Sarah Buckwell has researched the impact of and rationale behind domestic solid fuel and wood burning by Alton’s residents for her MSc dissertation at King’s College London.

Here is a 4-page summary of her report, “The Great Solid Fuel Debate – Exploring the drivers and barriers of pro-environmental behaviour: domestic solid fuel combustion in Hampshire, UK”.

It makes for interesting reading. We need to ensure that anyone thinking about installing a wood burner is aware of the potential impact on indoor and outdoor air pollution, which is of course damaging to health.

To quote from the report, “Defra stated in 2018 that DWB [domestic wood burning] is now the single largest contributor to outdoor air pollution during UK wintertime, making up 38% of ambient outdoor PM [particulate matter]. Research has predicted that this increase is due to the Stove Industry Alliance’s (SIA) marketing labelling DWB as carbon neutral. Although DWB can have this characteristic, it is hard to achieve if best practice is not followed. For example, under adverse weather conditions, Particulate Matter from DWB in quiet residential neighbourhoods from family houses can be as harmful as heavy traffic in central urban areas.”