The big winter chill has arrived, and even colder months are yet to come, but this also heralds the arrival of the wonderful season of burning wood.
Aside from the obvious physical heat benefits of a wood fire, there is something primitively intoxicating about it too. From the unmistakable crackle and pop of the wood as it catches, to the musky scent of woodsmoke, a fire can transport us to a simpler time with its hypnotic power. There is also something rather comforting too about the knowledge that even in the depths of a mid-winter power cut, a fire can provide the means to keep warm and fed.
Whether the fire in question is an open Inglenook, a modern wood burner, or even an outdoor firepit, the draw of sitting around billowing flames is universal – as is the need for wood to fuel it. For those who live near to a woodland, or who even have suitable woodland on their property, this fuel will be in good supply, of course, the best thing that one can do to a wood is to routinely chop trees down, removing mature wood to provide light air to the undergrowth, allowing new growth to flourish.
If your buying wood from a sustainably managed woodland is the best option, making sure that it is seasoned well and that plenty of the logs have been chopped into a decent size for kindling.
When it comes to storage, keeping logs neat and dry is essential – damp wood will create smokey fires that are not pleasurable for anyone. Whether the preference, or necessity, is to store the wood inside or outside, there are stylish and practical options.
The Town & Country contemporary log stores are suitable for use both indoors and out, and come in two sizes, to meet different needs (small 600mm x 300mm x 300mm, £249.99 and large 1m x 300mm x 300mm, £399.99)
These new pyramid-shaped log stores have an anthracite powder coating, making them a sleek, stylish and sophisticated addition to any home, complementing both traditional and modern styles. Made in Britain, they are zinc plated so won’t rust in the elements and will retain their smooth finish over time. The larger version even has a handy spot to store kindling.
Wilkinson Sword also has a great range of tools to help with wood prep, from compact saws to axes:
When it comes to chopping wood and making kindling look no further than this small but handy Hatchet Axe. It is strong as well as compact as the handle is made from shock-absorbing fibreglass and nylon, making it is stronger than steel.
This lightweight and small design is ideal for sawing smaller pieces of wood and branches to feed the fire.