Woodfuel opportunities for the Lothians

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6 MAY 2011NEWS RELEASE No: 14603

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Farm and Estate businesses in and around the Lothians are being urged to come along to Arniston Estate next month (Thursday 16 June) and get the ‘fuel good factor’ by finding out how to tap into the benefits of woodfuel.

The event will highlight the range of opportunities and benefits that can be delivered by managing farm/estate woodland for the production both of woodfuel, which can be a low cost and sustainable source of fuel, and of high quality timber.

The day will include practical demonstrations of woodland management and a tour of existing woodfuel installations but will feature a mix of expert-led discussions on topics such as funding for woodfuel installations and woodfuel production, small-scale timber processing, and collaborative working.

Virginia Harden, Biomass Development Officer with Forestry Commission Scotland, said;

“Farm and Estate woodlands are often under-managed, providing little or no contribution to the business and the environmental value of the land. But simply by bringing them into good management to deliver woodfuel, high-quality timber and environmental benefits, those same woodlands can become a valuable source of income.

“Making the switch to woodfuel is a long-term investment in the future. Switching to a renewable, carbon-lean fuel source will help make your business greener but there are also sound economic reasons to support making the change. And the significant financial help available to those wishing to benefit from woodfuel also makes it easier to make the switch to being a woodfuel supplier or a woodfuel user."

Everyone attending will also be able to find out how to tap into the funding available through the recently announced Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which aims to encourage more businesses to install renewable heating systems, such as woodfuel boilers.

The event runs from 9.00am until 4.00pm and booking forms – as well as more information about woodfuel - are available at www.usewoodfuel.co.uk

Anyone who would like more information can contact Virginia at Virginia.harden@forestry.gsi.gov.ukor on 07769 935244.

Notes to Editors
1) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate and manages the 660,000 hectare national forest estate.  Climate change is the biggest threat facing the planet and Scottish forestry is playing its part in helping tackle climate change. With trees naturally locking up carbon, they have a significant role in reducing the affects of climate change. The use of wood as a fuel will also help reduce harmful greenhouse emissions and the Commission is working hard to promote woodfuel developments across the country. Forestry Commission Scotland is continuing to protect, manage and expand Scotland’s forests and woodlands in a way which helps in the fight against climate change. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

2) The RHI is targeted at industrial, commercial and public sector. It aims to increase the number of renewable heating installations in these sectors by 7 times by 2020. It is worth £860m (UK wide) and is expected to increase green capital investment by £4.5 billion up to 2020, stimulating a new market in renewable heat.


e-mail: paul.munro@forestry.gsi.gov.uk