“SRC Willow crops are the UK version of bamboo – but without a hole in the middle!”
What do we mean by this?
Tropical climes may have access to the fastest growing energy crops – bamboo can grow at the incredible rate of 10cms in a 24hr period. But what about growing energy crops in the colder UK environment? This is where willow comes in!
- It’s fast growing
- Dense structure (no wasted space)
- Simple & Self Sustainable
(once planted, it basically looks after itself)
- Durable and Weather Resistant
(Copes with all types of weather)
So why plant SRC Willow? We all know how important diversification strategy is for farmland. It’s important to note that SRC Willow is in no way intended to replace arable food crops or livestock for dairy/meat. Its ability to thrive on less than perfect ground means it’s an excellent choice for areas of your farm where traditional food crops may not be viable and it also combines well with livestock farming.
Energy Crops Consultancy are SRC Willow experts – Neil Watkins has over 10 years experience in assisting growers in diversifying into SRC Willow alongside their livestock and arable farming. He has extensive knowledge & experience in developing, promoting and establishing energy crops – as well as innovating and undertaking a broader range of work within the biomass energy sector.
SRC willow has a high biodiversity value, attracting 260+ positive bugs! This can be seen in the increased presence of insects such as Ladybird beetles and lacewings. These insects are especially important as they prey on the pests which farmers and gardeners alike despise, such as aphids, scale insects, caterpillars, thrips, mealybugs, and mites.
Willow is a key part of carbon fixing and carbon cycling; one hectare of SRC willow produces the equivalent energy of 5,700 litres of oil. An average household can burn around 3000 litres of oil per year. Carbon fixation (through the stumps) is the conversion process of carbon dioxide to organic compounds by living organisms through photosynthesis.
Willow is also excellent for Natural Flood Management which aims to store water in the landscape and slow the rate at which water runs off the landscape into rivers. We do this by implementing various measures that restore or mimic the natural functions of rivers, floodplains and the wider catchment area. There are 4 main points to NFM: slowing water, storing water, increasing soil infiltration and interception rainfall.
Harvested every 2-4 years, willow is a sustainable, short-rotation crop that requires little attention. Not only does willow grow your income, but it also boosts biodiversity with environmental advantages such as natural flood management and soil retention…
SRC Willow wood chip can be sold to numerous End Markets. We will stay with you throughout the process of harvesting, ensuring your crop is of the very highest quality to attract the highest prices. Our work with you isn’t done after merely planting – our relationship with you is for the long haul.