East Devon Log Bank

Axewoods Co-operative addresses fuel poverty, by making seasoned, sustainably sourced logs available to local people free of charge.

100
Est. number of people
who benefit directly

Our story

Axewoods is a not-for-profit volunteer organisation that aims to address local fuel poverty by supplying, free of charge, wood fuel to those in need. We provide free woodland management in return for the timber we extract.
The Log Bank is an initiative to make dry, seasoned logs available, free of charge, to local people in fuel poverty and those in need of help or advice (similar to a food bank). We accept referrals from all local agencies such as Age UK, food banks, churches, NHS and informal networks to promote the Log Bank and reach those in need.
Research shows that rural deprivation and fuel poverty can affect all levels and ages across a community – particularly the elderly. East Devon is a rural area with a very high elderly population and pockets of real deprivation. Many Council and Social Housing properties have no gas supply and use expensive metered electricity - but some have multi-fuel stoves fitted and some have open fires. Unfortunately, those in need are often burning unsuitable wood and other materials on these stoves which causes damage that is expensive to repair.
Buying cut, split and seasoned logs is expensive - whilst felling, collecting and processing timber is dangerous, hard work and often impossible for individuals. Our team of skilled, trained and fully qualified volunteers have access to woodlands and, working with the East Devon Countryside Team, we have established a base where we can store and process timber.
We have recently purchased a portable mill so that we can produce sawn timber from suitable wood. This is available to members and local community organisations who may wish to build or repair structures or buildings.

What have you learnt that others will find most useful?

  • Local informal networks are often the way to reach people who wouldn't access the 'formal' system.
  • By helping our volunteers to get NPTC qualifications we can help their career
  • Many people are finding the 'green gym' a great way to get exercise and appreciate the wonders of the natural world.

Measures of success?

Many of the people who have joined us and are enjoying the social contact, the exercise, the prospect of ‘giving something back’ by donating time and energy and learning about sustainability. Our membership is now an eclectic mix of ages, gender, background and all bring wide experience - we rely on them to keep us on track and developing new initiatives.

Read more: http://www.axewoods.org.uk

Alan Dyer
East Devon Log Bank