Frequently Asked Questions
What does the membership get me?
Membership per household enables anyone from that household to come and work with us (Gareth and Ro) in the woods and take home a share of coppice timber firewood. Woodshare days run during the coppicing season (when the leaves have fallen off the trees) generally from late Oct/early Nov to late March. We also run seasonal social member only events. All members receive an e-newsletters that list upcoming events and Woodshare Days.
We really believe in the pleasure that this kind of work can give. To see a log pile stacked ready for winter, knowing that you’ve cut the wood from a site you know, dried it stacked it and will now enjoy the warmth it gives is magic! It’s truly going back to the saying that wood warms you three times – once for the cutting, once for the splitting and one for the burning!
What does membership cost?
Annual membership is £30 per household plus £15 for each share of firewood you take.
Member only events will have a small charge to cover costs.
How do the firewood costs compare?
A standard load of local firewood (approx 1 cubic metre) costs between £75-£90 and is increasing rapidly. This is for dried, split and delivered wood.
A Woodshare load is approximately half this size and costs £15. Members need to dry the wood at home. Buying wood through the Woodshare Scheme results in firewood at approximately a third of the usual cost.
Is there a limit to the amount of firewood I can have?
We put a limit on 5 shares per household per year however many members find this is too much and do not take this number of shares. As the scheme grows it is possible that the areas of woodland available to be worked in and the number of available days results in a further limit per household but we are a way off that and as it evolves we should be able to bring other areas of redundant coppice back into cycle – further improving sustainable woodland resources locally.
How does the firewood come?
In shares of 2ft x 2ft x 3ft – small diameter coppice wood that will fit into the boot of a car. We process the wood into logs at the end of each Woodshare day. We ask that members come to each Woodshare day prepared to take their Woodshare with them at the end of the day.
The wood is hardwood, mainly Hazel, there is some Blackthorn and Hawthorn, Birch, Ash, Oak, Sycamore, Larch, Holly and Rowan all mixed in as well.
What type of woods will I be working in?
Local coppice woodlands around the Sizergh Estate – Low Park Woods is the main site however we may organise days on other sites around Kendal area.
What might a typical woodland day be like?
Starting around 9.30am and ending around 4pm, the pace of work is whatever suits you and will depend on you, the site, the weather and how you’re feeling that day. Having extra hands and company in the woods is lovely. There will usually be a fire to burn the small brash, there will be hot drinks, and everyone brings their own packed lunch. Tools and gloves etc are provided and the aim is to give you a chance (over time) to do all parts of coppice work.
It can be quite heavy work and you’ll know you’ve been busy by the end of the day but the aim is to enjoy the beautiful places, notice the small details around you, breathe in the air and work steadily to give a productive and enjoyable experience. It’s definitely work but it’s not a road gang!
What days are available?
We’ll send out a list of available days, there will be a wide choice, mainly during the week but there will be weekend options for those who can’t make weekdays. Woodshare days run during the coppicing season from late Oct/early Nov to late March (when there are no leaves on the trees).
What’s the minimum involvement?
Joining and receiving the e-newsletter. However we hope that the events and woodland days will appeal to everyone. How many days you do or events you attend are entirely up to you.
Do I have to be very fit?
No, it’s a case of just pacing yourself. It will help you get fit but it’s not a commando test!
We will ask you for any specific medical details that may effect your woodland days, this is totally confidential and is just to help us plan around everyone’s needs so that everyone enjoys the days
What kind of events might there be?
There are four seasonal events per year. These are social events with a theme to suit the season. We usually have a Jacobs’s join meal to share and an activity such as besom broom making, a charcoal burn, woodland crafts etc. Guaranteed to be an enjoyable gathering with good food, good company and good conversation.
Is it worth me joining?
Of course, why ask? We’d like to emphasise that it’s not just about cheaper firewood but is also about getting out into the woodlands, learning new skills and sharing experiences, there are physical and mental benefits to well-being and you’ll get to know your local woodlands in a really hands on way.
This scheme started in 2011 and it has been a new approach to inspiring people to come out in the woods. It will develop in a way that works well for all involved; that’s part of the excitement. As a member you can be a part of that.
Tool use - *Important Please Read*
We are keen to encourage safe tool use across all ages. To enable this it's important for us to be aware of all the tools that are on site. We will always provide suitable tools for the work. If you would like to use your own tool please can you okay it with us first on each visit.
If there are children on site it's even more important that we keep track of sharp tools. Children are encouraged to use loppers and saws, not bill hooks and edged tools. It is the parent’s responsibility to supervise tool use by their children. We can help with cutting techniques to make this as safe as possible. Several children in the Woodshare scheme are competent with whittling knives however many are not. Parents must ensure they are supervising their children if using a whittling knife and that the knife is not carried by the child. It's also very important that a personal knife is not lent to anyone under 18yrs old. Thanks for your help with this.