Demystifying Woodland Insurance and Liabilities

29/02/12 0 COMMENTS

An event for all individuals and groups involved in owning or managing woodland.

Are you aware of the new common sense guidelines relating to tree management and safety?

Have you got the right level of insurance for your woodland?

Is your quote competitive?

Do you know your rights and responsibilities when people come on your land?

How do you manage different users?

What about working with volunteers of Forest School groups?

Are you complying with Health & Safety?

Managing contractors and selling timber……… and what about wildlife?

A day of lively presentations, interactive workshops, informationand discussion.Not to be missed.

Buffet lunch and refreshments included—Book now!

The event is being held at:- Wyre Forest Discovery Centre, Callow Hill, Bewdley, Worcestershire DY14 9XQ

Wednesday 18th April 2012 9.45am—3.00 pm

Conference costs £10.00 including lunch and refreshments.

For more information or to book your place please contact the Heartwoods office on 01952 435860 or alternatively email

Deer Impact, Managing deer to make the most out of your woodland

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This one day event led by The Deer Initiative will look at the various issues caused by deer within woodlands and how their presence affects woodland management and potential timber production and values.

Ranger’s will be on hand giving demonstrations in gralloching and carcass inspection as well as simple butchery, whilst looking at venison processing and marketing.

We will then visit Croft Castle, next to Gatley Park, and look at the impact deer has had on the woodlands there and how it affects biodiversity.

The event will also focus on:

  • Encouraging local estates to consider additional revenue by setting up venison marketing;
  • Consider the need for balanced deer control;
  • How Heartwoods can help.

There will be a hot venison meal and refreshments served in the woodlands at the end of the walk.

This event will take place outdoors so please ensure suitable clothing and footwear is worn. The event costs £5.00 which includes lunch and refreshments and is targeted at Woodland Owners and Managers within the West Midlands region.

The event is being held on Monday 26th March 2012 at Gatley Park, Leinthall Earls, Nr Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 9TR

Starts at 9.30am, finishes by 2.00pm.

For more information or to book your place please contact the Heartwoods office on 01952 435860 or alternatively email



RHI Granted to first Companies

09/02/12 0 COMMENTS
Umbrella company and holiday cottages are first two successful applicants to low carbon heating incentive

Umbrella supplier Booth Brothers in Sheffield entered the history books today by becoming one of the first places in the UK to get the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

For the full article, Click here


RHI Granted to first Companies

09/02/12 0 COMMENTS

Umbrella company and holiday cottages are first two successful applicants to low carbon heating incentive

Umbrella supplier Booth Brothers in Sheffield entered the history books today by becoming one of the first places in the UK to get the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.

Its offices, housed in an 18th century former corn mill in Penistone, will be kept warm through an underfloor heating system powered by a renewable energy heat pump.

The Booth Brothers installation supplies offices which are heated by underfloor heating using water heated by the 24kW water source heat pump accredited under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), and with an efficiency above that required by the RHI. It has been accredited under the ‘small commercial heat pumps’ tariff of 4.5p / Kilowatt-hour (kWh) and receive quarterly payments (Based on metered heat generation) for a twenty year period.

The second installation to be accredited is at a set of holiday cottages in East Yorkshire. A ground source heat pump will provide heat and hot water to five holiday lets at Broadgate Farm Cottages in Beverley.

The Broadgate Farm Cottages has installed a 4.3kW ground source heat pump which has been accredited under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) with an efficiency above that required by the RHI. It supplies space heating and hot water. The heat output is measured by an appropriate heat meter.  It has been accredited under the ‘small commercial heat pumps’ tariff of 4.5p / Kilowatt-hour (kWh) and receive quarterly payments for a twenty year period.

The £860m Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was launched last year to make it more financially attractive for industry and businesses to install low carbon heating systems like heat pumps, biomass boilers or solar thermal panels.

The RHI is expected to increase the number of installations in industry, the commercial and public sector by seven times to around 126,000 and support the thousands of existing jobs in the heating sector.

Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“It’s fantastic news that the Renewable Heat Incentive has received its first two successful applicants, and this is just the start.

“Renewable heat is a largely untapped resource and an important new green industry of the future. It’ll help the UK shift away from fossil fuel, reducing carbon emissions and encouraging innovation, jobs and growth in new advanced technologies.”

