Demonstrator Hub Update – BGI, Chesham – March 2024

19 April 2024

February 2024 – BGI, Chesham Demonstrator Hub Update

BGI Site Plan

BGI Site Plan

The BGI Demonstrator Hub in Chesham has experienced lots of rain this month. This has hampered efforts to get onto the plots for planting, preparations and treatments but the crops continue to grow and will soon be in full leaf.

Crop Diaries

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


the SRF alder budding points are swelling and some leaves now coming out.

Black Locust

  • The SRF black locust ‘Turbo’ area has been treated with glyphosate using the Herbidome. It has been replanted/gapped up where necessary.
  • The SRF black locust ‘Turbo Obelisk’ plot has had the existing plants removed and the area has been treated with glyphosate using a knapsack sprayer in preparation for re-planting. Holes for the new spacing have been drilled with an auger at 3m x 3m spacings and planted. Further treatment with Herbidome has been carried out to ensure a clean bed.


  • The SRF Eucalyptus is showing new growth.
  • Frost damaged trees seem to be recovering.


  •  The SRF poplar has budding points swelling with small leaves appearing.
  • The SRC Poplar area was treated with glyphosate last month.


  • March has seen so much rain that we were unable to work on the Miscanthus giganteus plots until the latter part of the month. On the 16th & 17th March we managed to access the plot to spray/flail and add P&K
  • Glyphosate has been sprayed on the area where brown mustard was planted on the Miscanthus Athena plot. We are looking to plant this in mid-April.


  • There is budding on some varieties within the 0.5 ha SRC willow plot.
  • The plot was very waterlogged at the beginning of March.
  • Young leaves were out on most saplings by mid to late March.


The sida area has had Glysophate applied with the Herbidome.

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

  •  The deer fencing is regularly monitored for both badger and rabbit holes. Plus, e-Solar electric will be installed, hopefully within the next 3 weeks.
  • The aisles that were sown with the AB8 Nectar Stewardship mix last Autumn are just a cover of green at present.
  • Deer have been seen elsewhere on the BGI site.
  • 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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