LlyG member blog: Autumn charcoal burn at Arcadia

Posted on October 8, 2013 by

P1090596As the days grow shorter and the leaves start to turn Andrew Michie gives us a short report on Abergavenny Community Woodland group first charcoal burn at Arcadia Woods, which they hope to sell at local markets.

This Autumn Abergavenny Community Woodland group are making charcoal for the first time in Arcadia Wood. On Sunday 30th September a small ring kiln had its first firing, using round wood logs partly seasoned since being cut last winter.

The group are helping bring a woodland compartment into a 7 to 9 year cycle coppice rotation of oak standards with predominantly hazel under storey. This winter will be the fourth year of coppicing and the third that the group is involved. Wood produce has been used in Arcadia for woodland and waterways management (bridges, dams and wood chip on paths), firewood, dead hedging, green wood working and charcoal made in an old oil drum. The four foot ring kiln will allow more efficient burns, with charcoal to be made available to local markets.

Sunday was a bright, dry day with only light breeze, perfect conditions for the kiln, which had been loaded a few days before. Firing up was at 11am, providing dramatic plumes of smoke for the first hour, after which time the air inflow was restricted around the base, chimneys were added and the lid sealed. While observing the changing smoke and occasional adjustments to air inflow, the group carried out tool maintenance in the green wood shelter, ready for winter. The kiln was shut down at 7.15pm, as dusk arrived and just ahead of the rooks noisy arrival for the night’s roost.

The next meeting will be to open up the kiln and discover how successful this first burn has been. Charcoal will need to be riddled into bags and then kept in the dry. It is hoped that up to 20 bags will be produced and, if all goes well, we will try for one more burn this autumn.

To find out more about Abergavenny Community Woodland group visit here. New members are welcome – contact Andrew Michie arcadia.andrew@gmail.com.

To find out more about more about Arcadia Woods visit here.

 

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