[Agroforestry] Re: Use of Lombardy poplars

Will Anderson will at drumin*.com
Fri Sep 23 15:16:45 EST 2005

In article <dgvble$g4e$1 at gemini.csx.cam.ac.uk>, Nick Maclaren 
<nmm1 at cus.cam.ac.uk> writes
>Grrk.  A solution on its own, no.  A component of a solution, yes.
Yup, certainly can't disagree with that.
>>Wave I have a lot of time for but it is currently technically difficult.
>I think that is more a matter on effort (i.e. money and time) than
>anything else.  But it is only comparable with wind.
Probably true, I think it is going to get some more money and time 
thrown at it as we start to run into planning difficulties with the 
major windfarms and the renewables developers have to look for 
alternative generation methods/sites. However, a useful component in an 
energy policy as you indicate above.
>>The Scandinavian countries seem to manage with a good proportion of
>>woodfuel, why then does it not work here?
>It could, easily, but that DOESN'T mean that the standard approach
>of covering the north of Scotland with blankets of conifers will
I don't see that as being necessary, nor practical given the current 
constraints (both fiscal and legislative) on afforestation. I certainly 
haven't seen blanket afforestation for some time. Take a look at the 
FC's public register of applications and work out the average size of a 
new planting scheme in Scotland. It may surprise you!!   ;-)

I take your points re soil and climate but even in the north of Scotland 
(which has _some_ nice agricultural bits) a properly thought out biofuel 
strategy would combine use of coppice with small roundwood or low grade 
timber, reclaimed timber and other "green waste" that cannot be 
composted. This could be operated at an industrial and local scale. 
Surely it is all a question of balanced energy policy?   (if only!)  ;-)

>Basically, we should shift back to an economy based more on hunting,
>so that all currently "set-aside" land (and more) would be coppiced,
>and more of our meat would be venison.  A LOT more.  And I would
>reintroduce lynx, to help balance the ecologies.
>New estates and some converted ones could then be heated by straw
>and coppiced wood (perhaps after farming fungi), and the extra
>woodland would provide recreational facilities.  Including hunting,
>and NOT just by 'professionals'.

No criticism implied but you are a bit too radical for me. I like the 
concept though but I agree - not much chance of it happening.

Haven't we come a long way from Lombardy Poplar!!!!



Will Anderson

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