History at Forest Fuels

Big pile of Forest Fuels logs
Forrest Fuels tree with purple flowered background

Forest Fuels Company History

Explore our timeline from our beginnings to the present day

2000

Founder Sam Whatmore starts working in wood fuel, diversifying his forestry management business and investigating different uses for timber

2003-5

Following installation of a wood chip boiler and small district heating network on his farm, Sam visits various European countries as well as America on UK DTI-funded overseas missions to investigate wood fuel

2006

Forest Fuels Ltd is founded as a Limited Company, aiming to supply wood chip across the south west

2008

Forest Fuels wins large contract to supply wood chip to new boiler at an MOD base

2009

Win 15 year contract with NHS to supply wood chip to hospital in Truro, and opens a new depot in central Cornwall

Purchase of a purpose-built wood chip blower lorry

2010

  • Peter Solly starts as new Managing Director and invests in business
  • Win “Supplier or installer of the Year” at Green Energy Awards
  • Company now operating from 5 depots, spread strategically across the south west
  • Win large contract to supply woodchip to 5 schools in Bristol

2011

  • Runner up at Renewable Energy Association awards for Company of the Year 2011 – “the company that has done the most to advance UK renewables”
  • Purchase of wood fuel specialists, Silvapower Ltd, operating in South Yorkshire
  • Renewable Heat Incentive launched
  • Accredited by Woodsure Quality Assurance scheme

2012

  • Purchase of English Wood Fuels and expansion into East Midlands and East Anglia
  • Company now operating from 15 depots, supplying over 300 customers with Premium Grade wood fuel

2013

  • Expansion includes new contracts in Suffolk (supply of chip and pellet to over 20 schools) and Hull (several schools heated with chip)
  • Accreditation to the ENplus Trader Quality Assurance scheme for wood pellet supply
  • Finalists in the British Renewable Energy Awards and the Green Energy Awards
  • Expand further north with appointment of a manager in York

2014

  • RHI really kick-starts the development of the market - large increase in biomass boilers, particularly pellet boilers towards the end of the year
  • First two ESCOs installed (where we own a biomass boiler, installed at a customer's site)
  • Substantial investment in strengthening the staff team, both at Head Office in Devon and in the regions

2015

  • Further fast growth. Now over 1,100 customers
  • £7.5m of sales in the year ending March 2015 with an approximatly equal split between wood chip and wood pellet
  • Investment in new IT system, covering all aspects of the company