Community funding for local wood fuel projects

More details on Springbok Co-op now available

Springbok Co-op July 2014 provides more details on the forthcoming Springbok community share offer to raise investment to replace the existing old oil boilers with  new Herz boilers running on sustainably produced local woodchip, much of which will come  the Springbok Estate and the neighbouring woodland.

The existing boilers at Sachel Court

The existing boilers at Sachel Court



Planning permission granted

14 July 2014

Last week Waverley Borough Council granted planning permission for the new boiler house and underground fuel silo at the Springbok Estate.Sachel Court and Radcliffe House 2Without this permission there would be no project and no co-op.   So while we we couldn’t see any reason for a refusal it’s still a big relief to have it!


Full Steam Ahead for first Wey Valley Wood Fuel project in 2014

We are delighted to be able to say that the Trustees of Care Ashore have confirmed that in principle they wish to proceed towards a heat supply agreement using locally sourced wood biomass, including from Care Ashore’s own estate.  We hope that (subject to obtaining planning permission) we will be launching the share offer in the first 6 months of 2014.

Wey Valley Wood Fuel speaks at London Co-ops AGM April 2013


We were delighted to be asked to speak at the London Co-ops AGM at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in April which this year had the theme of energy.   As one of the winners of the Co-operative Renewable Energy Challenge we have been able to purchase the necessary equipment to put together a stand which is easily transported by public transport!  Here is Mike Smyth (on the left) from WVWF on the stand in conversation with Ken from the M40 group, one of the other winners of the Co-op challenge.  Mike also spoke about the work of Energy4All which was mainly focussed on wind – just in case you have spotted the mini turbine on the stand.

Wey Valley Wood Fuel winner of Co-operative Community Energy Challenge – July 2012

The Wey Valley Wood Fuel Group were one of 7 national winners of a major new competition designed to energise the community-owned energy sector and bring about a clean energy revolution across the UK.

The Co-operative launched the “Community Energy Challenge” in conjunction with the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE).

Based in England’s most wooded county, Wey Valley Wood Fuel – confirmed as one of seven groups across the UK to share £200,000 of support including specialist mentoring, enterprise development and technical advice.

It beat-off competition from over 120 other hopefuls to win the innovative competition which will support and showcase the nation’s community energy champions – demonstrating replicable technologies and the benefits of community ownership that can leave a lasting legacy.

The win will enable Wey Valley Wood Fuel to explore an energy project that raises money through community share issues to install biomass boilers and generate free heat energy for community spaces such as schools, churches and leisure centres.

The scheme would pay a return to investors, generate a surplus income to support new energy and community projects and, develop a supply chain that encourages land owners to bring local woodland back into management.

Wey Valley Wood Fuel is being developed by the team behind Wey Valley Solar Schools Energy Co-operative which installed large solar panel arrays on six Surrey secondary schools after raising an investment of £625,000 from the local community – an investment which is paying returns to investors and schools and playing a part in local sustainability education.

Rachael Hunter, of Wey Valley Wood Fuel, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this support – it will make a huge difference and enable us to further explore renewable energy projects that can benefit our local communities.

“We are keen to encourage the widest possible community participation. The expertise and support that we will receive will make a significant difference to our aims of developing a scheme that gives the community a say in the generation of clean, sustainable, heat energy – securing future energy supplies and providing significant social, economic and environmental benefits.”