Wood is a renewable fuel, the use of which combines well with the management and maintenance of copses, small woods and hedgerows. When burnt in an efficient stove or furnace, wood produces little smoke and does not contribute to acid rain. Chemically, burning wood is the same process as the natural decay of wood, but at a much faster speed. Burning wood produces no different environmental effect than does the natural decay process, provided the level of fuel use does not outpace regeneration. Wood is a viable fuel for contributing to the heating of rural homes and businesses in Britain, and can support new planting schemes, as well as the management of existing woodlands.
Charcoal is partly-burnt wood which is used for fuel and other purposes. By producing charcoal for local barbecue and other uses, the woodland owner is helping to conserve local woodland through management, reducing transport requirements, and reducing the import of charcoal from places where this trade may contribute to forest destruction.
Wood can also be converted to woodchips and burnt for direct heating or the generation of electricity. Short rotation coppice crops are being grown for this purpose in the UK and elsewhere. Cultivation and harvesting is highly mechanised, with more similarities to arable farming than woodland management.