FORMER Cairngorms National Park media chief Danny Alexander returned there yesterday in his capacity as a local MP to promote the use of renewable energy within the park’s boundaries.
The Liberal Democrat MP opened a free training event at a woodfuel fair at Alvie Estate as the first step in the creation of a “woodfuel action plan” to demonstrate how householders or businesses in the park can use resources on their doorstep to help tackle climate change. Mr Alexander believes woodfuel offers major economic opportunities for the park with a potential to generate local jobs as well as cost savings for residents and business.
He said: “Most importantly, it will offer huge environmental benefits. This is a local renewable energy source and it is fantastic that this event is taking place to inform and train people in the national park about it.”
Park authority convener David Green said: “Switching to renewable sources of energy has benefits on so many levels from the main objective: tackling climate change, which is a linchpin of the national park plan, to bringing about benefits for the local economy with increased forestry activity and employment in this sector.
“Promoting the sustainable use of the park’s natural resources is one of the aims of the national park, so using woodfuel to replace fossil fuels adds value to this resource.”
Alvie House, on the Alvie Estate, already uses woodfuel for its heating and the estate runs its own onsite supply business.
Giving visitors a first-hand look at the operation, estate owner Jamie Williamson said: “Using locally sourced wood for heating has reduced our heating costs, given us greater control of our energy requirements and made the estate more self-sufficient.”