UK Government announces 2021 ban on burning coal and unseasoned wood

UK Government announces 2021 ban on burning coal and unseasoned wood

When are these changes being introduced?

Plans for the ban were first announced 18 months ago, but the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has now confirmed that the ban is going ahead from 2021 as part of it's ongoing efforts to encourage the use of cleaner fuels.

Log burning stoves, wood burners and coal fires are the largest source of small particles of air pollution which find their way into the body's lungs and blood and build up over time causing respiratory problems and other health issues, particuarly in children and the elderly.

Bags of logs sold in DIY stores, garden centres and petrol stations often contain unseasoned 'wet wood' - which produces more pollution and smoke than seasoned wood.

Sales of traditional house coal in bags will be phased out by February 2021, and the sale of loose coal direct to customers will end by 2023.

Defra officials have stated that the phase-out will give the public and suppliers time to use up stocks and move to cleaner alternatives, such as dry seasoned wood in good time.

Wet wood: The facts

The Goverment are encouraging the use of seasoned wood instead of wet wood.

Wet wood - also known as green wood or unseasoned wood - is often sold in small quantities and is cheaper to buy than seasoned wood and contains moisture which, when burned, creates more smoke and harmful particles of air pollution than dry wood, as well as allowing tar and soot to build up in the chimney which can cause issues with the escape of smoke from the fire.

Wet wood sold in small quantities (less than 2m3 which equates to 2 bulk bags) will be phased out from February 2021. Wet wood in quantities greater than 2m3 will also have to be sold with advice on how to dry it before burning.

Seasoned wood has been dried out, usually in a kiln, and has a moisture content of 20% or less, and is then usually stored undercover and is better for the enviroment and for human health.

Kindling available from About Roofing Supplies

The benefits of using smokeless fuels

The UK Government are also promoting the use of smokeless fuels as an alternative to traditional house coal, which produce less smoke and pollution, and are more cost effective to burn, and cheaper to purchase than traditional coal.

Manufacturers of smokeless solid fuels will also need to demonstrate that their products have a very low sulphur content and only emit small quantities of smoke.

DEFRA have made it clear that that are not banning wood or coal burning stoves - only certain fuels.

Winter fuels available from About Roofing Supplies

Why are these changes being introduced?

The change in regulations is part of the government's Clean Air Strategy which aims to reduce emissions of smoke particles by 46% by 2030 as air pollution is the top environmental risk to human health in the UK.

Separately, the Welsh Assembly is currently evaluating plans for a clean air plan, and whether wet wood could be banned there as well.

At About Roofing Supplies we only sell seasoned wood - and have always done so. We are well aware that our logs are not as 'cheap' as some other sellers - and we encourage potential purchasers to consider why! Our logs are well seasoned and are from a sustainable source.

We have always sold smokeless fuels alongside traditional coal and will withdraw house coal from sale shortly.

Our range of winter fuels can be found on our website here.

Where can I find winter fuels near me?

You can view and order winter fuels, as well as natural and man-made slates and our wide range of clay roof tiles and concrete roof tiles in any of our branches listed below or we can deliver nationwide:

Dorking, Surrey branch

Redhill, Surrey branch

Esher, Surrey branch

East Grinstead, West Sussex branch