FORESTRY WORK ON THE FARM
MANAGING OUR WOODLAND
We have 200 acres of woodland including hazel copse and ancient woodland which we manage sustainably to supply wood and woodchip to heat 5 houses and a variety of commercial units. We run one 100kw and one 30kw Guntamatic woodchip boilers and one 80kw Orlan solid log boiler. Together, these replace the need for 8 oil-fired boilers.
Typically during winter months on the farm, we harvest naturally fallen timber using a chainsaw following our Forestry Commission approved woodland management plan which has been drawn up for the next 10 years.
Trees are processed by removing any brushwood and cutting into 4m lengths. The timber is then collected using our timber forwarding trailer on our designated woodland tractor (this is a tractor which has a frame around it to protect it whilst travelling through the woodland). The collected cordwood is stacked alongside our farm tracks which provides enough woodchip for 12-18months. We position them trackside for good access to the chipper in strategic locations to ensure sunlight and wind penetration to season effectively. We aim to chip every 12-18 months when the timber is below 25% moisture as our boilers require a G30 size chip. The stacked timber is chipped by a contractor. The woodchip is then hauled to our bulk store where it is taken as required to the boiler fuel stores.
SUPPLY AND CONSERVATION
Our log boiler makes use of the smaller timber from the areas of woodland we manage through coppicing. Hazel stands are cut back to just above ground level to promote new growth. Removed timber is cut into 1m lengths and stacked to season until required. Any brushwood that is inefficient to stack and use in the boiler is laid over the cut stands to prevent deer from grazing the regrowth. This boiler runs on stacked, seasoned logs fed directly into the boiler typically once or twice a day depending on the dwelling usage.