In the days of Thomas Hardy, west country folk used to head to the moors and commons to cut the furze (or gorse) for kindling. More than 100 years on, a project has been launched to harvest another crop to keep the home fires burning. Backed with public money, a company has been formed to harvest bracken to create briquettes that it claims burn longer and more fiercely than oak in fireplaces and stoves. In addition, they argue that they are helping control a fast-growing plant that can choke other flora, thus helping to increase biodiversity. Said to be the first time ever that a biomass fuel has been created out of bracken on a commercial scale, the project has won the support of dairy farmer – and Glastonbury founder – Michael Eavis.