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If one thing is for certain, it’s that it’s getting colder in the UK at present! The freezing winter weather has well and truly landed. Nonetheless, you don’t have to sit and suffer. If you have landed on this post then you probably already recognise that there are many benefits associated with using firewood to warm your home. Not only is this a cost efficient and energy efficient solution, but it presents a unique method of heating – one that is warm and cosy. Most people agree that it is the best way to keep warm during the winter period. Nevertheless, you cannot simply set any wood alight when it comes to heating your property. Of course you will want to make sure that the wood you get your hands on is cheap in terms of price. But it is also important to acquire clean firewood for a safe and enjoyable fire. So, keeping that in mind, continue reading for some top tips on buying firewood.

Purchase seasoned fire logs

There is only one place to begin and this is with the fact that you simply must purchase seasoned logs. This is firewood that has dried for a minimum for six months. If you were to go for freshly cut logs, i.e. green firewood, the moisture content would be far too high. As a consequence, you would really struggle to get a fire going. Nonetheless, this is not the only disadvantage. Once you do get the fire going it will not be very effective and it will not be very safe either. The fire is assured to produce an excessive amount of smoke. Moreover, it can often be somewhat erratic as well. Thus, under no circumstances should you ever cut corners and buy freshly cut logs for generating heat.

Consider the wood type

Naturally some woods are better when it comes to producing heat, whilst some types of wood should be avoided. It’s imperative to consider the type of wood you are going to purchase. Don’t simply assume they are all the same. All it takes is a quick search online and you will be able to determine whether the kind of wood in question is an effective one. Some of the best options to go for include the likes of beech, ash, hawthorn, rowan, yew and thorn. Let’s take a look at the qualities of each in further detail…

  • Thorn – Thorn boasts several qualities that makes it one of the best options for burning. Very little smoke is produced and you will also benefit from an exceptionally good heat output as well as a steady flame.
  • Yew – Yew also produces a very good heat output and has the added benefit of a slow burn as well.
  • Rowan – Similarly to yew, rowan burns slowly and has a great heat output.
  • Hawthorn – This has long been one of the traditional choices when it comes to burning output. It also has a slow burn rate and a good heat output.
  • Ash – If you want one of the best and most popular woods for burning, ash is it. The heat output is impressive and ash creates a steady flame.
  • Beech – Finally, with beech you have a wood that is very similar to ash when it comes to burning.

Now you know all you need to in regards to the best options that are available to you, but what about the worst? Here are some examples of wood types you should stay away from and the reasons why…

  • Poplar – This is a wood that has a very poor burn and produces extremely smokey results.
  • Laburnum – Despite having burn in the name, laburnum is certainly a wood you should stay away from. Similarly to popular, the burn is poor and the wood is very smokey.
  • Alder – Not only is the heat output of alder poor, but it does not last well either.
  • Eucalyptus – If you use this wood you will run the risk of a chimney fire. This is because the wood is fast burning and thus deposits can form in the flue because of the sap. This of course results in the possibility of a fire.
  • Firs – Firs, such as Douglas, should also be avoided. The formation of deposits in the flue is also a problem with firs, as is the fact that it offers poor heat output and a small flame.

Read reviews about the company

Aside from this, it is also a good idea to read reviews that have been left from previous customers. You want to be certain that the company is a credible one. The last thing you want to do is fall victim to a poor quality supplier. Unfortunately, there are a few people in this industry that try to pass off green logs as seasoned firewood. You now know the severe negatives associated with freshly cut logs, which is why it is even more important to find a high quality supplier. By reading testimonials you will get an honest insight into the level of quality you are likely to experience. If there are any red flags you will be alerted to them and thus you will know to look elsewhere instead.

Log size

Another important factor to consider is the size of the logs. There are various different reasons why this is the case. It is likely that you will have already set a storage space aside for your firewood. You will of course need to be sure that the firewood is going to fit into this space. Additionally, the size of the logs is also important when it comes to the effectiveness of the fire you experience. The right diameter will not only make sure the logs dry more efficiently but that they burn more efficiently as well.

Cost of firewood

As mentioned in the introduction, you will of course want to make sure you get a good deal in monetary terms when purchasing firewood. After all, one of the main reasons for going for this approach is because you can save money. Nevertheless, simply choosing logs because they are the cheapest is not an advised approach to take. Use all of the tips that have been provided in this post and then let price be your final determining factor. If something seems too good to be true, then the chances are that it probably is. You don’t want to end up purchasing freshly cut logs or one of the poor wood types that have been mentioned. It is always a good idea to look at several options in order to get an understanding of the average prices being charged.

All in all, when it comes to using firewood as a heating source, you will undoubtedly take advantage of an abundance of benefits. You will experience a more enjoyable form of heating and one that is cheaper and more environmentally friendly as well. However, this is only the case if you are mindful of the tips that have been presented in this post and that you choose your firewood with a great amount of care. Looking for the right type of firewood and ensuring it is seasoned is of the utmost importance, so don’t overlook these aspects.

Britain's new town boom in the middle of the last century achieved mixed levels of long term success. However the new wave of new towns planned by the current UK government promises something rather more elegant and intuitive.

The planned new environments owe something to both urban regeneration and rural blight. Those not in favour cite their potential to wreck Britain's countryside, but the relevant parties are assuring a far more sympathetic approach. Rather than the concrete jungles the last wave of new towns have often become, the new breed will be punctuated with parks, gardens and green spaces, taking their lead from the rural sites on which they will stand.

1. Getting out of town

The towns are proposed as a response to Britain's growing need for new, affordable housing. While urban regeneration schemes such as those offered by the Pervaiz Naviede Family Trust are going some way towards making the most of what's available in the city, the government believes it needs to take a similar approach in more rural areas. The plans are taking cues from the Victorian garden cities idea and the more sensitive urban regeneration successes that are helping to transform some of Britain's inner cities.

2. Green Belts

Along with open space, transport connections will be taken into account, with an emphasis on avoiding the concrete grid approach. The aim is to blend in with rather than obliterate the rural environment, while national park and green belt lands are to remain untouched.

The plans come under the remit of the National Planning Policy Framework and are specifically designed to support sustainable development and meet with local approval. Significance has been placed upon affordable housing and community areas, both to resolve existing housing problems and boost the nascent recovery of the UK economy.

Critics have noted an earlier disregard for Britain's rural areas in current government policy, citing the controversial HS2 train route, but the government insists the need for the proposed new 16,000 new houses will be carefully managed. To consolidate its commitment to the project, the government has already made 150 million in reduced rate loans available to developers, as an adjunct to the 420 million already given as part of the 'Get Britain Building' scheme designed to jump start existing building projects that stalled in the recession.

3. 'Silkingrad'

The post war new town boom in Britain was the brainchild of town and country planning minister Lewis Silkin and kicked off with Stevenage today a rather grey, dull, cement monument to the 'classless' Labour government of Clement Attlee. It was followed by a slew of others in an attempt to ease housing pressure in London in a similar style to the Stevenage project. While such towns, particularly the poster boy for the stereotype, Milton Keynes, have been derided as soulless examples of unimaginative town planning and grim council estates, there's no doubt that in a number ways they were, at least at one time, pleasant and practical places to live.

It can only be hoped that the next generation of new town planners will learn from the lessons of the past and take inspiration from the modern breed or urban developers such as the Pervaiz Naviede family trust rather than carving up Britain's green fields indiscriminately.

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