Aerial view from the church around the Wiltshire village of Bromham in Wiltshire, near to the towns of Calne, Melksham, Devizes and Chippenham

Bromham farmer invests £9 million to turn cow muck into energy

By Bromham Webmaster, Oct 23 2018 09:36PM

Devizes MP Claire Perry visited his farm as part of Green Great Britain Week and even suggested that growing cannabis could be his next green project.

But she was told that more needed to be done to make it easier for farmers to diversify as red tape at the top of Government departments made it difficult for projects like Mr Butler's to get funding. She was also told that cuts in green energy tariffs were also taking a toll.

Ms Perry promised to take the concerns back to Whitehall. She said: "I think what Jim is doing here is wonderful. There are thousands of homes in Wiltshire that do not have mains gas but could benefit from schemes like this."

She said she felt bad that she had to use heating oil at her home home and would love the opportunity to use gas.

The digesters installed at Bromham House Farm convert cattle waste into both gas and electricity as part of a project with Wales and West Utilities. Enough gas is generated to fuel around 7,000 homes a year and provide electricity for up to 300 homes.

His next project is to build giant green houses for tomatoes that would turn the C02 gas from the digesters into oxygen. He said: "This would make the whole scheme totally green.

Ms Perry suggested that instead of tomatoes Mr Butler could grow cannabis in the form of hemp, for medicinal purposes a practice which is gaining support from farmers across the country since a change in the law.

But Mr Butler's green energy projects have not gained support among some in other villages near Devizes.

His plan for a large concrete platform and track close to an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has caused an outcry in Etchilhampton and All Cannings.

He has submitted a revised scheme to Wiltshire Council which is likely to go to eastern area planning committee next month.

As part of the Bromham scheme he wants to be able to store chopped up energy crops such as maize and rye grown on land in All Cannings and Etchilhampton on the new concrete pad at Manor Farm in All Cannings.

Gazette and Herald - 22 October 2018

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View from the tower of SAt Nicholas Church, Bromham, Wiltshire