New biomass boiler

What seems like many months ago now, we decided to replace our existing and relatively elderly oil-fired boiler. After considering a few options, the best long-term plan seemed to be the installation of a biomass pellet boiler.

The whole project went relatively smoothly especially considering it included some building works to convert part of an outbuilding from its earlier use as “coal shed” into a shiny new “boiler room”.

This included constructing a massive pellet store which I’m told should hold around 5 tonnes of wood pellets and automatically feeds the pellets into the boiler when needed.

This means we benefit from bulk deliveries via a tanker which blows the pellets into the store. Not only is this option cheaper than buying a pallet load of 10kg bags but it means there’s no heavy lifting for me to tip each bag into the pellet store.

Connecting this all into the existing central heating system proved to be completely painless once a route for the supply and return pipework was found. As luck would have it this was through an existing space with pipes which had previously been boxed in so there’s no additional upheaval in the house!

Once the actual boiler installation was complete, the application for the governments RHI scheme was the last hurdle. There have been a few weeks of slightly edgy waiting but eventually the final approval came through yesterday.

Now the job is complete, the bills are all paid and the RHI accreditation approved I somehow feel happier about posting a blog update with a few pictures as a record of the work. This is helped by the fact that, so far at least, we have barely noticed any difference other than having an empty corner in the utility room which we need to fill with something!


Summer stock take 2015

Despite the occasional unseasonal weather just lately, I wanted to post a summer stock take for the current livestock. As luck would have it we had a fairly decent day of sunshine last weekend so I was able to get some quick snapshots as well.


The two Dexter’s are quite calm now and happy enough in their slightly overgrown fields. They were moved after about a month in the first one and have been make good progress on the grass in the current field.

They’re still not too happy to have any humans too close but I can get close enough to check for any obvious problems and they looking very healthy to my untrained eye.



The two flocks of chickens seem to think they own the place and can cover a surprisingly wide area at times.  The white flock consists of 1 cockerel plus 9 hens (Leghorns?) and there are 4 brown hybrids (1 remaining pet and 3 rescue hens) –

However both flocks are under performing with egg laying and I suspect a problem with worms or other parasites so we’ll be doing a round of treatment very soon.




All 4 pigs are doing really well and the 2 “eaters” will be heading off in about 3 weeks time. So far I’m feeling ready for the change in approach with them when I no longer worry about weights, growth rates and abattoir deadlines.

The 2 “keepers” are just reaching maturity as they are around 7 months old but I’ll be watching closely and waiting until they’re around 10 months old (in October) before tackling artificial insemination.