This week Century Wood received Grown in Britain certification. This allows us to display the red, blue and green logo here on the website and in association with firewood if I start selling it in the future.
The organisation has evolved from an action plan in 2013 to create a sustainable future for British forests – in part by creating more markets for timber and wood. Today its most visible elements are the certification schemes for forests producing timber and wood, and for businesses further down stream who resell and use wood.
There is a now a great demand for evidence that wood has come from sustainable sources. The Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) branding is even more widely recognised but requires a heavy-weight auditing process even for small operations, including small woodlands. For woodland owners, Grown in Britain leverages the existing Forestry Commission approved management plans which are required for FC grants and which can be written with management plan grants themselves. Since FC approval requires UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) compliance, and the UKFS requires sustainable management, the work has been done really.
Century Wood has had an approved management plan since 2012 and so we were already covered. The plan mainly covers 2012-22 but has a longer range outline to 2032, and our Grown in Britain certificate now runs to 2026. I am intending to write a new plan this winter, partly since I need to get a new felling licence too, and partly since my thinning strategy has evolved over the last ten years.
I will say that these things are not fast. I submitted the application to Grown in Britain in June and it’s now October. But then for small woodlands there is currently no charge, although apparently that will change next year.