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the history of apsley farms

who were are and how we got here

WE ARE HERE

Apsley Farms is a family-run farming and energy production business in the south of England. Since 1991, the Farm has been run by the du Val de Beaulieu family. Henry du Val de Beaulieu is currently senior Director, with his son Edward as Operations Manager.

The Apsley Farms estate is a 1150-acre (465 Ha) site in the heart of the Hampshire countryside. The estate is a couple of miles north-east of Andover, and borders the Bourne river. The farm is well-placed to serve customers throughout the south of England.

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OUR HISTORY

In 2007 Henry was out in Germany looking at how bio methane engines were being used on landfill sites to make use of the gas being produced, whilst out there he came across the biogas industry and thought this would be interesting to see if it financially stacked up. He realised that generating green power requires a subsidy as the price of electricity is so cheap from fossil fuels.

In 2010 the government announced the Feed In Tarif and the numbers then stacked up to make it more profitable than growing cereal crops.

In 2011 the family took the decision to jump in and build an Anaerobic digestion plant to turn arable crops into electricity, by breaking down plant material obtained from our own farm. A number of things then went against us along with the German technology provider going into administration before they had finished the build and a number of the technologies they sold us not working. The plant was supposed to be run by half a person which works well for a 1,000 acre farm. The problem was that it wasn’t half a person it was five people to keep it all working 24/7 and that meant there was no profit.

By 2014 they had realised they had to grow the business otherwise there would be no business. They knew that there was a suitable pipeline within their fields that they could turn the biogas being made into biomethane, and with a lot of help from SGN (Scotia Gas Networks) they helped make this happen. The Apsley plant injects enough biomethane per year of (renewable natural gas) for 8,500 houses of gas all year round.

In 2016 the business decided that capturing the co2 being released to the air would make good commercial sense, this co2 was captured from the arable crops as they grew in the first place. So far the business has produced over 60,000 tons of food grade liquid co2 into the food and drink industry.

This carbon dioxide by-product is sustainable, high-quality and certified food-grade, suitable for food and beverage industries. We operate our own fleet of tankers to deliver bulk orders for a range of businesses including breweries and bakeries. We also have CO2 testing facilities onsite for CO2 certification of analysis for ours and other co2 facilities needing 24 hour certification.

Apsley Farms uses modern farming equipment and techniques to maximise efficiency whilst out in the field. Digestate from the back-end of the plant helps to fertilise the following years crop. With the different arable contracts available from a growing a standing crop through to Farm Business Tenancy Apsley Farms are helping many farmers and land owners with there different needs. Our carbon footprint of around one-fifth of ‘natural gas’, the biomethane production provides sustainable fuel to help meet the UK’s energy needs and climate targets.

But our ambitions go further still and we’re committed to making our operations completely carbon neutral. Apsley Farms produce organically certified and sustainable gardening products By-products of our green energy production including soil improving mulch, woodchip and Natural Plant Food, a concentrated liquid fertiliser which is made from plants, for plants and available from our online shop!

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