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Legality of pinching firewood (Read 60631 times)

Bubba

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Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 02:57:35 pm

Given the mental costs of gas and the prospect of winter, i've gone and bought myself an electric chainsaw for chopping up bits of wood for the fire. I figured it would pay for itself pretty quickly given the cost of a bag of logs.

Anyway, does anyone know if it's illegal to front up at some forestry wood and collect fallen wood? I'm not talking about taking it from their official looking woodpiles but surely nobody will mind if you just collect debris and waste wood?

Ena

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#1 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 03:05:11 pm
It's theft. But there are loads of non-commercial woods needing a bit of a tidy, I'm sure you can find a free/cheap source if you asked around. Un-managed woodland is a real issue in England, so if you can find a legit way of getting it give yourself an eco-pat on the back.

I do know folk who pinch wood and never get caught, but it depends on your luck and how you go about it!

SA Chris

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#2 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 03:07:11 pm
What you need is to drive a really big truck in remote areas at night.....

Jaspersharpe

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#3 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 03:13:20 pm
Police officer "So why exactly have you got a big fuck off chainsaw in the back of you cab sir?"

Bubba "Well I've got a real fire at home and I thought it might make economic sense to.....why are you twisting my arm?.....Ow!?"

Police officer "Mind your head sir. You do not have to say anything etc etc..."

tomtom

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#4 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 03:15:10 pm
I know the stuff you mean and I'm afraid taking it is classed as theft...

I made some enquiries to the FC when I lived in Aberystwyth, and whats on the ground even if it looks like rubbish is theirs. Which is a shame as theres loads of off cuts, and mishaped logs there that could be used - but are left to rot. But if you want any hypothetical advice/tips on when/how to do it (which is strictly illegal and I wouldnt know what to do etc..) then PM me.

You can (I believe though never followed it up) get permission to clear up the ground in areas like that - but that was a few years ago, and what with health and safety and all that...

Some free firewood tips I found (never paid for any in 3 years before I moved - excecpt when desparate!)

1. Driftwood. Wait until there is a big storm then head to the beach with a chainsaw and fill your boot(s)!
2. From the tip (now called recyvling thing) just ask if you can help yourself to the scrap wood pile. Normally say yes
3. The best one is find a friendly local farmer... with a wee bit of wood land. They're normally really happy for someone to come along and clean it up (clear up all the crap under the trees) which is normally easily a winters worth of wood. A bottle of scotch to say thanks normally eases the wheels too... one was really helpful and loaded up a huge tractor trailers worth of 3 year seasoned oak from a tree I cut up for him that had fallen inone of his fields..
4. As local landcape gardeners.. I bought my present house from one, and he has loads of problems getting rid of wood.

Final point - its the wrong time of year really - get it cut in spring, leave it to season all summer.
Great feeling heating your house with wood that cost nothing, and wood you harvested  :beer1:

Tom

Houdini

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#5 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 03:46:33 pm
Final point - its the wrong time of year really - get it cut in spring, leave it to season all summer.

Aye.  Unseasoned wood burns inefficiently offsetting the effort involved - and it fucks your chimney, especially if it's old and unlined.

Stu Littlefair

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#6 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 03:56:51 pm
Also, isn't over half of Sheffield designated smoke-free http://uksmokecontrolareas.co.uk/locations.php?la_id=229, so you could also get nicked for burning the wood, even if you obtained it legally?

Bubba

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#7 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 03:59:50 pm
Good advice on seasoning - but I guess I can start now for next year - i've got a reasonable amount of storage space. Won't there still be a lot of lying wood that has been drying all year?

I've read elsewhere that many farmers are more than happy for you to clear wood from their land as it saves them the effort.

Houdini

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#8 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 04:02:57 pm
Shame you're not in Wales, I know a guy in forestry who gives it away...

Houdini

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#9 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 04:04:54 pm
Oh, even if it's free, don't take softwood.  Well seasoned (that's minimum one season of seasoning) hardwood is where wood to burn is at.

Bubba

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#10 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 04:09:19 pm
Also, isn't over half of Sheffield designated smoke-free http://uksmokecontrolareas.co.uk/locations.php?la_id=229, so you could also get nicked for burning the wood, even if you obtained it legally?
I've always wondered about this but assumed that everyone flouts the law on a grand scale. Most garages around here sell coal and logs, there's fuel merchants and chimney sweeps galore. I know a lot of people who have open fires who've never had any comeback.

lagerstarfish

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#11 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 04:23:10 pm
I can see the need to stop people burning dirty house coal - when a few people on one street do it the place does smell a bit, but I do think we should be allowed to burn reclaimed wood for a few nights a week.

