Sustainable Communities Fund

Case Study: Beamz, home-grown bicycles

Grant allocated: £25,393 (2015)

Home-grown bicycles made from locally sourced wood could soon be a feature of the New Forest thanks to a grant from the Sustainable Communities Fund.

Beamz, a community interest company, received £25k to establish whether traditional sustainable forest materials such as coppiced wooden poles can be used to make a modern high performance product. Although the wood requirement in the early stages is comparatively modest, the process could help provide added value to woodlands and support local jobs and production through developing opportunities to bring past coppice back into management.

Coppicing greatly increases the lifespan of the tree by keeping the tree in an early stage of its life. After coppicing the first year's new growth can be over two metres and can create a great habitat for a range of plants, animals and invertebrates due to the amount of light that is able to reach the woodland floor.

Throughout the study funding has helped Beamz pioneer processes in removing the bark without damage which not only contributes to the strength but is responsible for the unique beauty of Beamz products. Beamz also developed the technology to hollow out the middle of the wooden poles which drastically reduces the weight but not the strength. This, they claim, enables the wood to compete with the best engineering materials you can get and is far superior to carbon and metals at shock and vibration absorption.

Beamz founder Nick Coates said: 'Beamz is very grateful to the New Forest Sustainable Communities Fund for recognising the potential of the project and supporting Beamz through the critical proof-of-concept phase. As a result, Beamz is now taking orders for their beautiful and unique New Forest birch-wood bikes. Now you can ride the Forest - sustainably and in style.'

Visit Beamz website here.

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  14. Case Study: Beamz, home-grown bicycles (you are here)


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