Managing hedges for woodfuel

Report from the Managing Hedges for Woodfuel workshop at ORC, Elm Farm, 27 March 2014

The day started with an explanation of the hedgerow management cycle by Nigel Adams from Hedgelink/the National Hedgelaying Society. We then headed out on a farm walk to look at hedges on Elm Farm and discussed appropriate management methods for a range of hedges on the farm and the potential for woodfuel. We were led through an example method of how to assess the volume of wood available in different hedges and over a whole farm developed by Rob Wolton from the Devon Hedge Group.

In the afternoon there was a demonstration of a Branch logging machine. While the audience looked on a large pile of brash from hedge management activities was quickly chopped into small logs and bagged – you can watch videos of the machine in action below. The discussion then moved on to look at harvesting methods and machinery including a summary of experience from work carried looking at obtaining woodfuel from hedges in the South West by Rob Wolton (reports of this work can be found here). Processing options, to chip or to log material, was then covered and the day finished with an interesting debate followed on the quality of woodchip that can be produced from hedgerow material and suitable boiler technologies.

Download Nigel’s presentation The Hedgerow Management Cycle (12.8mb pdf file!)

Download Sally Westaway’s presentation Managing Hedges for Woodfuel (2.02 Mb pdf file)

Download Rob Wolton’s presentation Hedges for fuel (1.98 MB pdf file)

View photos on Flickr

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