Those Homefire Ovals (with the two lines scored in them) are an ace smokeless coal - loads better than the cheaper stuff.

tomtom

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#12 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 04:49:57 pm
Also, isn't over half of Sheffield designated smoke-free http://uksmokecontrolareas.co.uk/locations.php?la_id=229, so you could also get nicked for burning the wood, even if you obtained it legally?
I've always wondered about this but assumed that everyone flouts the law on a grand scale. Most garages around here sell coal and logs, there's fuel merchants and chimney sweeps galore. I know a lot of people who have open fires who've never had any comeback.
Really well seasoned hardwood (1 year plus) will make virtually no smoke when burnt in a wood burning stove. Good wood burners are designed to operate at a really high temperature, so all the various gasses and bits get burnt completely. That increases the efficiency of the stove and = no smoke.
Poorly seasoned wood, and coal - paper etc.. makes loads of smoke. It used to amaze me running the stove full tilt (the chimney pipe glowing a satisfying dull red colour!) that there would be next to no smoke coming out of the chimney. In the states and parts of Canada, wood burners are only allowed if they meet certain emission specs - and NO coal to be burnt...
Tom (possible wood burning geek)  :guilty:

Jim

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#13 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 08:04:49 pm
To start with throw your electric powered chainsaw on the fire and burn that first. Then get a decent small petrol powered chainsaw (my little stihl is great) and plenty of files to keep the chain sharp.
I live in a smokeless area but burn normal, decent coal (not the smokeless crap) and logs and get the chimney swept once a year.
Worth ringing round tree surgeons and landscape gardeners, often they have to pay to dump wood at the tip and will gladly drop it off at your house (if your local).

GCW

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#14 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 08:15:26 pm
Things are changing, the Magna Carta is being done away with by the Forestry Commission.

tomtom

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#15 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 08:51:22 pm
Things are changing, the Magna Carta is being done away with by the Forestry Commission.
Bastards. Fecking health and safety bollocks.
Fuck, was I sounding like a daily mail reader then...  :spank:  :spank:  :spank:

kev.

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#16 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 27, 2008, 10:13:53 pm
I was hearing about all this on radio 2 today. apparantly the FC dont like people taking wood because they dont liek the idea of the public fooling about with chainsaws, or that seems to be the most PR friendly excuse they could think of for radio purposes.  There does seem to be a system of licensing for collecting fallen wood on "common land" which i suppose relates to the magna carta passage that someone mentioned but how and why licenses are granted or revoked is beyond me.  All i know is i get rid of alot of waste timber from site by giving it to a mates dad who burns the stuff all winter.  He isnt so fussy about it being hardwood though, and my gaffer is quite happy to save filling a skip with doors etc.

Bubba

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#17 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 28, 2008, 04:19:56 am
To start with throw your electric powered chainsaw on the fire and burn that first. Then get a decent small petrol powered chainsaw (my little stihl is great) and plenty of files to keep the chain sharp
Aye, i'll see how it goes first - just wanted something cheap to start with and got an ebay bargain. Will go petrol if it's successful

Bubba

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#18 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 28, 2008, 04:21:23 am
Things are changing, the Magna Carta is being done away with by the Forestry Commission.
Fuck me, I'm sure the UK is now run by the HSE  :thumbsdown:

Bubba

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#19 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
October 28, 2008, 04:32:04 am
What you need is to drive a really big truck in remote areas at night.....

Police officer "So why exactly have you got a big fuck off chainsaw in the back of you cab sir?"

Bubba "Well I've got a real fire at home and I thought it might make economic sense to.....why are you twisting my arm?.....Ow!?"

Police officer "Mind your head sir. You do not have to say anything etc etc..."

:lol:

A chainsaw would be nice in the cab - it'd match my special Peter Sutcliffe Special Edition set of titanium hammers :)

fatboySlimfast

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#20 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
November 17, 2008, 01:49:12 pm
Righto, after an epic 3 days of diy, lugging a fucking wood burner into my house on my own(80kg! most weight training i have done for years) the things was sparked up for the first time last night. Been looking into the log thing around sheffield and it seems to me that as long as you dont take the piss(ie turm up with a low loader and strip an area clean) its tolerated. As for the clean air act, sheffield council are promoting wood burners as a greener alternative to standard heating methods and are using a wood chip burner in one of there housing developments.
You can get seasoned wood commercially as well, but greener wood is cheaper, but still comes in round 50 a bag.
 
If all the peeps in sheff who want wood(fnarr!) chip in we could buy a decent chain saw and pool labour to stock up for at least next winter!

grimer

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#21 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
November 17, 2008, 01:54:27 pm
where can you buy seasoned wood?

Andy B

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#22 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
November 17, 2008, 02:07:06 pm
We were looking into wood burners this weekend and found out that burning green wood vastly increases the chances of chimney fires due to resin/ tar/ creosote build up in the chimney. You probably already know that, but it was news to us. We are going to use our outside toilet as a wood store.

SA Chris

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#23 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
November 17, 2008, 02:20:58 pm
We are going to use our outside toilet as a wood store.

And with the toilet full of wood are you going to shit out the window? :)

fatboySlimfast

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#24 Re: Legality of pinching firewood
November 17, 2008, 02:25:34 pm
where can you buy seasoned wood?
nice bit of salt and pepper, few herbs........
Yeah knew about the green wood thing although my in-laws did it for 20+ years with no problems at all, my friend down the road burns anything he can get his hands on. Have to say the ease of starting a fire with proper dry wood is brilliant, takes 2 mins with hardly any kindling.