Woodsure appointed by Defra to run Ready to Burn certification scheme

Woodsure, the non-profit organisation striving to raise the quality of woodfuel in the industry, has been appointed by Defra to run its Ready to Burn certification scheme that will underpin The Air Quality (Domestic Solid Fuels Standards) (England) Regulations 2020 that will come into force in England from 1 May 2021 for most wood fuel suppliers. 

Ready to Burn logo

The new regulations aim to prevent harmful pollution from the domestic burning of all solid fuels by  ensuring wood sold in volumes of up to 2m3 will need to be certified as having a moisture content of 20% or less. Suppliers selling quantities of wood over 2m3 will need to provide their customers with  advice on how to store and season the fuel so that is it dry to burn. Manufacturers of solid fuels will also be required to demonstrate their products meet smoke emission and sulphur content standards through a certification scheme. Enforcement of the legislative requirements will be undertaken by local authorities.

For the past four years, Woodsure has been leading the way in championing the use of less polluting dry wood and driving awareness of its certification scheme. Labelled “Ready to Burn”, the wood is verified by the non-profit organisation’s independent inspectors as having a moisture content of up to 20%, which means it burns with less smoke than wetter wood. As such, the organisation has a proven track record in working closely with suppliers and retailers to improve the quality of domestic firewood,  raising awareness among consumers about the need to use dry wood to reduce pollution and maximise heat efficiency, and making certified Ready to Burn woodfuel easy to find.

Woodsure’s CEO, Bruce Allen, says:

We are incredibly pleased to be working with Defra as the official certification body for the Ready to Burn scheme. We believe that with the additional backing and enforcement of the new Air Quality regulations, the scheme is critical in making it easy for consumers to purchase wood that is legal to use. All they need to do is look out for wood that carries the “Ready to Burn” mark and they can be confident in what they’re using. This, along with modern clean low emissions appliances, will make a huge difference to the environmentally responsible use of solid fuels and wood for stoves and boilers. This is a significant step to reducing particulate emissions and better air quality. Businesses that are currently certified as Woodsure Ready to Burn are already supplying firewood that meets such requirements and are well placed to be ready for May.

From May 2021, where wood is sold in volumes under 2m3 for combustion in domestic properties the packaging must include the supplier’s name, the certification number and the Ready to Burn logo as identified in the regulations, proving that the wood has a moisture content of no more than 20%. 

The legislation makes it possible for local authorities to issue fixed penalty notices for offences without the need for a conviction.

Helen Bentley-Fox, Director of Woodsure, adds:

Smaller suppliers, those who supply less than 600m3 a year, will have an extra year to prepare for the regulations until May 2022.  This allows for the areas where longer seasoning is required, and for them to adapt their processes and experiment with new and different ways to improve their product. Our team remains committed to helping all suppliers of firewood, whether large or small producers, supplier, kiln drier or seasoner, to feel supported over the next 18 months as we prepare for these changes.

Woodsure is a wholly owned subsidiary of HETAS and both organisations support cleaner and safer choices for the use of biomass and other solid fuels, appliances and associated technologies. 

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