The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) is one of 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK. To help power a biomass boiler which heats the visitor centre, the Trust invested in an EcoCombi 150 chipper/shredder from GreenMech.
Formed in 2002, and the fourth largest in area, WTSWW looks after just under 100 nature reserves in Carmarthenshire, Glamorgan, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. Wildlife Trust Officer for Pembrokeshire Nathan Walton is responsible for 14 nature reserves within the county including Teifi Marshes which is also home to the main visitor facility, The Welsh Wildlife Centre.
Helping Nathan is a team of up to 30 volunteers, whose main remit is to support WTSWW in managing the various habitats on its reserves which include grasslands, wetlands and woodlands. "We carry out a lot of woodland management throughout the year but also deal with a variety of other materials. When the biomass boiler was originally installed the plan was the power it with common reed so when it came to looking for a chipper, we knew we needed something multi-functional" explains Nathan. "Whilst undertaking some research, we were recommended the EcoCombi 150 from GreenMech. Julian Cullis came to demo for us and it dealt with a variety of materials fantastically."
The EcoCombi 150 combines the versatility of both a chipper and a shredder, designed with power, strength and versatility in mind. It has the capacity to deal with 150mm of clean timber and a shredding section for up to 50mm of organic material contaminated with soil, stones and green wet waste.
Nathan again, "It had no problem chipping the reed and, even though we now power the boiler with wood alone, having the shredder as another way of reducing the waste is really useful. We use the shredder now to predominately deal with brash. The chip produced is mostly re-used in and around the habitats from which the wood originated, though some is used for ground maintenance at the visitor centre. The wood for the Biomass boiler is stored until it is seasoned and is then chipped straight into the boiler's hopper. It's been a great workhorse for us and it's kit like this, along with our fantastic support team, that has put us and our facilities in such a great place."
It was thanks to the Sustainable Development Fund, provided by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park that they managed to receive the funds to purchase the EcoCombi 150, which is now supported by local GreenMech dealer Powercut.