Chief Executive of Booth Brothers, Charles Booth said:

“Being amongst the first installations to be accredited under the Renewable Heat Incentive is very satisfying for Booth Brothers in terms of developing our strategic target of carbon neutral for our Bullhouse Mill site and eco-umbrella factory. Last year our Old Corn Mill offices were commended for their eco rating and we generate electricity from two wind turbines, solar panels and hydro generation so making the heat we use low carbon was naturally the next step.”

Owner of Broadgate Farm Cottages, Elaine Robinson said:

“We don’t have mains gas and the price of oil and LPG is very expensive so when we decided to develop the holiday cottages a ground source heat pump was the most economically attractive in the long term, especially with the Renewable Heat Incentive. This is the first of our applications to be approved.”

Currently around half of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the energy used to produce heat – more than from generating electricity. The RHI will reduce emissions by 44 million tonnes of carbon to 2020, equivalent to the annual carbon emitted by 20 typical new gas power stations.

Over 95% of heat in the UK is currently produced by burning fossil fuel but with North Sea supplies now in decline leading to an increase in imports, low carbon alternatives are needed.


Winter Newsletter 2010/2011

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For a pdf of our latest newsletter click here

A guide to Biomass heating

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Three guides regarding Biomass heating have now been published called:

Biomass heating: a guide to small log and wood pellet systems

Biomass heating: a guide to medium scale wood chip and wood pellet systems

Biomass heating: a guide to feasibility studies

The guides are technical and aimed at buildings managers, surveyors, developers and others who are in a position to help make decisions about how buildings are heated. The guides do not discuss grants, incentives or policy but instead aim to increase the technical knowledge of the reader and help them evaluate the suitability of their site for biomass heating before bringing in external consultants. We hope that the work will also help the reader evaluate the quality of work provided by consultants during any further feasibility/system design work that is under taken. The work builds on guides produced by the Carbon Trust. The work was funded by DECC and FC Scotland with technical input from Defra and Hetas. Most of the technical information was complied by David Palmer, an independent engineer with lots of experience with woodfuel systems, mainly in Scotland. David also works with the Carbon Trust so the approach adopted by the guides compliments rather then contradicts existing information. Early drafts of the guides were reviewed by industry via the REA.


The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

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The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is planned for launch April 2011 to provide financial assistance to generators of renewable heat, and producers of renewable biogas and biomethane. 

Renewable Heat Incentive on the DECC website

Details of the RHI released 10th March 2011

The scheme will be introduced in two phases.

In the first phase, long-term tariff support will be targeted in the non-domestic sectors, at the big heat users – the industrial, business and public sector – which contribute 38% of the UK’s carbon emissions. Under this phase there will also be support of around £15 million for households through the Renewable Heat Premium Payment.

The second phase of the RHI scheme will see households moved to the same form of long-term tariff support offered to the non-domestic sector in the first phase. This transition will be timed to align with the Green Deal which is intended to be introduced in October 2012.

Key aspects of the first (2011) phase of the RHI 

  • Only non-domestic installations will be supported
  • The first phase of the RHI will not include deeming: payments will be based on metered heat
  • Support for biomass will be broken down into size class: Small biomass (<200 kWth) medium biomass (>200 kWth – 1 MWth) and large biomass (>1 MWth).
  • For small and medium scale biomass there will be a tariff breakpoint at 1314 peak load hours p.a. Below this small biomass will receive 7.6p/kWh, and medium biomass will receive 4.7p/kWh, while above this both will receive 1.9p/kWh. Large biomass receives a flat rate of 2.6p/kWh

BEC RHI Calculator
An Excel Spreadsheet based calculator from the Biomass Energy Centre to allow the RHI payments and savings from a (non-domestic) woodfuel boiler installation to be estimated. (478 kB)

Table of RHI Tariffs
A full table of RHI tariffs for industry, business and large organisations from DECC


Millions more trees to be felled to fuel wood-burner revolution

09/02/12 0 COMMENTS

Ben Webster Environment Editor, The Times, June 29 2011

Ten million more trees will be cut down each year in woodlands across England under a government plan to persuade thousands of homes and businesses to install wood-burning stoves and boilers.

