Archive for September, 2014


29
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Lets Get Energized says:
Visit us at the Eden Natural Lifestyle Fair in Buckland Newton Dorset


Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


eden-fair-2014

Eden Natural Lifestyle Fair hosted by Primrose’s Kitchen
Saturday 4th October, 10am – 4pm
Eden Park, Buckland Newton, Dorset DT2 7DJ

Come and meet some of the Dorset Energized team and find out about renewable energy here in Dorset at our first holistic fair, which will also be a celebration of holistic therapies, natural food producers and natural lifestyle products.

Our friends at Compassionate Dorset will also be there promoting the benefits of eating less meat and vegetarian and vegan diets so will have some vegan cakes and treats for sale and lots of recipes.



29
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Lets Get Energized says:
Communities Living Sustainably – Bridport Events, 20th – 23rd October


Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Electric Transport, Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Sustainable Living
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Communities Living Sustainably – Bridport Events, 20th – 23rd October

Save money, turn waste to something useful, and have fun

Inspired by the idea of ‘Living Differently’, the themes of One World Week, Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset is staging a series of events to encourage, promote and champion sustainable alternatives in our food, energy and financial systems as well as in our personal lives. Come and join us – most are free, and should appeal to a wide range of interests!

On Wednesday 22nd October CLS in Dorset and many others will be helping you to Waste Less and Spend Better. This FREE event will be held between 12pm and 6pm in the Town Hall and Bucky Doo Square, will host experts on energy, water, waste, food and transport, as well as lots of fun activities. In the square we’ll be serving hot soup, offering your bicycle a check-up, and hosting the Real Food Shop. Upstairs in the Town Hall, enter our best driver competition, get money saving tips, and use your crafty skills to convert your “rubbish” to a “resource”. Emily Bullock, CLS event organiser says “This event will offer very practical ways of saving money on household bills, and you’ll be able to cash in your savings – by claiming your free chocolate coins!”

In the evening (19.30-21.30hrs) CLS is bringing filmmaker, creativity czar and founder member of dance music group Faithless, Jamie Catto, to Bridport’s Lyric Theatre to talk about the Deeper Roots of Sustainability. Jamie speaks in universal truths, and will show us that it is not just about what we eat and where we buy it, but also how we change our relationship to the world around us. We will have a chance to see an extract from his award-winning films, and local food producers will join in a Q&A session so we can find out more about solutions on our doorstep.

To help us consider how to keep money in the local economy, the think-and-do tank New Economics Foundation will be delivering a FREE workshop — Plugging the Leaks: Local Economic Development as if People and Planet Mattered (Thursday 23rd October, morning, in Dorchester). Since the financial crisis of 2008, local communities have been demanding a greater role in our financial system through ethical investment, participatory budgeting and the creation of local currencies that support economic resilience and promote personal wellbeing. The workshop will encourage local communities to take a different approach to economic development: one that is local, community-led and puts the needs of people before profit.

On October 20th (14.00-17.00), CLS will also be collaborating with West Dorset Friends of the Earth to host Alan Heeks’ and Serenna Davies’ workshop on Personal Resilience: Staying Happy in Changeable Times, at Bridport’s Chapel in the Garden. This event offers practical skills — a resilience toolkit — to help manage the chaos of climate change, public service budget cuts, and the general pressures of modern life. There is a small charge for this workshop.

CLS in Dorset is one of 12 programmes funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Communities Living Sustainably programme. This has made it possible for most of the events to be free. For further information, and to book your free place for the Jamie Catto evening and the Plugging the Leaks workshop, visit HYPERLINK “http://www.clsdorset.org.uk/one_world_week.aspx” http://www.clsdorset.org.uk/one_world_week.aspx.

For Further information:

Media enquiries contact: Candida Blaker, Dorset CLS Programme Manager: candida.blaker@dorsetcommunityaction.org.uk

For further background, visit www.clsdorset.org.uk

CLS in Dorset is supported by the Big Lottery Fund for a three year period from March 2013. Dorset is one of the Big Lottery Fund’s 12 Communities Living Sustainably (CLS) programmes in England, and is the only such programme in the Southwest.

CLS in Dorset aims to help people adapt to climate change and to live more sustainably. The project strives to act as a catalyst for action, building on the great work already taking place in the local area and exploring some innovative approaches. The programme will be delivered in Bridport, Dorchester and their surrounding areas.

CLS in Dorset is focusing on Greener Choices and Energy Efficiency; Renewable Energy; Local Food; Eco-Schools; Climate Change Adaptation with fishing and farming communities and older people.

