A biomass boiler for Felbrigg


Felbrigg Hall now has a greener heating system, following the installation of a biomass boiler that is fuelled from wood chip, sustainably harvested from this National Trust Estate.

Keeping Felbrigg warm with homegrown fuel

The new boiler, which replaces five oil fired boilers and current electric heaters, now supplies renewable heat and hot water to the shop, kitchens, tea-room, offices, staff apartments and three holiday cottages on the Felbrigg Estate.

The project is part of a national renewable energy investment programme which saw the National Trust invest £30 million in renewable energy to heat and power more of its historic places. The programme was launched in 2015 to help deliver the Trust’s target to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, cut energy use by 20% and produce 50% of its energy from renewable sources on its land by 2020.

The new biomass boiler

The arrival of the biomass boiler at Felbrigg is saving the conservation charity around £11,000 a year in fuel costs, as well as creating an income of over £4,000 a year for 20 years from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive that can now be used to fund a range of conservation projects.

How biomass works
Diagram of how biomass works
How biomass works

Keith Zealand, the Countryside Manager overseeing the installation explains:

“We will replace around 10,000 litres of oil and 100,000kWh of electricity a year with this renewable heating source of sustainable woodchip from the Felbrigg, Sheringham and West Runton estates, reducing our CO2 emissions by around 69 tonnes a year. That’s the same amount emitted by 50 typical UK cars in a year travelling 10,000 miles each.

“The wood fuel will be harvested as part of our ranger team’s ongoing sustainable management, allowing for natural regeneration.”

" What’s great is that we’re not only reducing our environmental impact, but removing the risk of oil pollution in this wonderful environment."
- Miranda Campbell - Environmental Practices Advisor

Work going on elsewhere

Felbrigg joined other National Trust places in the East of England to invest in renewable energy, with nearby Sheringham Park already having a biomass boiler, as well as Ickworth and Sutton Hoo in Suffolk.

At the Blickling Estate, new technology has been installed, which means that energy is harvested using a heat source pump in the lake.

Anglesey Abbey and Sutton Hoo are also now generating enough electricity each year from their solar panels between them to supply the annual requirements of over 20 average UK homes.