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New uses for wood chip put forward

Researchers from the University College Northampton (UCN) have unearthed several new and innovative uses for recycled woodchip.

The material is already a popular choice for use as a plant bed mulch, paths and play area surfacing.

But it can also be used for marking picnic spots under trees, reducing erosion on steep banks and mopping up muddy areas around car parks or near the water's edge.

This means areas that may have been unsuitable for public access become usable. As the material is long lasting and is an effective weed suppressant, it also means maintenance will be reduced and the need to top up will be infrequent.

The study was commissioned by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to explore potential landscaping uses for the product in local authority environments.

WRAP material development manager for wood Julia Turner said: "As well as helping local authorities meet their sustainability and environmental obligations, recycled woodchip - made from post consumer wood waste such as old pallets - is an extremely durable, cost effective surfacing product, which reduces maintenance requirements such as weeding and watering."

She urged local authorities and contractors to consider how recycled woodchip may benefit their locality. WRAP is currently looking for other local authorities to trial the product.

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