Breamish Valley logo linking to Home Page

Northumberland Log Bank

Addressing fuel poverty in rural Northumberland

What is the Northumberland Log Bank?

The objectives of the Northumberland Log Bank are:

The prevention or relief of poverty in rural Northumberland by providing seasoned wood fuel to those suffering financial hardship, chronic ill-health, disability or isolation, or to those who have difficulty obtaining or handling logs due to advanced age.

The prevention or relief of poverty in rural Northumberland by signposting the recipients of the wood fuel to other organisations which could help improve their circumstances.

[A project supported by Northumberland County Council]

Log Banks at Capheaton, Ford and Haydon Bridge

Photo of four men working inside poly tunnel
Capheaton Log Bank
Crookham Log Bank

Why have a Log Bank?

Fuel poverty is affected by three key factors – income, fuel costs and home energy consumption/energy efficiency – and relates to homes that have to spend a high proportion of their household income to keep their home at an adequate standard of warmth. Fuel poverty can have a detrimental impact on physical health as well as increasing the risk of mental health problems and negatively impacting children’s education. A key issue for Northumberland is improving the energy efficiency of people’s homes. Fuel poverty is a particular challenge because of the Northumberland’s geography. In terms of emissions, wood is considered a better fuel than coal, oil or LPG (currently) particularly if it sourced locally and sustainably. The efficiency of it burning as a fuel depends on the stove/fire, moisture content, and similar. In light of recent legislation, we want you to know that all the logs we supply are seasoned and dry.

Northumberland

  • Home to 323,800 people
  • 46% of the population lives in a rural area
  • People aged 65+ are expected to account for more than 30% of the population by 2030
  • Is among 20% most deprived of the 317 local authorities in England
  • In Northumberland, 26.7% of households (approx 16,000 in rural Northumberland) are fuel poor (where required fuel costs > 10% of income)
  • The average of fuel poor households across England is 10.9%
Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) across Northumberland 2019
IMD 2019 by Decile

Credit: The above image contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0 (Source: see Note 2).

  • The Northumberland Log Bank, set up in 2019, delivers seasoned logs to those in need due to financial constraints, poor health, advanced age or rural isolation
  • Already fallen wood is donated by individuals, farms and estates
  • There are 5 Log Banks and 3 storage sites
  • The Log Bank is volunteer led, there are no paid staff, and managed by 5 trustees
  • Most log recipients are referred by NCC, NHS Communities Together, CAN, Foodbanks, ADAPT and Citizens Advice.

How to improve?

  • We have expanded and are aiming to supply up to 300 households this winter in 2022.
  • The number of households we deliver to can increase hugely as we find more volunteers.
  • We need an electric van to reduce our costs and carbon footprint, and we have purchased battery operated chainsaws.
  • We now only need a few thousand pounds a year to operate, to train volunteers and for equipment.
  • We focus on the second Log Bank Object – signposting households in fuel poverty to other organisations who could help make their lives more sustainable.

Contact Northumberland Log Bank

Would you like to help?

Can you spare a few hours a week to help collect, prepare and deliver logs?

We are looking for volunteers, especially those with appropriate skills or anyone interested in undergoing training: developing skills and knowledge around safeguarding are also essential.

Many thanks!

  • Kitty Anderson (Chairperson)
  • Charlie Bennett, (Treasurer)
  • Alan Phipps (Trustee)
  • Karen Froggatt, The Glendale Gateway Trust (Trustee)
  • Marc Johnson, Northumberland Community Voluntary Action
  • Capheaton Hall
  • Lord James Joicey, Ford and Etal Estate
  • Tim Miller-Fay, Northumberland County Council
  • Ian Fletcher, Lantra Instructor and Assessor
  • Vanessa Proudlock and Northumberland Estates
  • Langley Castle Estate
  • Wallington Estate
  • Kirkharle Estate
  • Mather family, High Heugh Farm
Read More

Thank you to our funders!

A little of what we do…

Contact details

Catherine Thick (Founding Trustee)

Tel: 07900 963234 Email: katethick@hotmail.com

Notes

  1. ‘A little of what we do’ gallery images by Graham Williamson 2019 unless otherwise indicated. All other images and text provided by Kate Thick and used with permission.
  2. Source: Northumberland County Council ‘Indices of Deprivation 2019 – Northumberland Summary Report’ [Online]. Available: https://www.northumberland.gov.uk/NorthumberlandCountyCouncil/media/Northumberland-Knowledge/NK%20place/Indices%20of%20deprivation/Indices-of-Deprivations-2019-Summary-Report.pdf [Accessed 2 Mar 2020].

[Last updated: 27 November 2022]

Contact Us

Contact the Breamish Valley website

Contact Us