Wood normally takes two years in order to get the moisture content down enough in order to burn well – less than 20% is lovely, much more above this and your wood burns slow and cold meaning the smoke is laden with unburnt particles which then go and tar up your chimney. I have a real thing about dry wood, it comes with the territory.

In order to manage the rotation of a two year stock of firewood (20 m3) involves quite a system. Especially when you consider that in the winter we use a wheelbarrow full of wood a day, which means, in practise, that the wood wants to be close enough to reach on a Sunday morning in your dressing gown and wellies. 

I like to believe that my solution is both elegant and functional. It is called a Stew. I cut and chop all the wood so as much surface arrear is exposed as possible (it dries quicker that way) and then put them in a green house environment and slow roast them over the summer months.

In order to accommodate all the wood I have two systems. One is an old green house which I fill with wood and then wrap in pallet wrap and the other is the alley between the back of the house and the retaining wall, which is south facing. I have roofed it with second hand double glazing panels, which I got free from a local double glazing company.

The green house

The sun tunnel