Ashden Winners

BioRegional Development Group / Tree surgery produces fuel

Area of work:

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The London boroughs have a considerable resource of wood from the management of parks, gardens and woodland, but much of it is sent to landfill.

BioRegional brokered an innovative deal between tree surgery business City Suburban Tree Surgeons Ltd, and Croydon Council to manage and dispose of all the Council’s wood waste. BioRegional established a TreeStation – a centre where waste wood is received from many sources, turned into woodchip and delivered for use as a fuel.

A 2005 BioRegional survey indicates potential annual supply of about 331,000 dry tonnes year of wood in the London area.

By 2006 TreeStation supplied about 2,500 tonnes of woodchip per year to Slough Heat and Power, a combined-heat-and-power plant.

This replaced coal and saved about 2,100 tonnes/year of CO2.

"In 20-30 years I would expect tree stations to be a standard feature in all parts of the country."

Matthew Woodcock, Forestry commission

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The organisation

The BioRegional Development Group is a entrepreneurial charity established in 1994, to develop practical sustainability solutions. It carries out a wide range of activities, including sustainable housing development and product supply, paper recycling, charcoal production, forestry, materials reclamation, mini pulp mills, and hemp production.

UK Ashden Award

BioRegional Development Group

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Update: what happened next?

  • By late 2009, Croydon Treestation managed by City Suburban was producing about 3,500 tonnes/year of woodchip, and selling to large heat and power stations.
  • Croydon Treestation has not moved into producing higher grade woodchip for heating systems, which was the original intention of BioRegional. BioRegional now working on projects to support both supply and demand of higher grade woodchip, including a major project in London.

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