We have been in the biomass industry for over 8 years now, commissioning our first woodchip boiler back in 2007.
We sell G30 woodchip in bulk with a 15-25% moisture content, derived from thinnings from our own softwood plantations. If demand is high at the end of the season we also have the benefit of a drying facility that allows us to dry wetter fresh-cut chip down from over 50% M.C. if necessary.
Through our forestry management plan we aim to sustainably harvest about 300 tonnes per year out of 700 acres of woodland and we have a replanting program so that every spring we restock areas that have been clear-felled and are due for replanting.
As well as one Heizomat boiler on the farm that heats all the industrial units, cottages, the tea room and farm shop, we have a second one which we use for wood chip and log drying. This second setup allows us to dry green chip both from our own harvesting, and also from the many tree surgeons all over Sussex, and turn it into a storeable and useable fuel, which would otherwise be a waste product that they would pay to get rid of.
In 2016 we received a European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development grant from Central Sussex LEADER for a new BJM forestry harvester head, and yard concreting. The lightweight harvester head will allow us to harvest our own forestry much more efficiently on and ad hoc basis, and the yard concrete will allow us to receive third party green waste and handle it ready for drying and turning into a usable fuel.
The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas