted with our Hobbit! I fired it up this evening after taking all afternoon making a register plate to fit the opening."

Alan

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

It's Brilliant!

"Hi Mark, here's a photo of the Hobbit installed in my Yorkist grate. It’s brilliant! It also throws out a lot more heat than the grate did."

Roger T

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Just to Say Thank You!

"I just had a chat with Gill saying how delighted we are with our little Hobbit stove, and to also thank you both for your attention to detail and excellent customer service!"

Derrick

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

The Little Hobbit Has Stepped Up To The Challenge!

"We just wanted to say how impressed and how much of a life saver our little Hobbit has been! It was fitted a few months ago in our holiday home in Rhu, Scotland, which is a large open plan conversion in a Victorian house. This weekend our boiler decided it was not going to play ball. The little Hobbit has stepped up to the challenge, providing heat to a very large area, about twenty eight foot by twenty four foot with a high ceiling of about eighteen foot, keeping the room reasonably warm, warm enough for us not to use cardigans!”

Alan W

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Very Pleased With Our Hobbit!

"We are very pleased with the stove and think it looks great! We restored our fireplace (it was hidden under plaster!) and the whole look is better than we hoped!"

Neil

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Absolutely Delighted!

"Just had our Hobbit SE installed in our Victorian fireplace and we are absolutely delighted with the end result. We felt passionate about preserving our lovely fireplace!"

Andy

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Our Pride And Joy!

"What a fantastic fireplace with the beautiful Hobbit stove. It fits perfectly into the small space and throws out a lot of heat. Here's a photo of our little stove, now our pride and joy and much admired by all who see and feel the warmth."

Chris and C

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Fantastic!

"Just to bid you all a Happy New Year and to say how much we’re enjoying having our Hobbit stove! It was easy to fit with the help of your excellent ‘how to’ videos and we’re just awaiting our inspection by building control for the certification. The Hobbit has fitted neatly into the hearth vacated by the old gas back boiler (with a little cosmetic rendering) and never ceases to surprise us how much heat it can deliver to the point that the new condenser boiler is having an easy life, thereby saving us on gas bills too! Everyone loves having a ‘real fire’ in the living room."

Philip Baird

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

A Brilliant Little Wood Burner!

"The stove we bought from you is really starting to come into its own as the weather cools down. Here is a photo showing how much one of our dogs is enjoying it!"

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Brilliant Product!

"Just wanted to share a picture of our newly installed Hobbit. Absolutely delighted with it, and so pleased we were able to retain our existing fireplace as well. Brilliant product, thank you!"

Marion

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