OK, so not actual Elephants – but Elephant grass.
Nottinghamshire County Council are growing the crop at a former landfill site at Fiskerton and is the first of its kind by a local authority.
Elephant grass is native to tropical and sub-tropical regions of Africa and South Asia. It has shallow roots which means it does not penetrate waste within soil that is contaminated on brownfield sites. The grass has the highest energy-giving properties per hectare of any biofuel crop it’s an ideal way of transforming areas like the former landfill site at Fiskerton into income generators. It is also popular with ‘green reformers’ as it doesn’t compete with food crop production and is therefore seen as a ‘second generation’ bio fuel.
The elephant grass grown at the site could earn the council £4,000 a year. The crop, which grows up to 3m (10ft) high, can be made into a biofuel and sold to power stations. Once established the first crop will be harvested in 2013.
If successful, the scheme could be rolled out to other sites that cannot be farmed for food
The council received a grant from Natural England, towards the costs of planting and establishing the crop.