The New Forest Woodburning Centre was launched in 1978 by passionate woodburners, and advocates of self-sufficiency, Peregrine and Fiona Bruce, who still run the business today.
Starting on a shoestring budget, the Bruces initially sold Norwegian, Belgian and Danish wood burning stoves from their garage. The global energy crisis, coupled with the decimation of the UK’s tree population by Dutch Elm disease, proved fertile ground for the nascent British market in stoves. The company quickly outgrew the garage, and moved into an old coach house adjacent to Brockenhurst train station and then to a converted Victorian schoolhouse in Sway.
British companies soon started to design and manufacture 'home-grown' stoves, and a revolution in efficient stove design was pioneered by Clearview Stoves. This transformed the market, and ushered in an era of highly efficient and clean wood-burning appliances which could now be legally installed within “smokeless” areas. Whereas the early adopters of wood burning had largely been those living in the countryside on smallholdings, farms and estates, stoves were now increasingly being installed in suburban, town and even city homes.
Since its inception, the business has gone from strength to strength, moving to its current spacious address in Lymington in April, yet the company ethos remains exactly the same. With our motto, “Warmth for the Wise”, the company has always been about more than simply selling stoves – it is about fostering sustainable self-reliance and harmony with the environment, a philosophy thoroughly in tune with modern times.
Today, the company’s recommended installers fit hundreds of our stoves each year, as well as lining existing - and building new - chimneys, laying hearths, and constructing fireplaces, all in full compliance with the raft of regulation that has grown up about the industry.
In this age of high energy prices, fuel scarcity and concern about our fragile environment, our mission has never been more relevant.