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Anaerobic Digestion

A planning application was submitted a few years ago for an anaerobic digestion (AD) system here on the farm. It didn’t go ahead at the
time, so we reflected on some of the questions raised and improved plans for a fresh application.

However, despite the amazing environmental benefits to the whole farm, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the reneweable energy this project could provide, it hasn't yet come to fruition, but for now I have left the following information about the project and some of the benefits it could achieve:

As part of our integrated farm management we would like to run an anaerobic digestion (AD) system at Coast Hill Farm to recover natural fertiliser and renewable energy for the farm.
Marches Biogas who would build the AD system are based here in the UK, they have over 25 years’ experience of delivering successful AD systems across the country.

An AD system would enable us to manage our farm yard manure (FYM) in the sealed system; helping with biosecurity (an important part of everyday farming) on the farm and helping us follow recent guidance from government, farming experts and vets providing practical advice on preventing bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) from infecting herds, including contained storage of manures for up to 6 months. Surrey is TB free at present and farmers need to help it remain that way.

Farmyard manure and rotational crops would be converted into natural
fertiliser and biogas through the sealed AD system.
Helping to cut carbon emissions from the farm, the fertiliser and renewable energy recovered from this process can be used in many ways, here are some of them:

Natural fertiliser (digestate) – improves the soil structure, water
retention and yields of our fields and it would save around 2,500 tonnes of CO2, 38,000 tonnes of water and 352 tonnes of oil every year by replacing fossil based fertilisers across the farm holding.

This would be an amazing achievement through our integrated farm management and we'd be very proud to play our part and make these significant annual savings in resources and cutting the carbon emissions from farming.

An AD system would replace the current open storage of FYM in fields for up to a year, and which currently allows all the gases to pass into the atmosphere.

Biogas – will be captured from the sealed AD system, it can be used in a combined heat and power unit.  The heat would be used to dry the nutrient rich natural fertiliser, known as digestate, before it's used back on the fields to enrich the soils for the next rotation of crops to grow.

The renewable heat and electricity is used in the AD process and could be used at the business park and other local businesses.

Being able to process these materials here on the farm will significantly
reduce the number of vehicles coming to and from the holding each day – and by around 600 lorries each year.

Over the last ten years, the cost of production from the same
acreage of crops and numbers of livestock has doubled, so we regularly review farm efficiency and cost effectiveness.  Currently both grain and beef are being sold at below the cost of production and the past three years has seen heavily reduced farm incomes to which farmers must respond in a proactive manner to future-proof their business.

The AD system would provide a natural fertiliser (digestate) which would improve the soil and enrich the organic matter and using this farm produced natural fertiliser would make a very large saving on the cost of the fossil-based fertilisers (also known as arteficial) which are currently imported to the farm.

So whilst managing manures and improving farm biosecurity still further, producing nutrient rich natural fertiliser and recovering renewable energy, an AD system on the farm would make huge savings in co2 emissions, oil and water for the environment every year and would make this a more self sufficient and cost effective farming enterprise.

We sincerely wish to pass on a sustainable business to future generations of farmers.

We have farmed here in Surrey for 80 years and are proud of the farming and countryside stewardship we undertake to benefit this farmland and the environment and we hope you enjoy reading about some of this on our website.

Surrey Hills Business Park

To keep apace with an ever changing farming industry, our business must adapt and diversify as it has done for the past eighty years. We established Surrey Hills Business Park in 2001 by converting redundant farm buildings into offices, storage and retail premises. The buildings gained a new lease of  life and now accomodate thriving businesses employing local people and stimulating economic growth in a rural area.

Commercial Property for Rent

Surrey Hills Business Park is a high quality conversion of farm buildings creating 25,000square feet of business units; offices, retail and storage.

No offices are currently available

However you are welcome to contact us to enquire whether anything will soon be available or leave us your details for any future vacancies.

There is ample parking available for staff and visitors and access is easy from the A25

For enquiries, please use contact page (tab above) or telephone 01306 730220

Surrey Hills Business Park