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Tree burning project gets £1.5m

A £1.5m government-funded research project will examine the commercial feasibility of fast-growing tree species that have the potential to be harvested for biomass renewable energy.

The money has been stumped up by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the project will establish a number of sites where research will be carried out and operational-scale pilots planted in what is known as ‘short rotation forestry’.

The fast-growing species used will include both native and naturalised broadleaved trees along with other species with biomass potential, such as eucalyptus. These kinds of trees are suitable for harvesting at between six to 10 years old instead of the 20-plus year growth period for conventional forestry.

Forestry Commission England will work closely with Defra and the project will provide ongoing monitoring and scientific data on hydrology, carbon balance, economic viability, biodiversity, and possible environmental risks such as the impact of the project on landscape and biodiversity

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