Boost for Kent’s Woods and Schools

A new three-year programme of funding for Kent is all set to ignite young people’s interest in woodlands. It will also bring woodland owners and managers together to create a thriving local wood economy.

By Wendy Necar · July 12, 2022

Pictured: Simon Weymouth, Woodland Matters Ltd, who will be helping to guide the project, and Christopher Williams,Chief Executive, Royal Forestry Society, in Buckholt Wood

The Ready to Earn project has been developed by the Royal Forestry Society with the support of a charitable donation. It recognizes the need for existing woodland to be well managed to help in the fight against the climate crisis. It will also help to prepare future generations to take on the task of bringing woodland back into management.

Our new dedicated Project Officer, Philip Mearns, will begin work on this exciting new project on 26 July 2022. Philip will lead a forum for woodland managers to discuss common issues and opportunities. He will also oversee research and trials around the use of renewable energy driven kilns for drying woodfuel to meet new environmental standards.

The results of the kiln trials will be widely shared to help woodland owners around the country make informed decisions about certifying their woodfuel as ‘Ready to Burn’.

Local woodland owners are being invited to express an interest in taking part here

Students from local schools will be invited join the rollout of a new ‘Forestry in the Community’ Level 1 qualification. They will also be invited to take part in a competition to design an eco-kiln to dry woodfuel.

RFS Development Officer Jen Turner said: “As we face a climate emergency, managing our woodlands well is more important than ever. By creating this forum and running kiln trials we will be helping local woodland owners find shared solutions which will help them keep their woodland healthy and productive.”

New Ready To Burn certification introduced in February 2021 means any wood sold for fuel must contain less than 20% moisture. This will help to reduce air pollution but could result in some woodlands falling out of management as owners used to selling fuel straight from their woods struggle to make their woodlands pay.

Pictured below: woodland flora flourishes in well managed woodland