R Plevin & Sons Ltd has strengthened its position in the UK animal bedding market after building a £1.5m purpose-built wood by-product processing facility and acquiring the Woodpecker brand and assets from Sinclair Animal & Household Care Ltd.

Elkesley-based Plevin’s new manufacturing plant has “significantly” increased its overall production capacity and is designed to improve product quality and consistency. It will also enable wood shavings, milled wood fibre and kiln dried sawdust to be produced in conveniently sized bales.

An automatic baling plant is able to produce up to 550 bales of wood shavings, milled wood fibre or sawdust an hour, while raw material bulk storage facilities have also been expanded to a capacity of 5,000 tonnes.

Managing director Jamie Plevin said: “The acquisition of the Woodpecker business is the next step in a plan to establish Plevin as leaders in the supply of wood-based bedding products to the UK animal care market.”

The company aims to use Woodpecker, currently established in the equestrian market, to expand its market share in the poultry and cattle bedding markets.

The Woodpecker range, acquired for an undisclosed sum, will be extended with the launch of a new dust-free milled wood fibre product and a range of kiln dried sawdust packs for the dairy cattle market.