14th Jun. 2019

Chainsaw Success!

 


Congratulations to Russell and Joe for passing their chainsaw exams.


 

 
 
19th May 2019

Chainsaw Carving

 


Joe, our apprentice, is getting good at chainsaw carving. Anyone for mushrooms?


 

 
 
19th July 2017

Hazel Coppicing to produce our Woodnuts brand

 


Watch this short video showing a Hazel coppice. Read on below for further explanation.


Lancashire logs has developed and promoted the Woodnuts brand and has spent time every year for the last few years in improving the harvesting technique and the machines we use. The primary purpose is to produce a dense naturally growing and sustainable crop of small logs which can be bagged, dried and then sold to users of wood burning stoves, outdoor fire pits and chimaneas.

In the 19th century and before, rotational coppice cutting of hazel was a serious rural industry providing firewood for the towns and straight stems for hurdle making, fencing and basket work. Globilisation and industrial manufacture of fencing and household goods reduced the demand pattern for Hazel. Woodnuts is a great way of using a still present resource in a developing commercial market.

Local authorities have grown hazel as part of local planting plans and landscaping as it is a good ground cover and ecology crop providing food for small mammals and fast growing green cover for residential area. The trouble is that hazel coppice pruning maintenance is expensive being labour intensive and hazel can out grow its usefulness when it develops tree proportions. The Woodnuts brand will give councils the chance at low cost to maintain the diversity of a hazel plantation in a landscape.


 

 
 
16th May 2017

Morso Wood Oven Demonstration Series at Lancashire Logs

 


Starting this Saturday we will be demonstrating ways to use the Morso Wood Oven. Come along and have a look to find out more about the oven's pizza capabilities, slow cooking, smoking facilities and bread baking.

The demonstration will start at 12 noon on the following Saturdays in 2017:
20th May
27th May
3rd June
10th June
17th June

The demonstration will close at 1:30pm so be sure to be there on time.


 

 
 
24th January 2017

Pizza!

 

 


We are selling dry birch logs for pizza ovens. The bark is removed so there's no nasty bark smoke to taint the pizza. It's available by the sack or by the pallet load depending on whether you're using a back garden oven, or ccoking in a restaurant!

Hovis thinks it is a great idea, much better than dog biscuits.


 

 
 
7th January 2017

Wood Art

 

One of our recent customers, Giles Newman, is a wood carver who works by hand and in oak and birch,  creating some beautifully stunning works of art, including some remarkable art spoon pieces. He also runs courses for those interested.

Take a look at his website to see some of his work:

http://gilesnewman.com/




 

 
 
26th November 2016

Great Christmas Gift Idea for Family or Friend

 

Why not send a gift full of warmth and glow this Christmas? We can deliver 20 sacks of kiln dried logs, plus a net of kindling, anywhere in Lancashire for £150. Please be sure to provide the receiver's name, address and telephone number so that the delivery is a nice planned surprise and not a shock! Get in touch here to find out more.

 

 
 
8th July 2016

Lancashire Charcoal Lift-Off!

 

The new wood store is looking more like a wood store now, or a bit like an elevated stables, but its big, its strong and a credit to Russell’s hard work. It will have a capacity of 1,500 sacks of logs for easy collection by customers.



We are trying to make best use of our hardwood off cuts in a small scale charcoal kiln. We know that one needs time and experience to understand how a kiln works so we are starting small to build our expertise and business. Bags of Lancashire Charcoal may appear on the shelves soon. The kiln does appear like something akin to the moon module, but I don’t think it will achieve lift off velocity

 

 
 
20th June 2016

Our Flood Resilience Programme

 

As our customers know we got caught up in the floods of Boxing Day 2015. The water rose 1.25m and we are still finding things 50m from where they used to be.



We are now starting our flood resilience programme with the help of a way too small government grant. Flood resilience doesn’t mean that we won’t be flooded again but after it happens next time we will get over it faster.

 

The main storage shed is being lifted 750mm, with a new mezzanine floor made out of the best flexible and sustainable material produced by trees, it’s called wood (wonderful stuff, and hasn’t been bettered by a man made product yet!).
The photos show the stages of build with Hovis being more concerned as the job progresses. Damon and Russell are doing a stirling job!

 

 
 
20th May 2016

FREE Charcoal Samples!

With some of our smaller hardwood logs we are doing some trials with a small charcoal kiln and will be giving away small trial boxes of the finished fuel (FREE) for your summer barbecue.

 

English charcoal is light weight, high heat and high Eco value having not travelled from India or South America

 

 
 
6th May 2016

Smokin'!

