Land Energy has begun harvesting trees behind one of Scotland’s major drinking water reservoirs in South West Scotland .
40 acres of sitka spruce will be felled and replanted behind the reservoir owned by Scottish Water. It is important that the trees are replenished as they are a key part of filtration. Water is cleansed as it filters through the forest into the reservoir.
Well-managed commercial forestry can help with land stabilisation and effective water filtration. Cutting the trees is essential in reducing the risk of future water acidification. And the forest can be re-structured to deliver environmental, amenity and economic benefits to the local community.
4000 tonnes of timber will be taken to Land Energy’s factory in Girvan for processing into wood pellets. The finished pellets will be transported back to the reservoir’s treatment works to fuel the heating system at the office and the site’s water treatment system.
The reservoir underwent an £8m project in 2015 to increase drinking water capacity to the surrounding communities of Stranraer, Leswalt, Portpatrick, Newton Stewart and Creetown. As a result, the rise in water levels has increased by 40 per cent by developing the height of the dam by 1.5 metres.
Penwhirn Water Treatment Works has also been extended and upgraded, including new process stream, pumps and pipework modifications. This will increase the water treatment works capacity by 1.2 million litres per day (mld) to a total of 17.2mld to meet increased demand for water.
Local resident Mr Parker said “pellets are the best thing that’s ever happened to this area, and everyone who uses them are absolute heroes of the environment”.
Land Energy employs local contractors and supports local jobs. Scottish Water has given Land Energy a five-star rating for its excellent site management.