Friday, 25 October 2013

Biomass at Hever Castle - Nextgen Study Tour

Nextgen's current study tour programme include a visit to the biomass heating installation at Hever Castle in Kent.  The tour will take place on Wednesday November 6th.

We have visited the installation already and it is well worth seeing - a very impressive boiler room with a purpose built wood chip shed with a large storage yard.  This is certainly a masterclass in how to get biomass right and how self-supply wood chip can add enormous coherence to estate-level woodland management.

The details of the tour, from the Nextgen website, are as follows:

The stunning Hever Castle in Kent, once the childhood home to Anne Boleyn, is opening its  historic doors to delegates to show you how this iconic 13th century building is utilising its resources to generate sustainable heating solutions from biomass.

With rising fuel prices, the cost of heating buildings is a considerable challenge.  For owners of rural buildings and infrastructure, Biomass boilers offer a significant reduction in these costs.

This study tour will show you:

  • How best to achieve heating cost reductions of up to 80%
  • How to successfully apply for the Renewable Heat Incentive, to pay off your capital costs and deliver future profits
  • How to manage a biomass boiler system efficiently over the long term
  • How to ensure secure sustainable supplies for the lifetime of your boiler system
  • How to reduce your carbon footprint and boost the local economy

Hear from some of Britain’s foremost experts in Biomass installation and business planning, sourcing sustainable wood supply and RHI applications

Agenda for the day:

  • 09.45: Registration, tea & coffee
  • 10.00: Welcome and overview of the day’s agenda
  • 10.15: Overview of the Biomass and heating network project at Hever Castle: Duncan Leslie, CEO at Hever Castle 
  • 10.45: The business case for Biomass / DH in local, rural settings: Toby Douch, Douch Biomass
  • 11.15-11:30: Break
  • 11.30: A sleeping giant? The UK capacity for biomass - Sourcing and maintaining feedstock supplies: Stewart Boyle, Consultant to South East Wood Fuels 
  • 12.00: Getting your RHI application right first time: Speaker tbc, Ofgem
  • 12.30: The devil is in the detail: planning and permissions and plant design: Matt Scully, Rural Energy 
  • 13.00-13.45: Lunch
  • 14.00-16.30: Site visits

Bookings can be made here.

This Tour is in association with Douch Biomass & Rural Energy 

Woodland photography workshops

Monday, 21 October 2013

Timber and Wood Fuel Supply Chains - Kent Survey 2013

Since 2011 the Kent Downs Woodfuel Pathfinder has been working to promote sustainable woodland management, wood fuels and biomass heating.

As we are now half-way through our work programme we would like to turn our attention towards the supply of timber, particularly as the markets for woodfuel continue to improve.

Our main motivations for doing this are related to: 

  • The sustained demand for firewood for open fires and log stoves
  • The increasing demand for wood chip for use in biomass boilers
  • Proposals for a new biomass (wood chip) power station in East Kent

To help us gather up-to-date information on machinery, skills and the demand for new workers and apprentices we have developed an online survey targeted at businesses operating in the forestry sector.

The survey, which can be accessed by clicking here, will be to understand more about the forestry sector in the South East and will help direct our support package over the next two years.

The survey consists of around 20 questions and should take no more than five minutes to complete.

All information provided will be treated in the strictest of confidence. It will be used exclusively by the Kent Downs AONB for research purposes only.

The survey will be open for the remainder of 2013 so there is plenty of time to participate.  We will provide a summary of the responses in early 2014.

The survey covers a range of subjects, from machinery needs to skills and training.  It also includes some questions around apprentices, particularly as we are currently looking at how we can support new entrants into the forestry sector.  

If you require any support around the subjects of training or apprentices please don't hesitate to contact us on 01303 815 171 (or email

Friday, 18 October 2013

Free conference - Woodfuel production and grant support for land based and rural businesses

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Events in Sussex will highlight progress in wood fuel and biomass heating sectors

South East Wood Fuels, Douch Biomass and the CLA have announced two events to showcase new biomass heating installations in Sussex and to provide an update on the woodfuel and biomass heating sectors.

The first will take place on Friday October 18th at Laughton Lodge in East Sussex.  The district heating system at this site has recently been upgraded and a new boiler installed.  

On hand will be a range of RHI, woodfuel and biomass heating experts who will highlight recent developments in the sector.  The event also offers free 'surgeries' for those interested in undertaking a woodfuel or biomass heating project.

The second event takes place at Bakers Farm in West Sussex on Friday October 25th.  Both events are free.  To register please visit the following sites to book your place:

  1. Laughton Lodge - Oct 18th: Click here
  2. Bakers Farm - Oct 25th: Click here