We are thinking of building a small meat and fish smoker at the yard, not so much to charge people for a smoked salmon sandwich when they come, as to exhibit the delights of having your own smoker in the garden, with the cherry and apple wood supplied by Lancashire Logs. Please let us know if you already have a smoker and what type might be best.

 

 
 
27th April 2016

Betty and the Emerald Ash Borer

 

I am thinking I should take Hovis down to Norfolk to see Betty. But he mustn't pollute her environment and must tread carefully near her children. That sounds weird but for all you ash burning people out there it is very important.

 

Betty is an ash tree found by the forestry commission research scientists to be resistant to the ash die back disease ravaging our ash trees after it travelled over from Europe. Betty's children may be the future of ash woodlands in the UK.

 

Ash is a fantastic fuel wood with a high density and low moisture content. If the ash tree were to die out we would all be the losers, not just the wood burning community but the whole natural environment.

 

Unfortunately Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle from America is heading this way as well, but more on that later.

 

 
 
25th March 2016

Simple ways to use the heat from your wood burner

 

Once you have natural heat coming from your wood burner, make the most use of it you can.  The fan shown in the picture has a motor which is powered by the heat coming from the wood burner top. It pushes the heat out into the room, giving you heat in the right place.  The kettle gives you free heat for a cuppa when needed and the steam reduces the effect of the dry air in the room.  The kettle needs to be able to withstand the heat of the fire top and needs a heavy steel base... and always make sure that it doesn't burn dry.  The fan is produced by a firm called Vallient and is available in most good stove shops.

 
 
11th March 2016

Barking Up the Right Tree

 

Tree bark is amazing stuff! It provides the water and nutrient transport system for the tree and offers protection as well. It also helps feed squirrels, and at the end of its life it provides us with a brilliant fire lighter. When the birch logs are dried in a kiln or oven, the timber shrinks and the bark dries and detaches from the log. When lit with a match it flares into life! Kiln dried birch is the only firewood I know which comes with its own fire lighting pack, free with nature. Oh, and Labradors and goats like to eat it as well ....it must be bit like baby rusk!!

 
 
26th February 2016

Two of the most asked log questions

 

Blue skies but minus 5 in the shade. Spring is on its way BUT not yet. We have had a rush of topping-up orders from customers this week and some fun visits from new stove owners wanting to find out about fuel and what they can buy.

Two questions always turn up:

The first is ‘Can I buy a one ton builders' bag of logs?’.

The answer is NO, because a builders bag (which can vary in size) will contain a ton of sand but will only hold a third of a ton of DRY logs. The builders bag delivery unit is very vague and is often used by a tree surgeon supplying some chopped logs recently cut off a tree. These may have to be dried for a year before being used. Always buy logs by volume, say, 1m3 which is the equivalent of about 17 sacks or 2m3 which is a normal ‘tipped on a drive’ load.

The second question is ‘Should I always buy hardwood as opposed to softwood?’.

Hardwood (oak, sycamore, ash, beech) is denser than most softwoods (spruce and larch and pine) because it grows more slowly. It is also more expensive because by volume there is less produced in the UK, but everyone knows that Scotland is covered by softwood forests that can be cropped every 50 years. The key is the required moisture content of the wood you burn. This should always be less than 20%. Wet wood, hard or soft, will put a tar layer into your flue and risk your having a chimney fire. Dry wood will toast your toes.

 
 
5th February 2016

New Dry Stock!

 

Hovis has welcomed into the yard 22 tons of kiln dried birch and alder.  The alder bark tastes great and by his calculations he now is master of about 4,500 logs.......Ken has begged one from Hovis and finds that they burn beautifully.

 
 
15th January 2016

Getting Theatrical!

 

Lancashire Logs have supplied the UCLan Drama Group with large logs as stage props for their performance of Chekov's The Seagull. They are to be used as on-stage seats for the cast. Good luck for the show and future careers. Hovis is brushing up on his Hamlet in readiness for a call to stardom.

 
 
8th January 2016

Business as usual after the floods

 

Who would you like to be if you had a chance to be a character from the past.......probably King Canute in a very optimistic mood!!!!

 

For those not in the know we had the overspill from the Croston floods on Boxing Day, so we are working hard to put the yard in order and get more dry stock in. Fortunately not everything went under.....Hovis was safe in the van......and we are functioning almost as usual and ready to welcome customers.

Here are Hovis and the Boss resting up in front of the fire after rescuing 'bird' from the flood water!

