Demonstrator Hub Update – BGI, Chesham – April 2024

31 May 2024

April 2024 – BGI, Chesham Demonstrator Hub Update

BGI Site Plan

BGI Site Plan

The BGI Demonstrator Hub in Chesham has been busy in April as Spring growth takes hold. Gapping up and preparing for the summer have been the main tasks.

Crop Diaries

Click on the titles below to find out how each of the crops are progressing.


  • The SRF alder has some leaves now coming out.

Black Locust

  • The SRF black locust ‘Turbo’ area is looking good after replanting on 15th March. 
  • The SRF black locust ‘Turbo Obelisk’ plot is also looking good after replanting on 15th March. 


  • The SRF Eucalyptus is showing new growth.
  • Frost damaged trees seem to be recovering.
  • Stakes have been ordered and will be used once they have arrived on site.


  • The SRF poplar has small leaves appearing.
  • The SRC poplar area was treated with glyphosate last month. Leaves are now appearing.


  • The 0.5 ha Miscanthus giganteus is shooting up again and is about 4-6 inches high now.
  • The 0.5 ha Miscanthus Athena™ plot had Glyphosate applied to the area in preparation for planting on 2/5/24. The damaged Miscanthus areas were rolled after being flailed.


  • The 0.5 ha SRC willow is in leaf and growing tall – 6ft. There is waterlogging in some areas, young leaves were out on most saplings mid to late March.


  • Inter-rows in the sida plot have been Glyphosate treated with the Herbidome.
  • We have noticed the sida yellowing, (possibly due to lack of nitrogen).

Reed Canary Grass

  • Gapping up was completed at the end of March Easter weekend in the reed canary grass plot.


  • The switchgrass plot area has been ploughed ready for the start of the grasses trial. Some weeds have since emerged.

Plans and Actions

  •  We are awaiting willow and Eucalyptus for gapping up.
  • Solar powered electric fencing is in place. Badgers have tunnelled under the deer proof fence and rabbits have gained entry to the site and are grazing on some of the tree varieties.
  • A Biomass Connect demo day is to be hosted at the BGI Demonstrator Hub on September 12th. The title is  ‘Biomass for the Future’ and it will focus on commercial opportunities for farmers and landowners.

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