AN innovative project in Cornwall - that has raised an incredible £30,000 through crowdfunding - is hoping to tackle climate change with biochar. 

Restord, a project founded by Tom Previte, is aiming to remove CO2 from the atmosphere by using biochar on soil. Biochar is a charcoal-like substance that is made by cooking wood residues without oxygen using pyrolysis technology. According to Tom, the biochar can be anywhere from 60-95% carbon. 

Raising funds for a pilot project will help Tom, who farms on his 200-acre family farm in Liskeard, Cornwall, and his team to test biochar on local Cornish farms. Restord are partnering with two farmers to run on-farm trials. 

"We're seeking funds to help purchase the pyrolysis technology needed to produce biochar on-farm," said Tom.

"This project is in partnership with CapChar, a UK biochar company, who provide turnkey agricultural carbon removal solutions. CapChar will supply the pyrolysis technology and software infrastructure needed for us to completely run our biochar project, which will be the first site, on-farm in the UK.

"Biochar offers a transformative opportunity for farmers. The application of biochar on soil has numerous benefits including increased water retention, and nutrient capacity, promoting topsoil regeneration and enhancing biodiversity. There’s evidence that biochar added to cattle feed also reduces methane emissions.

"As well as all these potential benefits being researched, biochar is also a form of carbon removal.

"By backing our campaign, you're not just supporting a project; you're joining a movement towards a more sustainable future. Join us as we share our story, from conception to implementation, and together, let's make a difference to our climate and the way we farm."

To donate to the project, click here

Tom is also running a podcast alongside the project to document the journey. Grounded: A Climate Startup Journey will discuss the highs and lows of the biochar pilot, and Tom will seek advice from others along the way. 

Guests on the podcast will include: 

  • Councillor Martin Alvey, portfolio holder for Environment and Climate Change at Cornwall Council
  • Richard Tamblin, Cornwall-based mixed farmer
  • Mick and Darren Jones, Welsh farmers and founders of Woodtek Biochar
  • Genevieve Hodgins, Project Manager at The Biochar Demonstrator
  • Alex Hume, Senior Associate at Finance Earth
  • Nikolaus Wohlgemuth, Carbon Markets Expert at Carbonfuture
  • Emily Swaddle, co-host of The Carbon Removal Show

The first episode of the podcast is available now on all major podcast services.