Climate Spheres UK is thrilled to announce that we have been chosen as a winner of the inaugural “Journey to Neto Zero” competition for our innovative project utilising biochar on UK farmland.
The competition was launched by the School of Sustainable Food and Farming (SSFF) at Harper Adams University and supported by industry partners Bradford Estates, McDonald’s, Morrisons, the NFU, Trinity Ag Tech, and Trinity Global Farm Pioneers. It aimed to find scalable systems and processes that can support UK agriculture on its transition to net zero. Following an initial application, we were chosen last year to pitch our project to a panel of experts from the SSFF and partners, with the winning projects being announced at the Oxford Farming Conference on 6th January 2023.
As part of this project, we will be working closely with our partner farm in South West Wales to experiment and develop processes to use biochar in fields. For those unfamiliar, biochar is produced when organic material, such as crop waste, is heated in a low-oxygen environment creating a stable, carbon-rich charcoal. Biochar has numerous benefits within agriculture, including its ability to improve soil quality and water retention, reduce nutrient run-off, as well as the potential to directly sequester carbon, and reduce the need for standard fossil fuel fertilizers.
The benefits of biochar are widely recognized, yet its use is still relatively limited in the UK. The lessons and evidence generated through this project will help to produce information and guidance to encourage the use of biochar in UK agriculture and demonstrate how biochar can be used within farming systems to generate meaningful emissions reductions while being feasible, practical, and affordable for farmers. By sharing our experiences and the benefits of biochar we hope to increase its adoption by farmers across the country.
We are excited about the opportunity presented by this project and we are very grateful for this award. We look forward to working with the SSFF and its partners to support UK agriculture on its pathway to net zero.