The Grow Your Income initiative
When Iggesund Paperboard's Workington Mill took the decision to invest in a biomass boiler in order to switch its energy sourcing from fossil fuels to biomass, they immediately started to plan for their future fuel needs. The Grow Your Income project engages local farmers to grow willow that is delivered as biomass to the mill. The programme has been well received and is expanding.
The Short Rotation Coppice willow is a perennial agricultural crop that is cultivated for the production of wood chips used for heat and power generation. SRC willow can be planted close to its users, thus contributing towards a local energy supply that is sustainable in the long term.
The advantages of willow are obvious. It's the best way to deal with hydraulic roughness and an excellent tool in the tool box as an option for farmers to use. It increases biodiversity, stores carbon and ensures a long-term income for the farmers, who make it possible for Holmen to produce sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging from renewable electricity and heat
Natural flood management
One important advantage the willow crops provide is the ability to supply excellent protection when floods occur in wintertime. Natural flood management involves implementing measures to restore or mimic natural functions of rivers, floodplains and the wider catchment, to store water in the landscape and slow the rate at which water runs off the landscape into rivers. Natural flood management takes many different forms and different terminology such as 'working with natural processes', green engineering, sustainable land management or runoff attenuation are also used to describe the techniques used. Every farm will have features that, with some enhancement, could play a role in natural flood management. NFM techniques rely on one, or a combination, of the following underlying mechanisms.
1: Slowing water by increasing resistance to its flow – for example, by planting hedgerows and trees, blocking grips on moorland, installing woody debris dams or creating buffer strips.
2: Storing water by creating and maintaining capacity in bunds, ponds, ditches, swales or floodplains so they fill during rainfall events and empty slowly over 12 to 24 hours.
3: Increasing soil infiltration: Improving soil structure can increase the depth that water is absorbed to, significantly increasing the volume of water that can be stored in the soil. This will make saturation less likely, potentially reducing surface runoff.
4: Intercepting rainfall: Vegetation, especially tree leaves, intercepts rainfall so it doesn't reach the ground. Water is then evaporated from the leaves, reducing the volume of flood water.
You find more information about "Grow Your Income" here.