In pictures: How to make charcoal
The Outwoods are a site of special scientific interest, so to conserve the area Wilson the horse is used to transport logs, rather than damaging tractors.
The wood is attached to the heavy duty horse with chains, and dragged behind him. Wilson usually does two sessions of work a day.
The logs collected from the woodland are chopped with an axe into smaller pieces before being added to a giant metal kiln.
Woodland ranger Stuart and wildlife development officer Mark Graham regularly receive help from Charnwood volunteers to make the charcoal.
A wheelbarrow is filled full of previously made charcoal and lit. The heat produced is so intense it often melts the wheelbarrow paint.
To give the fire a helping hand the charcoal is blasted with oxygen through a leave blower, before adding it to the centre of the kiln.
A lid is added to the kiln and the internal heat is encouraged to rise again by blowing air through an air vent at the bottom of the huge oven.
Sand and earth is placed around the kiln lid and patted down to seal any gaps where smoke may escape.
Chimneys are added to allow the smoke to escape. The idea is to keep the wood glowing without it overheating and reducing everything to ash.
Eventually the thick smoke dies down. The kiln is left until the smoke turns blue, a process that takes several days. After this it must be cooled for a further few days before it will be ready to use.
Much of the quality charcoal is sold on to the Charnwood community, and its production is used to offset the carbon emissions of local businesses. Get the barbecue out.