Guidance documents

A selection of biomass related guidance notes and documents from DEFRA, DECC the Forestry Commission and other sources

Guidance on establishing and maintaining a short rotation forestry (SRF) plantation for energy.  A Technical Note from Forest Research (PDF - 142 kB)

A Practice Note from Forest Research that reviews existing knowledge and gives outline guidance on site selection and preparation, plantation design, planting, weed control, crop management, pest management and yield for coppice plantations of a range of broadleaved species that may be grown alongside short rotation coppice (SRC) of willow and poplar (PDF - 100 kB)

A Practice Note from Forest Research that reviews existing knowledge and gives guidance on site selection and preparation, plantation design, planting, weed control, crop management, pest management and yield for short rotation coppice plantations of willow and poplar grown as sources of renewable energy

A Defra publications from the ODPM giving guidance to the planning system for farmers (PDF - 784 kB)

A protocol from the Forestry Commission giving guidance on site selection for brash removal to minimize site damage from loss of nutrients, carbon and base cations, and mechanical damage

A report, launched November 2010, giving guidance to Local Planning Authorities when processing applications for wood fuel development

Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 Environment (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 Part III Local Air Quality Management Technical Guidance LAQM.TG(09) From Defra February 2009 (PDF - 2.6 MB)

Help for local authority officers specifying or reviewing biomass boiler proposals in London Boroughs in assessing the impact on air quality

This report from AEA provides background information on methods of assessing the impact of biomass combustion appliances on air quality proposed for inclusion in the new Technical Guidance

Best practice guidelines for applications to Defra's Energy Crops Scheme on the growing of Miscanthus as an energy crop

Guidance on the choice of site, planting techniques, crop management
and harvesting methods required when growing short rotation willow or poplar coppice as an energy crop

A Technical Note from Forest Research providing guidance on the selection of appropriate systems for small-scale harvesting of forest products for woodfuel

Information about production and use of woodfuel for energy from the Forestry Commission. In PDF format (1.7 MB) 

This is also available in a loose leaf ring binder format for £10 from the Forestry Commission. Please visit for details

Environmental Permitting Guidance The Directive on the Incineration of Waste. From Defra (PDF - 803 kB)

Guidance from CPET on government timber procurement to ensure legalist and sustainability (PDF - 175 kB)

This report assesses the number and capacity of planned wood fuel plant in London and their potential fuel demand. It examines the potential sources of fuel and makes recommendations for enabling the growth in fuel production from London’s own resources


Planning guidance for the Northeast from NEWHeat

The first of a series of five guides on making biomass fuel pellets from a British manufacturer and supplier of pellet mills. This first guide covers many of the factors that can affect the quality of the final pellet and the pellet making process in general, while the following ones provide more detail on specific factors in the manufacturing process such as binders, moisture content, die thickness, etc. These subsequent guides can be accessed from the PelHeat website.