Friday, 10 April 2015


Last autumn we chopped branches from the local hedges where they were getting out of control. Most of what we cut was hawthorn but there was also a bit of elder and ash. Through the winter we also chopped back privet branches. None of this was wasted. We fed the branches to the goats who ate the leaves and quite often the bark as well. The branches were then stacked up. The intention is to chop them up and use them for firewood.

I've made a start on chopping them but sadly, we have no wood fired heating system on which to use the sticks and logs. That was not through want of trying. Last year we signed a contract with a company called Solarlec to install a biomass boiler. The company was a complete waste of time. They took a very large amount of our money, signed a contract to install a boiler by the end of October, and gave us excuses galore for failing to install the boiler. By February, after lots of very angry messages and phone calls from me, they eventually agreed to return the £3300 we had paid the as a deposit. Even then it took another angry phone call from me to the director of the company to get our money back, 10 days after they had first agreed to return it. My recommendation is NEVER EVER deal with Solarlec. Anyway, more about the whole saga on another day.

The point is that due to Solarlec's miserable failure, we are still running a gas fired boiler and an electric immersion boiler. We are planning to replace them soon though clearly Solarlec will not be invited to tender for the work. In the meantime we will continue to build up a stock of firewood. I chop a few branches each day at the moment so that the job is manageable but with the hawthorn coming back into leaf, we will soon start to feed the goats branches again. We need to avoid the mistake of last year of simply letting the branches build up. Once the goats have had their fill, I need to chop the branches straight away.

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