2 for 1 – preservation and biomass heat generation combined

A wetland centre in Horsell, UK, is combining woodland preservation with a new biomass heating system.

The Heather Farm Wetland Centre in Horsell is designated as a ‘Site of Special Interest’ due to the unusual flora and fauna in the surrounding habitat. However, the fragile ecosystem is under threat as secondary woodland starts to take over.

HCPS recently began the renovation of its 18,000sq.ft wetland centre, and decided to connect management of the woodland with the building’s heating requirements.

A state of the art, timber fuelled biomass boiler was installed at the site. Meanwhile, HCPS implemented a heathland recovery programme funded by Natural England, which sees trees removed from heathland areas to restore the natural habitat. The timber collected is being used to fuel the new biomass plant, and heat the wetland centre.

"The woodchip burning heating system is considered to be carbon neutral as trees take carbon out of the atmosphere as they grow, which is replaced in the atmosphere as it is burnt, so there is no increase in atmospheric CO2 levels." Paul Rimmer, estate manager at HCPS, told getSurrey.

Timber taken from the common is stored to dry for 18 months, before being chipped into biomass barn for feeding into the biomass boiler. The 250kW heating system heats the water to 80°C before circulating it through the building’s radiators and boilers.

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