CLS Living Differently - Poster

CLS Living Differently – Poster

 



29
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Lets Get Energized says:
Yes to Wind – Get Your Signs


Category: Wind Power
Tags: , , ,


Yes to Wind – Get Your Signs

West Dorset Pro Wind Group asked us if we could help spread the word about their new super positive pro wind signs and posters – we are happy to do so.  Words and image below from West Dorset Pro Wind:

Take this opportunity to show your support for Wind Energy

This is a critical time in Dorset with 3 proposals for windfarms at Slyers Lane, Blandford Hill and Tolpuddle being considered. Wouldn’t it be great if councillors and planning officers were to encounter these beautiful pro-wind posters as well as anti posters on their travels?

These posters will serve to remind us that surveys always show the majority are pro-wind.

We should not remain the silent majority!

Yes to Wind signs -ideal in the garden or on a fence. £4  – 60cm x 40cm,  same material as “House for Sale” signs and last months outdoors

Yes to Wind posters- good for windows  A3 quality paper   £1

To order  westdorsetprowind@outlook.com
Ideally picked up or delivered from Dorchester but could discuss options.

Download available to print or to share.  No copyright and with kind permission of the designer

Contact West Dorset Pro Wind Group if you want any & and pass the word

Download .pdf – Yes to Wind_noLogo

Yes to Wind - Poster

Yes to Wind – Poster



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Lets Get Energized says:
NGPS Announce Autumn Renewable Energy Advice Road Shows


Category: Energy Events in Dorset
Tags:


NGPS Limited has announced they will sponsor a series of Renewable Energy Advice Road Shows in Dorset, designed to help local homeowners become better informed in their fight against rising energy prices.

Each road show will feature expert advice from the event organizers, on the latest government financial incentives of up to twenty years.

The South West’s Renewable Energy Award-Winning Installer, NGPS, will also be discussing how the products integrate into your home – and the level of savings you can expect on your energy bills.

The next 2014 dates are:

15th October – Harmans Cross Village Hall

Dorset Energized will there with information, e-bikes, an electric Nissan LEAF car and more!
Harmans Cross in Dorset BH19 3EB
10.00am to 2.30pm
www.harmanscrosshall.co.uk

1st November – Sparsholt Memorial Hall

Sparsholt near Winchester SO21 2NR
10.00am to 3.30pm
www.bing.com/maps/?lvl= 15&where1=SO21%202NR,%20UK& FORM=MMREDR

12th November – Duberville Memorial Hall

Wool in Dorset BH20 5DL
10.00am to 2.30pm
www.woolparishcouncil. co.uk/contactform.htm

15th November –  Awbridge Hall near Romsey

10.00am to 3.30pm
www.awbridge.info/contact

19th November – Bovington Hall

Bovington, Dorset BH 6JQ
10.00am to 2.30pm
http://bovingtonhive.blogspot. co.uk/2013/06/bovington- memorial-hall-activities.html

VISITORS are advised to book their place via nick@ngps-ltd.co.uk

NGPS is also pleased to provide a free tea or coffee, with cake, for visitors to enjoy and relax while they chat to invited experts.

We look forward to seeing you there!


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince Adams comments:
    "great shows good luck with project "
    September 28, 2014 a 8:52 am


24
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Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Electric Car Charging


Category: Electric Transport, Sustainable Energy Stories
Tags: , , ,


Electric Car Charging

I extracted the text below from a recent speech by Baroness Kramer.

“The UK already has the best network of rapid chargepoints in Europe.

And London has more chargepoints than petrol stations.

By the end of this year, there will be rapid chargepoints in every motorway service station in England, taking as little as 20 minutes to charge up a car.”

I have a friend with an electric car and frequently travel with him. It is Ecotricity who have put the rapid chargers at motorway service stations and they are free (amazing!) The journey to London in a Leaf takes just one stop at Fleet services (which you would probably stop at anyway) and there are fast chargers all over the place. Travelling back from Bridport to Dorchester we stopped to top up at the little chef’s fast charger and when you look at a charger map (such as this one) to plan a 100 mile plus journey, your range anxiety disappears.



24
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Erik Blakeley says:
How much is enough?


Category: Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , ,


How much is enough?

Anti- renewables campaigners have been making much of the suggestion that we have enough or nearly enough Renewable Energy capacity to meet the 2020 target in Dorset. I maintain that this is false on many levels.

To show why I think it is untrue we have to look at what lies behind this sudden shift of tack. After all it is only very recently that these same antis were saying that Renewables are a waste of time because they hardly ever generate much electricity, could never make a real difference and are only about fat cat industrialists milking subsidies. Now they want to make out that the small amounts of renewable capacity we see around our county is enough to meet our targets. It is true that renewables nationally are making a significant impact. With continuing rapid investment and capacity building we might make our targets.

