Demonstrator Hub Update – BGI, Chesham – May 2024

26 June 2024

May 2024 – BGI, Chesham Demonstrator Hub Update

BGI Site Plan

BGI Site Plan

Early summer has been a busy one at the BGI Demonstrator Hub. There has been lots of planting, lots of gapping up and the more established plots are growing well. Weeds and pests have been managed as well.

Crop Diaries

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


  • The SRF alder is in full leaf now and looking good.

Black Locust

  • The SRF black locust ‘Turbo’ is in various stages of growth and some problems have been noticed during inspections. There is a lack of growth on some plants which may be due to slug damage. Slugs have been particularly problematic this year due to the wet conditions and so much rain. This area was waterlogged for 2 months earlier in the year. Silvanus Forestry have been consulted and have advised us to keep an eye on them over the next month and report back.
  • The SRF black locust ‘Turbo Obelisk’ plants have mixed growth so far. Some are in full leaf, others are in bud and some are still dormant.


  • The SRF Eucalyptus is looking great and has been gapped up with 4 new trees.


  • The SRF poplar is now in full leaf.


  • 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 was planted on 2/5/2024 and was already shooting up by 28/5/2024. The rhizomes for planting were in better condition than last year and had lots of soil around their roots. Great care was taken to ensure the rhizomes were deep enough in the soil and planted from top to bottom and not across the 0.5 ha plot this time. When completed the plot was rolled immediately that afternoon.


  • The 0.5 ha SRC willow is in leaf and growing tall, over 6ft.
  • We have noticed that some of the willow species are either being attacked or not growing as well as others.
  • Willow for gapping up arriving 5/6/24. It will require a team effort to plant over 2000 rods!


  • More sida was planted on 02/05/2024
  • Mature sida is yellowing – possibly due to lack of nitrogen.

Reed Canary Grass

  • The reed canary grass seed was broadcast on 02/05/2024 and was already germinating and visible on 28/05/2024.


  • The Silphium was sown on 02/05/224.

Plans and Actions

  • The automatic weather station has been upgraded with a new data logger.
  • We have completed the spraying of weeds around the willow.
  • The newly planted sida was initially watered by hand until we had some significant rainfall.

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