Woodland’s role in heating and the economy feature at wood conference

23 September 2016

Crucial issues for the UK’s woodland sector will be under discussion at next month’s National Wood Fuel Conference.

The one day event takes place from 9am to 5pm, Thursday 13 October, at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, where industry experts will be making a series of presentations on Brexit, woodland creation, district heating, and other hot topics.

Among the issues covered will be:

• The role new woodland could play in helping manage flood flows
• Business opportunities offered by new woods
• The role of woody biomass in district heating
• Government heat strategy and the Renewable Heat Incentive
• Implications of Brexit for the wood fuel industry.

Chaired by Dougal Driver, chief executive of Grown in Britain, speakers include representatives from the Forestry Commission, the University of Surrey’s Centre for Environmental Strategy, the Wood Heat Association and AEBIOM, the European Biomass Association.

The opportunities for using wood fuel in district heating schemes, large and small, will be highlighted in two case studies on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Hampton Estate in Surrey. Presentations will be followed by workshop sessions providing more in-depth discussion on a range of current industry issues and a trade exhibition will also run alongside the conference.

The National Wood Fuel Conference is organised by Surrey Hills Enterprises, in association with the Forestry Commission, Grown in Britain, LC Energy, Surrey County Council and the CLA. Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher was recently confirmed as the new venue for this year’s event.

Robin Edwards, South East regional director of the CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, said: “New and existing woodlands can add significant value to land and provide a positive contribution to the rural economy if managed correctly. The conference’s focus on a more integrated approach plus the latest updates on Government policy pre and post Brexit make it a key event for landowners and farmers as well as the wider wood fuel industry.”