Abriachan Community Woodfuel Events 20th, 21st April
16 April 2012
WITH spring in the air, thoughts of keeping cosy during the dark, cold winter months are receding from people’s minds. But now is a perfect time to explore heating options and stockpile wood for winter. Highland forests woods have great potential to provide householders and businesses with a cost-effective, renewable source of heating fuel.
A series of free events taking place at Abriachan Community Woodland on Friday 20 and Saturday April 21 will feature a host of dynamic activities highlighting the benefits of heating with wood.
Friday will see a comprehensive day of training for all those interested in getting involved in the woodfuel business, from land managers and small woodland owners to communities and contractors. In the evening there will be a seminar for business owners. This will look at the economics of installing a boiler and explore the details of Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive, a cash back scheme for heat similar to the feed in tariff for solar or wind.
On Saturday, Abriachan will play host to an exciting family Firewood Festival from 11am to 4:30pm, with an action-packed programme of talks, demonstrations and hand-on activities planned. Horse logging, a log stacking competition, charcoal production and fuel briquette-making will be among the activities on offer.
“From fun games for kids, wood chopping and demonstrations of machinery for larger wood fuel enterprises, there will be something for everyone,” said organiser Amanda Calvert of Munlochy-based charity Highland Birchwoods. “Using wood to heat homes and businesses makes a great deal of sense. Oil prices are rising due to international factors beyond our control. Energy markets are volatile and it is inevitable that global demand for oil and gas is going to outstrip supplies available. As this happens prices will be driven ever upwards.
“To tackle climate change, it is vital that we move away from fossil fuels like coal and oil, which release lots of greenhouse gases when they are burned,” Ms Calvert added. “Wood is a low carbon fuel and managing our forests and woodlands to produce wood fuel can make other forestry operations more economical. And a thriving, local woodfuel sector creates local jobs and keeps revenue in the area.”
The training day will run from 10:30 - 15:30 at the Abriachan Forest Classroom, and will look at practical measures for assessing woodfuel resources. The seminar will run in the evening from 6pm to 8pm in the Abriachan Hall. Places for these events are limited and should be booked by phoning Amanda Calvert on 08000 285858 e-mail: Amanda.Calvert@highlandbirchwoods.co.uk
Jim Barr, Chairman of the Trustees of Abriachan Forest Trust said the Trust welcomed Abriachan Forest Trust welcomes the opportunity to host the event in conjunction with Highland Birchwoods. “We recognise that wood fuel has significant potential in the Highlands to provide a local and renewable source of energy for home and small business use,” he added. “Locally grown, locally processed and locally used energy products are entirely feasible aspirations. We now need to convince users and suppliers that there is sufficient mutual benefit coupled with science and technology to make the necessary investments both cost effective and rewarding. In the current economic climate, we cannot expect individuals to chose renewable energy simply because it is a responsible option, it has to work financially as well.”
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