This project provided a Woodland Advisory Service that helped to develop the woodfuel supply chain in Merseyside. The Mersey Forest team managed the project and provided a central contact point for the supply chain network.
The need for the project arose from market failure in relation to bridging the gap between a largely untapped resource of under managed woodland and the desire for greater use of renewable energy. The project demonstrated that with the right skills, knowledge and technology, there are significant opportunities for woodland owners and other businesses to increase the value of their woodland holdings by managing them for their woodfuel resource.
The project provided:
- Over 40 advisory visits to landowners and forest holders who were not utilising their woodland resources to the maximum potential, particularly those which were neglected or under-managed
- One-to-one support for landowners and businesses on sustainable woodland management for woodfuel production, grant advice and assistance
- Management plans for five woodland owners which provided guidance and the promotion of longer term sustainable management of their woodlands
- Awareness-raising about the potential for sustainable woodfuel production and the grant aid assistance available through the running of woodland owner seminars
- Over 80 participants attended training events to improve landowners' knowledge of their woodland resource, woodfuel characteristics, latest techniques in processing, woodfuel systems and technology.
- Managing Woods for Fuel: one day introductory course to help woodland owners make the most of their resource
- Biomass Boilers: one day introductory course on woodfuel quality and standards
- Running a harvesting contract: one day training
- Forestry update seminar: with Lancashire Woodland Project
- Deer in Urban Areas: half day training course.
With funding for this project now finished, advice on managing woodlands is still available here.