2016 Event


Fuelling the Landscape – Woodland’s Growing Role in the Rural Economy
Thursday 13th October 2016, Sandown Park Racecourse

Woodland needs to be part of a mixed economy was a clear message from this year’s National Wood Fuel Conference which looked at the whole supply chain from grower to user.

sandown-park-entrance-1024x683The theme of the conference was, ‘Fuelling the Landscape’ and delegates at the event were taken through a life cycle of opportunities, from woodland reservoirs to biomass for urban district heating schemes.

The consequences of the vote for Brexit and its potential impact on the wood fuel market were an integral element of presentations by Julian Morgan-Jones of WHA, Jonathan Thompson of Charles Russell Speechlys and Natalie Hemeleers of the AEBIOM.

Amongst other highlights:

  • James Maclean of Land & Water said that with a 30% increase in rainfall intensity projected by 2115, woodland reservoirs have a vital role in interception, attenuation, storage and long-term prevention.
  • Professor Richard Murphy, University of Surrey highlighted how a life cycle approach can help refine our perceptions of ‘greenness’
  • The Forestry Commission’s Mark Broadmeadow said trees and woodlands need to be seen as a component of the farm business model, and Ben Ditchburn gave an analysis of timber availability and current utilization.

The importance of quality and high standards of silviculture were highlighted in Bill Biddell’s practical case study on biomass heating for commercial and residential properties on the Hampton Estate.  Paul Woods of Engie focused on district heating schemes,  including a look at what is required for a successful district heating heat source.

Conference Chairman, Dougal Driver, Chief Executive of Grown in Britain said: “The conference goes from strength to strength with varied expert contributions from local through to international speakers. A packed audience enjoyed the range of presentations and left with a far better understanding of the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

The National Wood Fuel Conference was organised by Surrey Hills Enterprises in association with the CLA and Grown in Britain; the event was sponsored by the Forestry Commission, LC Energy and Verdo.

Online Survey

If you attended the event, please take a moment to complete our online survey. All surveys submitted before Thursday 20th October will be entered into a prize draw to win a bottle of bubbles!

Download the speaker presentations here.