Cheshire conservation volunteers are receiving a warm welcome at their county headquarters in Mickle Trafford following the installation of an environmentally friendly wood heating system, thanks to help from The Mersey Forest.
The system was installed in Trafford Mill, Mickle Trafford, where local volunteers from national organisation The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) are based. It is fuelled by the wood which is a by-product of the conservation work that TCV carry out in the local area.
Pete Attwood, Senior Project Officer at TCV said: "It's great that our volunteers can arrive at lovely warm offices in the morning. It's made a real change to our working day."
The wood heating system produces 90 per cent fewer carbon emissions than the electric-powered system it replaced in Trafford Mill. The new system also has economic benefits, as woodfuel is cheaper than oil and gas in rural areas.
Malcolm Padmore, committee member of the Trafford Mill, said: "This modern wood heating system is very much in keeping with the ethos of Trafford Mill.
"We are pleased that we have been able to find a solution which both radically cuts down our carbon footprint, and reuses what would have otherwise been waste materials."
The installation was part of a project by The Mersey Forest, CheRuB (Cheshire Rural Biomass), which aims to install wood heating systems in rural areas, and is part financed by funds from the European Union.
The project is operating against a backdrop of rising fuel prices and debates over the need to hit renewable energy targets.
Nigel Blandford of The Mersey Forest said: "It's great we could help Trafford Mill and TCV install this wood heating system.
"The fuel is a by-product of necessary woodland work and it makes TCV less reliant on imported fossil fuels."