Free workshops give you new concepts to digest

Newcastle University Anaerobic Digestion Project Team is running its 2nd year of anaerobic digestion workshops.
Newcastle University Anaerobic Digestion Project Team is running its 2nd year of anaerobic digestion workshops.

A PIONEERING Northumberland farm is hosting free workshops to spread the word on state-of-the-art energy production.

Farmers and other interested individuals are invited to sign up for the anaerobic digestion workshops at Cockle Park Farm near Morpeth.

Newcastle University, which runs the farm, has installed the anaerobic digestion plant to demonstrate its capabilities to farmers across the region and show them the kind of financial returns it can give.

The 75kW plant uses on-farm cattle and pig slurry to produce biogas, which is burnt to heat the plant and will eventually heat the university’s pig units.

Next year, a grid connection will be installed when the biogas will be burnt to create electricity and exported to the national grid.

The workshops will offer the opportunity to view the facility and discuss the technology with experts in the field, as well as find out more about the financial benefits.

Cockle Park Anaerobic Digestion Project Manager and Newcastle University Senior Lecturer Dr Paul Bilsborrow said: “Anaerobic digestion is becoming a more viable renewable energy proposition due to the increase in the feed-in tariffs and the introduction of the renewable heat incentive.

“However, funding for Cockle Park Farm anaerobic digestion training workshops will come to an end next summer so we are advising interested farmers to book a place as soon as possible.”

The full-day sessions will include presentations on anaerobic digestion technology, the costs and returns of a plant, including income from feed-in tariffs, environmental regulations and uses of Digestate — the resultant organic fertiliser.

There will be a complimentary lunch, followed by a tour of the plant and a question and answer session with the speakers.

Workshops will run from 9.30am to 3.30pm on Thursday, October 13, Wednesday, November 2, Thursday, November 24 and Thursday, December 8.

The farm is also happy to welcome visitors to view the plant and bespoke workshops can be arranged for any organisations interested in the technology.

For more information, to sign up for a workshop, or to enquire about possible visits or arranging sessions, email or

Alternatively, telephone 01670 791958.