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Woodfuel makes business sense for Yorkshire

[Thursday 4 Febuary 2010]

A North Yorkshire charity and the Forestry Commission are proving that going green is good for business and the environment.

Chopsticks, a Northallerton charity for adults with learning disabilities, is working with the Commission to increase the amount of woodfuel available. The result is sales are soaring.

David Stockport, of Chopsticks, said they had sold record amounts of kindling in January and, coupled with this, they are making woodchips to power their own biomass boiler and four more boilers on local estates.

He said:

“We sold a third more kindling in the first three weeks of January, than in the whole of January 2009, and there is a high demand for our woodchips.

“Our wood is all recycled from waste timber products and processing it into fuel, provides work for up to 40 local adults. It also avoids wood going into landfill, so our business is good for people and good for the environment.”

David added:

“We have our own woodchip-fuelled boiler at Chopsticks, which uses waste wood, so our heating bills are zero.”

Rudie Humphrey, the Forestry Commission’s regional woodfuel co-ordinator, is encouraging more businesses to consider using biomass heat boilers.

“We are leading the way with green energy, with a recent Forestry Commission survey identifying more biomass boilers in Yorkshire and the Humber than any other region.

“This is creating business opportunities along the woodfuel supply chain, from woodland owners, through to foresters and woodchip suppliers.”

He added:

“Yorkshire and the Humber has 230,000 acres of woodland and more than half is under-managed. A cycle of regular planting and felling ensures a good sustainable timber supply and helps wildlife by opening up the tree canopy to achieve diversified habitats that encourage all manner of creatures and plantlife.

“Rising energy costs have focused minds, and using timber makes strong economic as environmental sense.”

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