Nestled in the heart of beautiful mid-Devon, Grendons Firewood is a family-run-and-operated business that provides sustainable logs for firewood from our very own 150 acres of woodland. Most of our woodland was planted in 1995, the planting was carried out along the recommendations of the forestry commission at the time for a broad leafed woodland. The recommendation at the time was to plant one conifer and then one hardwood tree alternatively, with the view that the fast growing spruce would draw the broad leafed trees up with them. The end result we are trying to achieve is a broad leafed woodland, to make this happen we have slowly been removing the spruce and some of the hardwood to allow the remaining trees to flourish. This now provides us with quality seasoned logs.
It was decided that the required thinning process using large commercial equipment was going to cause too much damage to the flora that had colonised the main rides through the woodland, this included a number of species of orchids. It was decided that hand thinning was the least disruptive option. Before felling commenced it was necessary to remove the lower branches (brashing) from the spruce. A daunting task carried out by Tony Green (owner) over a two year period (approximately 45,000 trees).
Once felling commenced the timber needed to be extracted, again with minimal disruption to the environment was key. An Alstor mini forwarding machine was purchased, this machine is 8 wheel drive and has a maximum carrying capacity of 2 tonnes. Again slow work but much less damaging to the trees and rides.
The thinning process has been going on for 10 years now and will continue for many years to come. Further work to improve the area for wildlife is being carried out, including the addition of ponds and scrapes.