Woodland Management – Charcoal

Woodland Management – Charcoal

Sustainability

Here at Belmont we are blessed with beautiful and historic woodland and take the responsibility of its sympathetic management very seriously. It is from the by-products of our woodland management that we make the high quality, sustainable and ethical charcoal that we have become well known for.

We are passionate about managing our woodland, maintaining and developing a healthy, productive habitat. Left alone, woodlands can become dark and over shaded, creating small

open areas where light can reach the woodland floor allows new growth to flourish. Our aim is for a mix of habitats and growth stages to encourage the broadest range of wildlife as possible. To create these habitats some carefully selected trees are felled, we use the resulting wood for furniture making, for firewood production and for our sought-after handmade charcoal.

The Process

Making charcoal takes patience, experience and a lot of hard work.

Using well-seasoned wood a wheel shape is constructed at the base of the kiln, and brash placed in the middle to be lit when the kiln is ready. This shape allows for air flow around the base and gives the seasoned wood that will ultimately become charcoal a platform to sit on. The kiln is then carefully filled to the top band and the lid placed back on.

 

This brash is then lit and the process has begun. The air flow into the kiln is carefully managed to restrict the rate of combustion.

Next come three stages of smoke. The burn begins with white grey smoke primarily made up of steam as the moisture is driven from the wood, followed by a yellow green smoke and finally, a clear blue smoke telling you that the wood inside has been turned into charcoal.

View inside of a port

Any air flow into the kiln is then blocked starving the fire inside of oxygen and stopping the burn

The charcoal is left to cool for at least 24 hours before being carefully siev

ed and bagged by hand ready for sale.

Any waste product is either reused in the next burn or if too small, mixed with manure to create Biochar, which is perfect for gardeners use.

We are proud to be continuing this ancient craft and of the high quality sustainable product we produce.

The Belmont Estate