Woodland and Forestry
- Friday, 21 May 2010 13:38 David Westgarth Hits: 699
David Westgarth, chair of the Raasay House Community Company gives us his thoughts on a recent woodfuel event:
"With wood for fuel as a common purpose, delegates from a variety of community woodland enterprises gathered together at The Wolftrax premises in Laggan on Saturday May 1st.
Hosted by the Laggan Forest Trust and organized by the Community Woodlands Association, the morning session gave valuable information on operating and selling costs, equipment purchasing and maintenance, and importantly the sort of cash flow scenarios that might be encountered, based on real experience. The pros and cons of processing timber into chips or logs was discussed as well as an overview of the various types of portable processing equipment now available for community woodland enterprises. The final session on the ways and means of attracting funding to help get enterprises underway was also extremely useful, with very pertinent guidance on the type of equipment and installations that will qualify for funding and also what to avoid when making funding applications.
After lunch, cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven, everyone walked up into the forest (avoiding the mountain bikers) to watch Jake Willis operating his tractor driven log cutter and splitting processor. This device is powered from the tractor's power take off (PTO) and chops logs into defined lengths via a circular saw. An automatic ram then pushes the logs through a splitter producing four split pieces onto a conveyor elevator which drops split logs into a lorry for delivery.
As always workshops and networking within the group were very useful , in particular folk thought there could be considerable mileage in developing a Skye based 'wood group', to perhaps make fuller use of existing equipment and consider mutually beneficial marketing ideas."
To find out more about some of the topics discussed on the day, have a look at the Community Woodlands Association website.