Woodland owners across the country will be encouraged to fell more than a third of trees from dense forests to feed the growing market for wood fuel. The Forestry Commission has calculated that more than 2 million additional tonnes of wood could be stripped from England’s forests each year without undermining their long-term future. This would treble the amount of wood being burnt as fuel by 2020.

It says thinning dark woodlands by taking out smaller trees will bring light back to the forest floor, helping to revive bluebells and other flowers and enticing back endangered birds. The commission will publish a plan today to harvest enough additional wood to heat the equivalent of 250,000 homes or 3,000 schools. This would save 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by avoiding the burning of gas and oil.

The plan says that more than half of England’s 1.2 million hectares of woodland is “undermanaged”, meaning the owner is extracting few, if any, trees. In many cases woodlands have been left untouched for decades and have become choked by too many trees competing for space and light.

Woodland owners will be able to apply for a share of a £10 million fund to help them build access roads for cutting equipment. The plan acknowledges that owners will harvest trees only if there is a market for them, but the commission predicts that demand will leap after next months’s launch of the Renewable Heat Incentive.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change will encourage thousands of homeowners and businesses to burn wood by offering them guaranteed payments for every unit of heat generated. The number of homeowners installing wood-burning stoves has already doubled in the past five years to more than 160,000 a year.

Ian Tubby, the commission’s policy officer, said many more people would be willing to switch from burning fossil fuels to wood if they could count on a regular local supply.

“We will be demonstrating to woodland owners that there is a growing market for their wood that is presently just standing there unmanaged, with the canopy shading out other wildlife. Also, land owners will be encouraged to plant more woodlands if they see there is a healthy and sustainable market.”

He said most of the 10 million additional trees that would be felled each year under the plan would have trunks of less than 30cm (12in) in diameter. Bigger, older trees would usually be left standing.

Justin Mumford, a chartered forester who helps to manage the Arthingworth Estate in Northamptonshire, said that thinning dense woods resulted in rapid improvements in the diversity of wildlife.

His company removed a third of the trees last year in one neglected section of broadleaf woodland, where there was nothing growing on the forest floor and birdsong was rarely heard.

“This year it has come back to life with a carpet of bluebells and several bird species, including spotted flycatchers, willow tits and wood warblers.”

The commission’s plan is supported by a group of 13 conservation charities including the RSPBWoodland Trust andFriends of the Earth.

They said in a joint statement: “Given properly regulated and certified forestry practices, there is no reason to believe that woodland conservation need be in conflict with attaining this ambitious target for an increase in wood fuel production.

“Indeed, the careful management of native woodland may bestow many conservation benefits for woodland birds, butterflies and plants and is very much in keeping with the history of much of our ancient woodland as places that provide fuel and raw materials for local use.”


Ignite: Firewood Production and Supply

09/02/12 0 COMMENTS

This course is a must for all firewood producers. It provides participants with a background to firewood production and supply drawing on real market economics and covers the technical aspects of producing and delivering firewood as well as quality control.

Throughout the course participants are encouraged to contribute their own experience either of woodfuel or of other aspects of renewables to the course. There is a lively, good humoured atmosphere at courses, where participants can discuss issues of particular relevance or interest to themselves and the group within the framework of the course.

Cost: £30 for eligible participants

To book onto this course, please contact or telephone 01952 435860.



Small Scale Low Impact Timber Extraction Demonstrations

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Wednesday 15th February 2012 Wood Farm, Staffordshire

This half day event will demonstrate to woodland owners and managers the options available for small scale and low impact timber extraction methods along with considerations such as timber presentation for extraction.

The event provides an excellent opportunity to meet industry experts to discuss opportunities for your woodlands and network with other landowners and woodland managers along with practical demonstration of all the equipment in a woodland environment.

There will be demonstrations of the following equipment:

  • Alstor 8×8 mini forwarder
  • Compact tractor and skidding winch
  • ATV and logging arch
  • Horse logging
  • Firewood processor
  • Tractor mounted tree planter
  • Advice on practical timber extraction
  • Discuss access and harvesting considerations
  • Provide information on available support schemes

The event costs £5.00 which includes refreshments and lunch and is targeted at woodland owners and managers within the West Midlands.

For more information or to book your place please contact the Heartwoods office on 01952 435860

or alternatively email


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