Hedgerow harvesting machinery trials

Elm Farm Hedgerow harvesting machinery trials


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The hedgerow harvesting trial entailed 170m of mature hazel coppice hedgerow being coppiced by 3 different machinery options; Dymax tree shears, assisted fell (man with chainsaw assisted by an excavator) and manual fell (man with chainsaw) techniques.

These machinery trials are being carried out by the Organic Research Centre as part of a European (INTERREG) funded Hedgerow Woodfuel Feasibility Project called TWECOM (Towards Eco-energetic Communities).

These trials will be the first in the UK, we believe, to assess the feasibility of extracting timber from hedgerows for the woodfuel market using large-scale machinery. Other trials having been carried out in Devon as part of the Cordiale Project, but with the coppicing being done manually with a chainsaw.

Once harvested, all of the shrub & tree material will be processed for woodfuel, with the bulk being chipped and some separated into logs and brash. We will be recording the volume and mass of woodchip generated by each section of hedge in order to quantify hedge biomass productivity. The woodchip will subsequently be analysed for its quality as woodfuel.

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