Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please find some of our FAQs below. If you can't find the answer you are looking for, don't hesitate to contact us.


Q. What's the secret of success when lighting a fire?

Make sure the paper and kindling you are using is dry. There are as many theories about the best way of lighting a fire as there are people regularly lighting fires! Using loosely scrunched up balls of newspaper, dry kindling and smaller pieces of wood to get the fire going generally works well.

Q. Why does smoke billow back down the chimney when I light my woodburning stove or fire?

This can happen when the chimney is cold, when there is not enough draught to draw the smoke upwards or when something, eg a bird's nest, is physically blocking the chimney. If the problem persists get a chimney sweep to investgate.


Q. How can I find a good firewood supplier near me?

Ask neighbours for recommendations, try estate owners or farmers and look for adverts in local newspapers or on notice boards in shops. And check the directory section of this website.

Q. How do I know when my wood is dry enough to burn?

Logs are generally between 20% and 50% water, some such as elm can be even  wetter. Weight is a good indication; if a log is very heavy for its volume, chances are it is wet.  Logs for burning should be below 25% moisture content. Seasoned wood often has cracks in it and should not feel damp to the touch.


Q. Is there enough wood for everyone?

There are fears that if we all start burning wood the our forests will rapidly disappear.  However comprehensive assessments of resources in the Cairngorms National Park show that there is ample to supply homes and businesses within the Park.  In many cases woods which have become neglected and in need of thinning will be brought back into active management and new woods will be planted. This will lead to richer and more diverse woodland habitats.   

Q. What help is available to help me check out the possibilities of getting firewood from woods near my home?

Don't be shy to ask around and to seek advice from organisations such as the Forestry Commission, the Community Woodlands Association and Reforesting Scotland.  If you're interested in clubbing together with other people locally to source and process wood, check out our community woodfuel page.

Q. What kind of wood can I burn?

Any wood will burn if it is dry enough. A variety of firewood can be sourced from well managed woodlands; in the Cairngorms National Park logs will often be spruce, pine or birch thinnings.  Branches and brash can be processed and dried to create woodchip.  Find out more here.

Help with costs

Q. Can I get a grant for installing a wood fuelled heating system in my home or business?

Home owners can get in touch with the Energy Savings Trust 0800 512012 to find out what incentives are currently available. Very good support is now available for businesses and organisations through the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, and this is likely to be extended to individual domestic boilers later in 2012 through the Green Deal initiative - look out for news in the autumn.

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Q. What should I do with the ash from my wood boiler or woodburning stove?

Wood ash contains potassium, some phosphorus and magnesium and can be beneficial for soil. Either scatter it on the ground or mix it into compost. 

A scattering of wood ash can help fruit trees and shrubs and broadleaved trees. However plants which like acid growing conditions will not react well to wood ash so avoid using any around plants such as junipers, conifers and rhododendrons.

Coal ash should be disposed of in the bin.

11 December 2012

per kWHper Year
Woodfuel - Logs£0.023£690
Woodfuel - Pellets£0.052£1560
Woodfuel - Chips£0.026£780
Oil - Kerosene£0.07£2100
this is based on...

Latest News


We've been running our online survey of users, suppliers, in fact everyone interested in woodfuel in the national park, for a while and you can now see what other people are thinking from the results so far. The more views we gather the better, so please complete the short survey in a spare moment and help us to help you. Read More...

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