Demonstrator Hubs

Eight demonstration hubs are located across the UK, in Ceredigion, South Ayrshire, Buckinghamshire, Devon, Edinburgh, County Down, Tyne & Wear and Yorkshire.

Each demonstrator hub grows up to 11 species of short-rotation trees and perennial grasses. These include Miscanthus and short-rotation coppice willow, which produce large amounts of biomass (plant material) that can be used in power stations to produce heat or electricity or used in bio-based products.

The project compares how well different crops and varieties grow in regions across the UK and demonstrate innovations which have the potential to maximise their economic and environmental benefits.

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Agri-Food Biosciences Institute (AFBI)

Hillsborough
County Down, NI
A glacial depositional landscape with drumlins with an east/south east aspect. The soil is clay loam overlying Silurian shale and greywacke covered with grass and MS sword. A range of biomass crops were planted during spring 2023. Crops in the ground currently include: SRC willow, Miscanthus giganteus, Miscanthus Athena, SRC Poplar, SRF Poplar, SRF Eucalyptus, SRF Alder, Black Locust Turbo, Black Locust Turbo Obelisk, Sida and Hemp. Reed Canary Grass ansd Switch Grass are still to be planted.
More about this hub
54.4518165 -6.07485

Agri-Food Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
A F B I, Large Park, Hillsborough, UK

Bio Global Industries (BGI)

Chesham
Buckinghamshire
Flat or sloping fields situated 178 metres (583 feet) above sea level. Clay loam and flint soil. Existing 10-year old grown plantation of many species of Willow, Poplar and Eucalyptus. Crops currently (October 2023) in the ground as part of the Biomass Connect trials are SRC Willow, Miscanthus Giganteus, Miscanthus Athena, SRC Poplar, SRF Poplar, SRF Eucalyptus, SRF Alder, Black Locust Turbo, Black Locust Turbo Obelisk and Sida. Those still to be planted are Reed Canary Grass and Switch grass (upland and lowland varieities)
More about this hub
51.709401 -0.612333

Bio Global Industries (BGI)
Chesham, UK

IBERS Aberystwyth

Penglais
Ceredigion
An exposed slightly sloping site lapprox 2km from the coast with a West South Westly aspect. It is historically grazed grassland and sandy loam soil. As of October 2023, crops in the ground as part of the Biomass Connect trials are SRC Willow, Miscanthus Giganteus, Miscanthus Athena, SRC Poplar, SRF Poplar, SRF Eucalyptus, SRF Alder, Black Locust Turbo and Black Locust Turbo Obelisk. Those still to be planted are Reed Canary Grass and Switch Grass (upland and lowland varieities)
More about this hub
52.4328915 -4.017391

IBERS Aberystwyth
Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, UK

NIAB

Headley Hall
West Yorkshire
Relatively even, slightly southerly site with loam freely draining to limestone and current vegetation of wheat stubble. As of October 2023, crops in the ground as part of the Biomass Connect trials are SRC Willow, Miscanthus Giganteus, Miscanthus Athena, SRC Poplar, SRF Poplar, SRF Eucalyptus, SRF Alder, Black Locust Turbo and Black Locust Turbo Obelisk. Those still to be planted are Reed Canary Grass and Switch grass (upland and lowland varieities)
More about this hub
53.8661764 -1.322244

NIAB
NIAB, The Hangar, Headley Hall, Spen Common Lane, Tadcaster, LS24 9NT

Newcastle University

Cockle Park Farm
Tyne & Wear
Open exposure, sheltered by a hedged treeline on western boundary and hedges to south and east. North facing aspect, gently sloping south to north and east to west. Soil is Luvic Stagnosols. As of October 2023, crops in the ground as part of the Biomass Connect trials are SRC Willow, Miscanthus Giganteus, Miscanthus Athena, SRC Poplar, SRF Poplar, SRF Eucalyptus, SRF Alder, Black Locust Turbo and Black Locust Turbo Obelisk. Those still to be planted are Reed Canary Grass and Switch grass (upland and lowland varieities)
More about this hub
54.9791871 -1.6146608

Newcastle University
Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Rothamsted Research

North Wyke
Devon
Generally undulating, gently sloping site to the northwest, with hallsworth clay or clay loam and historic grassland vegetation used for silage and hay cuts. As of October 2023, crops in the ground as part of the Biomass Connect trials are SRC Willow, Miscanthus Giganteus, Miscanthus Athena, SRC Poplar, SRF Poplar, SRF Eucalyptus, SRF Alder, Black Locust Turbo, Black Locust Turbo Obelisk and Sida. Those still to be planted are Reed Canary Grass and Switch grass (upland and lowland varieities)
More about this hub
50.7693748 -3.9019086

Rothamsted Research
Rothamsted Research, Okehampton, Devon, UK

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) – Ayrshire

Auchincruive
Ayrshire
A sheltered flat north-south site, with sandy loam and current vegetation of barley stubble. Planting winter wheat cover crop in 2022. As of October 2023, crops in the ground as part of the Biomass Connect trials are SRC Willow, Miscanthus Giganteus, Miscanthus Athena, SRC Poplar, SRF Poplar, SRF Eucalyptus, SRF Alder, Black Locust Turbo and Black Locust Turbo Obelisk. Those still to be planted are Reed Canary Grass and Switch grass (upland and lowland varieities)
More about this hub
55.4578372 -4.6146849

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) – Ayrshire
Scotland's Rural College, University Avenue, Ayr, UK

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) – Edinburgh

Boghall Farm
Edinburgh
A south easterly facing sloped site of mineral sandy loam, exposed to a westerly wind. Vegetation is historically OSR and S Barley. As of October 2023, crops in the ground as part of the Biomass Connect trials are SRC Willow, Miscanthus Giganteus, Miscanthus Athena, SRC Poplar, SRF Poplar, SRF Eucalyptus, SRF Alder, Black Locust Turbo, Black Locust Turbo Obelisk and Sida. Those still to be planted are Reed Canary Grass and Switch grass (upland and lowland varieities)
More about this hub
55.873875 -3.207468

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) – Edinburgh
Boghall Farm, Edinburgh, UK

Planting Matrix

Demonstrations of the following biomass crops are present across the Hub Site Network

 

 

AFBI

BGI

IBERS

NIAB

Newcastle

Rothamsted

Ayrshire

Edinburgh

Black Locust

Turbo & Turbo Obelisk

Turbo & Turbo Obelisk

Turbo & Turbo Obelisk

Turbo & Turbo Obelisk

Turbo & Turbo Obelisk

Turbo & Turbo Obelisk

Turbo & Turbo Obelisk

Turbo & Turbo Obelisk

Common Alder

SRF

SRF

SRF

SRF

SRF

SRF

SRF

SRF

Eucalyptus

SRF

SRF

SRF

SRF

SRF

SRF

SRF

SRF

Poplar

SRF & SRC

SRF & SRC

SRF & SRC

SRF & SRC

SRF & SRC

SRF & SRC

SRF & SRC

SRF & SRC

Willow

SRC & Willow Varieties

SRC

SRC & Willow Varieties

SRC & Willow Varieties

SRC

SRC & Willow Varieties

SRC

SRC & Willow Varieties

Miscanthus

Giganteus & Athena

Giganteus

Giganteus & Athena

Giganteus

Giganteus

Giganteus & Athena

Giganteus

Giganteus

Miscanthus Varieties

Reed Canary Grass

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

Switch Grass

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

Hemp

Sida

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

Silphium

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted

To be Planted