We have seven acres of native, broadleaf woodland, stretching the length of the Eastern boundary of the farm – a diverse & ancient mix of Oaks, Ash, Sycamore, Hazel & Alder, Willow, Elder, Blackthorn, Holly & Hawthorn – which provides us with a rich and regenerative harvest of food and fuel throughout the year.
We heat all of the buildings at Bronhaul with our big solidfuel biomass boiler, the hearth and heart of the farm. The main farmhouse, Rock Cottage & Coach House are all equipped with woodburners, too, to keep the family and guests extra warm on chilly winter nights. There’s nothing like the sight of flickering flames to warm the cockles!
As you can imagine, this takes alot of firewood. Every winter, we keep ourselves warm in the daytime by cutting, splitting and stacking firewood from our sustainable woodland for the following winter – a mix of ash, sycamore, oak, willow and alder. It’s a labour-intensive but enjoyable part of the year, a wholesome mix of chainsaw fumes & sawdust, tree sap and flannel shirts…
Henry David Thoreau claimed that chopping your own firewood warms you twice – chopping and burning – but we actually find it’s about six times in the end! Cutting, splitting, stacking to season, moving, stacking again and finally burning!
We are committed to replacing whatever we take from our woodlands several times over by planting hundreds of trees every year, sourcing firewood that might otherwise be wasted from the local area and by using traditional techniques like coppicing.
This makes it a truly sustainable and regenerative fuel source. We provide free firewood to all guests and welcome you to coe and do some woodchopping during your stay!
The woodlands are full of wild food bursting with vitamins & healthy antioxidants. Wild garlic grows in the Spring and makes for a wonderful, flavoursome pesto, while the Summer provides us with elderflowers, mushrooms and a swathe of wild, edible plants. The Autumn gives us blackberries, elderberries, sloes and haws, hazelnuts and acorns, which we squirrel away for winter in jams, cordials, medicines and elixirs.
Nature provides so much food, each and every year. You just have to know what’s edible and what’s not! Want to come foraging? Let us know!