Chipping away at our environmental impact

Woodchips

Exciting progress is underway at Knightshayes, as we start work on the Biomass Project. If you’ve visited recently you may have seen lots of activity going on, including the creation of a new compound at the very top of the main car park, lots of people and machinery. From the end of January, it’s all go as the project is underway.

It's all go

Once the system is in place, Knightshayes will be joining other local National Trust places such as Saltram, Killerton, Cotehele and Castle Drogo who already have biomass and are functioning in a more ecological and sustainable way. This will also contribute to National Trust’s goal of ensuring that at least 50% of the energy we use is renewable.  There are currently over 60 woodchip, pellet or log boilers installed at National Trust properties with more intiatives planned in order to work hard at operating sustainably. 

What is the Biomass Project?

It’s the installation of a biomass heating system to provide heat to the Stables and House which will replace our oil-fired boilers, most of which are coming to the end of their expected life-span. It’s very exciting for Knightshayes, as the heating system will be powered by wood chip, which after three years, we hope to be supplying our own woodchip from the woodland. In the meantime the woodchip will be sustainably sourced and any chip supplier we use will have been vetted for accreditation to the Biomass Suppliers List.

Biomass heating systems are starting to be gradually introduced across the National Trust, as it’s a great way to have an efficient and sustainable system using renewable resources.

How is it better for the environment?

Although wood emits carbon dioxide when it’s burnt, it’s actually considered close to carbon neutral as the amount it emits is the same as the amount it has absorbed during its lifetime. It’s a sustainable and renewable process so long as woodlands are allowed to regrow following harvesting and that the fuel is not transported far. Even if you include the energy used to make a biomass boiler, using wood will emit 94% less carbon dioxide than oil.

Changing the way we work

Not only will the new biomass system mean that Knightshayes will have a greener and more efficient heating system, it will also save us a lot of money.
We should save £30,000 annually on the cost of oil, and savings in excess of £4,000 per year on electricity to heat the stables.
Substantial savings such as these mean that Knightshayes will be able to allocate the much needed money that's saved, to caring for the house, gardens and parkland.

Not long to go

For a project which will have so many positive results and bring such a great deal of change, you’d imagine that it would take quite a lot of months to complete. However, this isn’t the case. The new heating system will be in place and functioning by the end of March and the new composting facilities will be operating by May.