Anaerobic digester design for on-farm plug-flow and community food waste
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About Lutra

Who we are

About us

Established in April 2014 and based alongside the River Teme (lutra lutra is the Latin name for the European Otter), Lutra specialises in the design of small-scale plug-flow digesters for farms and for community AD.

Michael Chesshire, director of Lutra, has been an AD engineer since 1975, and is a prominent name in the industry. In his 40 year career he pioneered prefabricated sewage sludge digesters (in the 1980s), and pioneered the AD of food waste (in the 1990s and 2000s.)

Michael has worked closely with Phil Greenaway since 2008. Phil is based at Spalding in Lincolnshire and leads GMT Biogas which is a sister company of Lutra, developing on-farm AD particularly in the East of England.

Our own on-site AD plant “BMAD” recycles food waste which we collect from pubs, restaurants, schools and a food producer, all within a 5-mile radius of Ludlow in Shropshire. BMAD has been operating for three years and is a model for community AD. 

Our Team

Together Everyone Achieves More.

Michael Chesshire


Michael is a Cambridge engineering graduate who, after a short time in the nuclear industry, set up his first AD business Farmgas at the age of 22. Since then he has established himself as one of the UK’s leading experts in AD, including pioneering the AD of food waste in the Defra demonstration plant at Ludlow during his ownership of Greenfinch. He continues to run his own AD plant ‘BMAD’ from home on locally collected food waste.

Michael has been a board member of the REA since 2009, and has been the chairman of the REA Policy Board since 2015. In 2017 Michael was elected to the Board of the European Biogas Association. A visiting professor at the University of Southampton, Michael remains influential within the industry at an education level, an advisory level and on the ground with the on-going development of his small scale plug flow system.

Phil Greenaway

Business Development

Phil has been in AD since 2008 and has an in-depth knowledge of anaerobic digestion process, but with the ability to translate this information to the client in user friendly terms.

Martin Aplin

CAD Draughtsman

Martin is our CAD draughtsman, preparing 3D models and layouts for customer approval, and also detailed drawings for costings and for production.

He has many years experience in both production and development engineering, working in various types of industry.

Heather Mason

Office Manager

Heather manages the administrative side of Lutra and is your first point of contact in our offices at Barrett’s Mill.

With a degree in Geography (BA Hons) from Aberystwyth University she has worked as a head receptionist and in business banking prior to joining Lutra. Heather's role includes the day-to-day running of the offices, assisting with the monitoring of the on site AD plant BMAD and liaising with local producers of food waste.

Edmund Khoo


Edmund was our summer intern in 2016, recently graduating from University College London with a Chemical Engineering (BEng) degree. Edmund is continuing his Chemical Engineering (MEng) programme at UCL.

Justin Parry

Commissioning Engineer

What We Do

AD Consultancy

Lutra provides process design for AD plants – process calculations, process flow, P&IDs, civil design, mechanical design and electrical design.

Food Waste AD

Lutra has built its own small scale plug flow digester for food waste at its premises near Ludlow and we are working with local businesses and festivals to collect and process food waste and compostable materials. Removing unnecessary food waste transport and preventing resources going to landfill, local AD can turn waste into renewable energy, and to a project specific scale and capacity. Ongoing research explores the limitations of small scale AD monitoring feed stock variables and subsequent outputs. If you are locally based we can offer food waste collections to suit your business needs, be it weekly, twice-weekly, monthly or even one-off events we are here to help.


Examples of our AD plants

BMAD - Food Waste




Contact Us

Please forward your enquiry via the form below, by email to or call us on 01584 711659

Find Us

Barrett’s Mill, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 4AH

01584 711659

Please ignore your SatNav and use the map provided.

Travelling South on the A49 towards Leominster, as you come over the skewed railway bridge we are the next left, down a farm track. If you reach The Salwey Arms you've gone too far.

Travelling North on the A49 towards Ludlow, as you pass The Salwey Arms, the road bares right handed as indicated by chevrons, just around that corner turn right down the farm track. If you cross the skewed railway bridge you've gone too far and it is safest to turn around at the lay-by at Ashford Bowdler.

Leaving Lutra - it is suggested for safety reasons that when leaving Lutra, regardless of your route, that you turn left and head South on the A49 initially. It is easy to subsequently turn around to head North and much safer due to the restricted view when pulling out of the junction.