The Springbok Sustainable Wood Heat Co-operative


Springbok Sustainable Wood Heat Co-operative operates a wood chip fuelled district heating system on the Springbok Estate near Alfold, Surrey. The estate does not have access to the gas grid and prior to the installation of the biomass system the heating was supplied by about 20 oil boilers, some of which were quite old and which were in need of replacement as they were becoming expensive to maintain. The Co-operative raised a total of £425,000 through two community share offers and between November 2014 and June 2015 installed a district heating system to supply heat and hot water to the various residential buildings on the estate. These include Care Ashore, a charitable home for retired seafarers formerly known as the Merchant Seamans War Memorial Society. To achieve this a new boiler house and underground fuel silo were built and three heat mains with a combined length of .5 of a kilometre were buried underground.

Income is obtained from the RHI and also through the sale of heat to residents of the Estate.
Springbok Estate is located in one of the most heavily wooded areas of England and the system is run on locally produced wood chip. This helps to create a local market for wood chip, bringing unmanaged local woodland back into sustainable management, creating opportunities for local employment. There is also the potential to contribute to improving local biodiversity and the Co-operative has identified an opportunity in the local area to help both the endangered Wood White butterfly and improve the local habitat for nightingales


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