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Biomass boiler fires up care for the environment

This is an archived press release

Thursday 2 December 2004

2 December 2004

Biomass boiler fires up care for the environment

An environmental study centre has a healthy glow after installing a new £50,000 heating system using renewable energy from woodchips.

Losehill Hall, the Peak District National Park Authority's study centre near Castleton, hopes schools, rest homes or businesses will follow its lead in introducing the Biomass Boiler, which will cut its carbon dioxide emissions by about 50 per cent per year.

Losehill Hall director Richard Campen said: "This is at the leading edge of biomass technology. Gas and oil, once burnt, are gone for good, but this is renewable - it uses woodchips from trees which can be re-planted in sustainable managed woodlands, it produces virtually no smoke, no soot, and it meets all the EC regulations on clean air.

"We're working in partnership with Silvapower Ltd, and the Working Woodlands Trust to establish a timber store and processing facility near Losehill Hall which could be used by other organisations, thus building up a supporting infrastructure for this part of the Peak District - and we'd welcome anyone who's interested to come and look at what we've done."

Losehill Hall has 41 bedrooms for residential courses, a restaurant and bar, and the boiler will provide half its hot water and heating needs, backed up by a gas boiler. Though the two cost about the same to run, the Biomass Boiler will make a positive contribution to the Government's target of cutting CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 to reduce global warming.

It is also easy to run, the woodchips being tipped into an underground store which automatically feeds the boiler, with no waste.

The project won 50 per cent funding from the Department of Trade and Industry's Clear Skies programme, and 25 per cent funding from the Peak District Sustainable Development Fund (SDF), whose chair, environmentalist Anne Ashe, was delighted to see it in action.

"We are concerned about reducing the impact of CO2 not only within the National Park but in the wider area, and we hope this renewable energy scheme will provide an example for other organisations to follow," she said.

"The Sustainable Development Fund is keen to support projects that have a positive impact globally as well as locally, and the cumulative effect of small projects can have an effect on climate change. We need to do these things now for the sake of future generations."

The Defra-funded SDF has supported some 80 Peak District business and community schemes with £400,000-worth of grants since 2002. It has another £180,000 to distribute in 2005 for innovative projects that are environmentally caring, especially those that bind communities together, or involve young people.

For grant information contact SDF officer Richard Godley on 01629 816312, or visit www.peakdistrict.org/sdf For information on the Biomass Boiler, contact Richard Campen on 01433 620373.

This is an archived press release

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