Barking up the right tree: Manchester eco group’s bid to make most of home-grown biofuel from Mother Nature

Coal, oil and gas. They’re all fossil fuels that have powered the nation for hundreds of years.

Aside from the obvious drawbacks of the CO2 emissions they belch out into the atmosphere, what are we going to do when all of these natural resources run out?

And that time will come sooner rather than later if the Global Sustainability Institute research is proved correct.

They have predicted that the UK will have run out of these three fuels in just over five years, meaning that we will have to depend more on the likes of Russia, Norway and Qatar.

But a Manchester organisation is determined to prove that a home-grown environmentally-friendly fuel future is possible, and the answer really does grow on trees.

TreeStation advocates woodfuel, a sustainable low carbon source of energy that is produced from managed woods where felled trees are replanted and the wood is used within the community.

Managing Director of TreeStation Phil Benn told MM that the fuel is used in schools, hospitals and outdoor garden projects to reduce carbon emissions.

He explained: “We literally try and use every single piece of wood that’s collected in the yard.

 “We’re committed to trying to reduce carbon emissions by producing low carbon fuels like plywood and biomass wood chip from locally-produced wood and selling it locally.

“The local element of it is key and that’s also why we are running it as a community-owned enterprise and introducing a community share offer so that the locals can get involved and support the business.”

Senior Lecturer in Built Environment at Leeds Metropolitan University, Dr Joseph Kangwa, said that bio diversity was at the heart of the project, along with protecting the local community.

He said: “It’s all to do with bio diversity which is instead of having a single use for a resource you’re ensuring that all of its potential applied. 

“It’s vital that groups like TreeStation are there to remind people how crucial it is to get the most of what you have in a natural resource.”

TreeStation regularly host open days in West Gorton and invite people to see for themselves the process from beginning to end and also get involved in a fun day of activities.

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