Future of wood fuel in the New Forest

Logs at Ipley Manor

Published Monday 4 March 2013

Over 100 people attended a day of talks, walks, presentations and site visits to encourage wood fuel production in the New Forest National Park.

The ‘Harvesting Energy’ conference was attended by local woodland owners, businesses, foresters and those with an interest in wood fuel production and biomass boilers.

The morning of talks and presentations started with an introduction on forests and woodlands by the New Forest National Park Authority’s Chief Executive, Alison Barnes.

Experts in the areas of wood fuel production and biomass boilers explained to delegates the opportunities and practicalities of wood as a renewable energy source; how coppicing for wood fuel can create thriving woodlands; and how the New Forest Marque can connect the wood fuel supply chain.

Georgie Watson, from the New Forest Land Advice Service, who organised the event, said: ‘Wood fuel will become increasingly popular in the future as fossil fuel prices rise. Developing a productive wood fuel market in the New Forest is a practical option as managed woods will be able to provide a sustainable, local and carbon neutral energy source, which will benefit local communities, habitats and wildlife.’

John Pemberton, Member of the New Forest National Park Authority, and owner of Ipley Manor was a guest speaker. In 2007, he installed a biomass boiler on his estate.

He explained the process of installing a biomass boiler and how successful it was at heating five homes on his estate.

‘The biomass boiler has reduced our energy bills and is half the cost of traditional oil heating. We would even get this benefit if we were buying wood chip but we are fortunate to be able to use the wood from our estate; benefitting the woodlands and encouraging wildlife.’

In the afternoon, delegates split into two groups to visit biomass boilers at Ipley Manor and the Hinton Estate. They received practical demonstrations on how the boilers worked and the benefits of using wood fuel as a heating source.

For more information about wood fuel and biomass boilers visit www.nflandadvice.org.uk or email georgianna.watson@nflandadvice.org.uk.

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About the New Forest Land Advice Service

The New Forest Land Advice Service is available to landowners and occupiers who would like advice and support on a wide range of issues relating to land management. The advisors operate across the National Park, the Avon Valley and the coastal plain. Since the service started in 2010 it has advised more than 300 businesses.

The service offers:

  • A free and independent service for the land managing community in and around the New Forest and Avon Valley
  • Support for landowners, farmers, New Forest Commoners, equine owners, graziers and community groups
  • Advice to anyone who owns or manages a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) in the area
  • A small grant scheme which can support capital works which benefit the landscape, biodiversity and cultural heritage of the area.

To find out more about the New Forest Land Advice Service, or arrange a visit, please call 01590 646696 or email enquiries@nfladvice.org.uk.

About the New Forest National Park Authority
Protect - Enjoy - Prosper
The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

 We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Media Contacts:
Karen Evans-McDaid, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: karen.evans-mcdaid@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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