Loyton is a world-renowned shooting venue near Exmoor. Loyton Lodge is the exclusive country house retreat at the centre of the shoot and sleeps up to 20 guests, they have a very large heating and hot water demand in particular in winter during the shooting season.

There are also estate cottages and the shoot lunch room all supplied by the district heating system. The properties were heated by a combination of oil and an existing woodchip boiler that had become very inefficient, this was giving the estate a very large and burdensome fuel bill. Dunster were brought in to examine the existing system and advise on improving the system or if it was feasible to replace the existing set up with something that be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive. Our recommendation was that the old boiler needed to be decommissioned and replace with a new ETA HACK woodchip system.

Fuel Supply and Chip Handling

Woodland around the estate is harvested and seasoned at various different sites and then annually chipped into their large Dutch barn that is away from the new boiler room and Lodge, it is then loaded into trailers and taken down to the fuel store where it can be tipped in through the purpose-built sliding roof of the semi-subterranean fuel store, it is expected to use around 100 ton of woodchip per annum.

System Design and Installation

The system was designed to satisfy 100% of the heat and hot water demand across all of the properties connected to the district heating scheme when fuelled by woodchip. Due to the particular demands of running a hotel, we advised the backup precaution of installing the existing 150kW oil boiler in the plant room, this is set up in such a way that it could also deliver peak load heat if the harshest of winters hit the site. Not only did we modernise everything within the plant room we upgraded the entire system, controls and pump network to provide a more efficient overall site.


The project has brought substantial environmental and financial benefits to the estate.


April 2014


Supply of hot water and heating to a country house hotel and boutique bed and breakfast, shooting lodge, shoot buildings and additional cottages.

Boiler and Plant

1 x Eta Hack 199 biomass boiler and a 5000 ltr accumulator tank in a purpose-built plant room with semi-subterranean fuel store. A centralised oil heat load and back up boiler is also located in main plant room.


The boiler is set up to use G30-G50 woodchip and is brought into the estate via 6 wheel lorries and tipped into the fuel store through the sliding roof. There is then a 5m rotary agitator at the bottom of the fuel store feeding the boiler.


The system was self-funded.


Existing oil and woodchip costs of around £25,000 per annum. The new system is likely to halve these costs and should generate an additional income of approx. £20,000 per annum from the Renewable Heat Incentive.

Our 90kw ETA Hack wood chip boiler suffered water damage in late 2014. Dunster Biomass Heating was the only company that could fix the issues without costing me new components. What we have learned is simple. Experience is key! When there is an unusual problem you need more than a guy with a manual – you need a company with the expertise, ability and willingness to solve the problem!

Nick Hiscox, Director, GSF Livestock Equipment