Staff from Heathrow learnt at first hand where the energy that powers much of the airport comes from – as they visited the Englefield Estate in West Berkshire.
The staff, along with teams from biomass fuel suppliers LC Energy and UK Power Networks, were taught about woodland management by the expert forestry team at the Estate.
Richard Edwards, Englefield Estate’s Forestry Manager, said: “We manage around 3,500 acres of FSC certified woodland, which means that our commitment to working with the forests in a sustainable way is internationally recognised.
“Our commercial crop is used in a wide variety of ways, from high-quality oak for new homes to softwood for garden fencing and even horse bedding. Some of it, of course, is also used to fuel renewable biomass energy production.
“Our visitors really enjoyed their day out in the countryside, especially as they were able to put some of their newly learnt skills to good use! We took them all to Ufton Court on the Estate, where they helped us create a ‘tranquillity garden’ for children from complex and challenging backgrounds.”
Fiona Craig, Managing Director of Ufton Court, praised the volunteers for their support: “I would like to thank LC Energy and UK Power Networks for working in partnership to create something wonderful for a very special group of children. The tranquil garden will give our young people an important space where they can think about new directions and form action plans to return to school as more successful learners.”
Nicola Hopkins, from LC Energy of Gomshall, Surrey, said: “LC Energy offers corporate tree planting events to customers to provide expert insight to how woodlands can be properly managed to support communities and increase their understanding of the importance of woodland regeneration to ensure the long-term sustainability of timber.
“The days here are greatly enjoyed by all and by the end of the day the team have great knowledge of biomass and woodland management.”
LC Energy supplies Heathrow Airport’s biomass boiler that produces heat and electricity for Terminals Two and Five. Fuelled by sustainably sourced local timber, biomass provides a cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels.
Mr Edwards added: “Englefield Estate has worked alongside LC Energy for the past two years to provide an educational, but fun woodland management experience to their customers. Last year, LC Energy planted 370 alder saplings on the estate and we were pleased that the team this year was able to help such a worthy cause at Ufton Court.
“After all their hard work, we took them on a tour of Englefield House’s beautifully kept gardens, which look particularly spectacular at this time of year.”