 
 
11th December 2015

On planting out Christmas trees


Hovis is thinking of starting a social media help group to advise on humanitarian treatment of Christmas trees. As the dog assistant of an Arboricultural Consultant he sees scatters of retired Norway Spruce planted after Christmas in peoples gardens.

It is nice to give the tree a home after Christmas, but these things have a mature height of 25m and will cost £300 to fell and remove when they have reached that height in 25 years time and are past keeping.

Make the big decision…either get a cheap bottom cut (No roots) Sitka spruce and wrap its bottom in a plastic bag full of wet tissue paper. Keep it in the house and put in the bin on 12th night. Or spend real money and get a pot grown pine tree, as demonstrated by Hovis, put it in the house for only 7 days and keep it watered before giving it a home in a favoured border.

 
 
27th November 2015

Super Dry!


Putting on our financial hat at the moment and deciding to keep our budget softwood logs at the same price as last year. All our larch is dried down to below 20% MC and gives a super blast of heat from your wood burner. Hovis says that it dries his tail out quickly when he comes in from a wet day in the yard!!

He is thinking of recommending it to George Osborne’s Labrador ‘Budget’ who has to trail around all these muddy building sites these days.

 
 
13th November 2015

“Don't buy a pig in a poke”

 

The timber buying business can be a bit like ‘buying a pig in a poke’ or as the 19th Century Scot would have said:

When ye proffer the pigge open the poke

The poke is of course a bag, and if you can’t see the contents of the bag, getting out your money is not a wise move.

When you buy standing timber you end up making a judgement as to what is inside the tree from how it looks outside. If the butt of the timber (the widest part) has got wire and staples in it you will know that the tree has been part of a fence line for perhaps 100 years and may have monster nails and even locks and latches in it. If it sounds hollow when you tap it ….it probably is hollow. If there are toadstools and mushrooms on or around it that can also be bad news.

The site inspection showed a 20m high beech tree which had to come down and was straight stemmed and full of good wood. As I did the deal at £40 a ton, I dreamed of two inch thick planks of well grained beech able to grace a coffee table or kitchen work surface, plus a good pile of beech firewood after a year of drying.

When delivered on a timber carrier my dreams turned to nightmares…enough to make one put a poke over one’s head!!!

 
 
30th October 2015

A Christmas Present of Logs

There are now 8 weeks of log buying time before Christmas.

Hovis and I are gearing up with Yuletide hats and smiles to deliver Christmas Present Logs for Christmas.

If you have family and friends with a log burning fire why not give them a 10 sack or 20 sack present to keep them warm into January. 10 sacks of mixed kiln dried, English hardwood and English softwood with a small net of kindling will cost £80 delivered in Lancashire. Double it to a 20 sack order and the price will be £150.

Email me on ken@lancashirelogs.com to arrange delivery and payment. (We like BACS but can take cheques). If you give us the phone number and name of the recipient we can do the detail stuff. (Please warn them first - strange men and black dogs bearing gifts unannounced are not as universally welcomed as they were in Bethlehem two thousand years ago!)

 
 
16th October 2015

Saturday Morning Snack Time!

Saturday mornings at the yard are busy with cars coming to collect firewood and dogs and owners visiting to see Hovis. Apart from the indelicate dog welcoming procedures, Hovis is now able to offer biscuits and water. I am drawing the line at starting a Labrador B n' B. (30 seconds after the photo was taken the biscuits disappeared!)

 
 
2nd October 2015

Meet Russell!

Russell, one of our longstanding staff, has his own firm which makes garden bridges and other structures including LOG STORES. Made to measure and erected on site within the north west, they look great on the side wall of a house. Come over to the yard and have a look at Russell's master works and discuss what you need.

 
 
18th September 2015

Log Flamers now available!

We are producing a batch of Log Flamers for Guy Fawkes night (one Log Flamer free to log buyers in October). The Flamer is made out of a Birch Log 8” long with a chimney and a wax wick at the bottom for lighting. It produces a 1-2 foot flame and lasts for 20 minutes. Keep the kids away and treat it as a sort of calm outdoor firework.

Price for a pack of five will be £15.

Visit our facebook page to see a video of the Log Flamer in action!

Hovis believes it is a receptacle for biscuits.

 
 
4th September 2015

Why is hardwood more expensive than softwood, and which is best?

The answer is like the detergent packs in the supermarket. The cheaper ones are often more diluted than the more expensive ones which may also have additives to make then smell nice and do good things to your hands. They both help clean dishes or clothes.

