This very morning, an interview by Caz Graham (Freelance radio reporter) with Neil Watkins of Energy Crops Consultancy and Caroline Holden of United Utilities was broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme.

United Utilities has worked with Energy Crops Consultancy to plant a 2 hectare site near their waste water treatment facility near Keswick in Cumbria. The site is alongside an important access road to the facility and is regularly subject to flooding from the nearby River Derwent as the site is situated on the Bassenthwaite floodplain. In the interview, Caroline Holden explains how the willow plantation will help slow down flood waters and absorb much of their impact on the site. Neil Watkins expounds on perennial energy crops and their remarkable attributes in carbon retention, natural flood management, biodiversity and profit potential. You can listen to the interview here: – Energy Crops Consultancy is featured from 3:34. You can also read more on Caz Graham’s Twitter feed here:

Energy Crops Consultancy is dedicated to promoting perennial energy crops and is actively pursuing their inclusion in the new ELMS strategy. We will continue to press government to make a statement about its intentions for the future growth of the perennial energy crops industry.

Neil Watkins of ECC and Caroline Holden of United Utilities

Neil Watkins with some fast-growing Willow in the United Utilities plantation

The United Utilities SRC Willow crop is growing in the Bassenthwaite floodplain in Cumbria

This is the flood water that Caz Graham was splashing around in!