The Electric Future of Forestry and Farming

This week BMC had the pleasure of test-driving the new Polaris electric All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) designed for off-road work in agriculture and forestry. Usk and Wye Valley ATV demonstrated the vehicle in Park Wood, Talgarth for the benefit of partners from Powys County Council, Powys Teaching Health Board, Green Valleys CiC and Talgarth Community Woodland Group.

Electric vehicles for use in agriculture and forestry have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture and forestry account for approximately 10% of emissions in the UK and a major proportion of that from tractors, quad bikes, combine harvesters and other fossil-fuel powered machines. The Farm Carbon Toolkit was created by farmers for farmers to share ideas for reducing emissions from land based activities as well as a calculator for estimating your footprint.

Here at BMC we are working with The Green Valleys and Talgarth Community Woodland Group to launch our NVQ Level 2 course in Sustainable Coppicing and Green Woodworking this coming September 2021. As well as showcasing sustainable methods of woodland management – rotational coppicing and closed canopy forestry – we are reducing emissions from forestry activity through the use of state of the art electric machinery – rechargeable electric ATVs and electric chainsaws acquired by The Green Valleys through a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund Community Woodlands Initiative.

The Polaris handled beautifully, made mincemeat of the hills and gullies of Park Wood, and showed just how easy it could be to replace fossil fuel machinery with cleaner technology. At present E-ATVs are slightly more expensive than petrol driven alternatives but that is sure to change as the world cottons on to the benefits of electric vehicles with much lower maintenance costs. Road-based electric vehicles suffer from range limitations but these vehicles are perfect for short journeys around farms and woods where you’re never far from a recharging point.

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