 

Hardwoods are generally oaks, ash, sycamore, oak, cherry, lime and a few others while the softwoods are the conifer species. Conifers grow fast generally producing a commercial crop in 50-70 years while hardwoods take much longer to mature as they grow at a slower rate. The wood however is denser having being built up in thinner layers on the tree.

 

The price difference is in part to do with the time it takes to grow the tree and produce the wood and as such the relative scarcity or availability of the timber. Both trees are wooden and both after drying can be burnt and will produce heat but the denser wood of the same size will produce MORE heat. Commercial timber (grown to be felled and used) in the UK is normally softwood and seldom hardwood. Hardwood forests are often amenity sites such as parks and shooting woodlands where the trees have never been cared for as a forestry crop. Felling and harvesting softwood is a very organised and mechanised process while felling and harvesting hardwoods is more complex and expensive.

 

Which is best may be down to other factors... Ash wood is of a lower moisture content when felled than many other species, cherry and fruit woods like apple and pear have aromatic qualities when burnt on an open fire and some soft woods will split when burnt and are not recommended for an open fire but may be good for a wood burner.

 

 
 
28th August 2015

Why does wood cost so much? It grows on trees doesn't it?

The technical answer to this is that the industry is not vertically integrated! Vertigral integration is when the different parts of the production process are under the control of one factory and producer who knows all the costs and can organise the process in the most efficient manner. The forestry and woodland industries are so very different, in that many of the different parts are subcontracted to small businesses and craftsmen who spread their work load over a range of customers to reduce risk. This makes the process of getting the timber from the tree state to the log state not as easy as you might think.

 

The process goes like this...

1. The forest owner wants to sell some timber so he first gets a felling licence from the Forestry Commission (which can take 3-6 months) and then asks a buyer for a stumpage price.
2. The buyer agrees to buy the trees standing and contracts a forestry company to fell the trees and forward (technical term involving large tractor and trailer with a crane) them down to the nearest road.
3. The buyer then contracts a timber haulier (a big wagon carrying 25 tons of timber that you can never pass on the motorway!) to pick the timber up and bring it to his log yard.
4. The log merchant now cuts the timber up and splits it into thinner long logs which are then cross cut to 200-300mm and loaded into net bags for drying.
5. The logs are then dried for 6-8 months, protected from the rain but exposed to the sun and wind (not easy in England!).
6. The logs are then packed into bags or delivery trailers and arrive at your house, perhaps over a year and a half after the woodland owner started the process.

.

 
 
21st August 2015

DOG CHICKEN INFATUATION

Hovis was recently bought a rubber squeaky chicken to help him learn the rudiments of retrieval. He likes it to live in the wood nuts log basket next to the fire as it is a naked and therefore a rather cold chicken. He will take it for a walk with him given half a chance. The chicken goes by the retrieval code word of ‘Bird’.

 
 
14th August 2015

LOG WALL

We are continually amazed at why people buy logs from us, especially in the summer!!  For the last few months a client has been buying in log timber to put into an ornamental garden wall he has now constructed.  The back garden landscape project involved creating a patio windbreak on a curve with a natural top all made of logs kept together with a galvanised wire, marine glue and post retainers. Watch out Chelsea Flower Show in the next few years.

 
 
7th August 2015

 

 

Lancashire Logs is getting involved with the ‘Foodie’ Community.

The hobby of smoking your own meat and fish is starting to take off, and we now have a list of hobby buyers of our cherry, apple and pear wood. Our interest started several years ago when we had a call from the PA of a certain celebrity chef in London. They needed 10 sacks of cherry as fuel for a pizza oven and needed it now!

The wood smoke from cherry and fruitwoods imparts a special taste to the pizza. We now select out all our fruitwoods and some oak for the pizza and smoker people. One customer regularly cooks his Christmas turkey in an outdoors pizza oven...says that it gets him out of the house at Christmas!

We cut fruitwood logs small and advise splitting them again when you load the oven or prepare the smoking chips.  

 
 
30th July 2015

Third wedding of the Year!!!

We have increasingly been providing logs and interesting bits of natural wood as decorations for weddings and wedding designers.  This kind of work is a nice contrast to providing warmth in the colder months! 

The big hint to the wedding managers is to remember that thin discs of tree wood can look good, but also crack in central heating, so avoid doing the flower arrangements too soon.  This photo shows a nice way of displaying the menus using silver birch logs.  

OUR BEST WISHES GO TO THE NEWLY WEDS!
 
 
 
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Lancashire Logs, Riversideview Nurseries, Ulnes Walton Lane, Leyland PR26 8LT
Tel 01772 433492          
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