Where is their data coming from? Some of the most comprehensive data they are using has recently been prepared by Dr Peacock of the Dorset CPRE. His data suggests that if 80% or more of the large scale field mounted PV projects in planning (including several in the most tentative early stages of planning) are approved and built before 2020 then we might reach the 2020 target as interpreted in the Dorset Renewable Energy Plan.

Firstly there is a world of difference between having planning applications in the system and having enough renewable energy capacity on the ground so currently we do not have enough capacity to meet any targets and any anti who claims otherwise is either mistaken or lying. Secondly the list of planning applications includes some very large schemes and some on very sensitive land including one of 220 acres and one 100 acre site not only in the AONB but also on an SSSI. It would seem very unlikely that the CPRE or other groups who have opposed renewables applications in the past would support anywhere near the 80% of the capacity mentioned in Dr Peacock’s submission. I’m not entirely convinced that such schemes are the best way forward and would look to see some pretty convincing Environmental Impact Assessments before giving them my automatic support.

Next is the all-important question of what the Dorset Renewable Energy Plan calls for. I have been critical of the plan since I first read it a couple of years ago. I do not believe that it goes anywhere near far enough in setting targets for renewable energy generation in Dorset. I went as far as to state my opinion at the time that is was more of a NIMBY’s charter than a plan for renewable energy! The way it is being used by anti-renewables groups has proved me right. What is wrong with it? It calls for Dorset to generate 7.5% of its primary energy excluding transport from renewable energy sources cited in Dorset by 2020. Not only is this only half of the 15% target set nationally for 2020 but the exclusion of transport makes it in effect even less than that. The authors of the report envisage the other 7.5% and all the corresponding savings in transport emissions to come from “national” measures. I interpret this as meaning “put it in someone else’s back yard” and would point to the antis’ attitude to the most important national measure in our area as evidence for this interpretation. The measure I refer to is Navitus Bay – the lowest impact scheme for Dorset possible who’s only downside is the same as all offshore schemes in that the cost of the electricity it produces is likely to be about the same as that of nuclear – ie fairly high. Even more important is the fact that the Dorset Renewable Energy Plan, like all the thinking of the antis, appears to regard 2020 as the end of the process. We have been hearing in the last few days about the climate marches and pressure on world leaders to set meaningful targets for carbon reduction not just for the next 6 years but for real progress towards proper sustainability and carbon neutrality by the middle of the century.2020 is only a way marker. If we exceed the target for that date, however it is calculated, then that is a good thing not a mistake. We are still taking the low hanging fruit. Any extra progress we make now will only help us keep up the momentum when things get harder in the next few decades. We certainly should not reject any projects just because we may or may not reach the 2020 target without them.

In conclusion, Renewable energy technologies have proved their potential and are making a real impact but we still have a long way to go. Dorset is trailing badly compared with other counties and needs to get on with building as large a capacity of a mixed bag of renewable technologies as possible. Far from being especially unsuitable for renewable energy generation Dorset has excellent resources and limited pressures on space and demand so we should be doing better than other places not worse.


2Comments | Post your own comment


20
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Anna Celeste Watson says:
FREE Dorchester ‘Try This…’ Festival 27th September – 4th October 2014


Category: Energy Events in Dorset
Tags:


Great to see the Try This… festival in Dorchester Dorset is back this year!

Try This… celebrates people teaching other people what they know and what they can do. It invites you to open your mind a bit, explore something you’ve always wanted to learn or something you’ve never even heard of before.

Every session is FREE, fun, and anyone will be welcome to attend!

Here a just a few of the events that I think look of particular interest:

  • Sunday 28th September – Forest Schools Activities (green wood construction & how to make a camp fire) – Thorncombe Wood, 2pm – 4pm
  • Wednesday 1st October – Energy Saving at Work and Home – Dorchester Corn Exchange, 1pm – 2pm
  • OR Wednesday 1st October – Local Plants and Medicine – Dorchester Borough Gardens House, 1pm – 2pm
  • Saturday 4th October – Poultry Keeping – Dorchester Community Farm Poundbury, 9.30am – 10.30am
  • Followed by Saturday 4th October –  Beekeeping – Dorchester Community Farm Poundbury, 10.30am – 11.30am

Most sessions have a maximum number of places available, and although booking is not essential it is highly recommended if there are some sessions that really catch your eye.

To view the full list of events or to book your place visit: www.dorchestertrythis.org.uk



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Lets Get Energized says:
Wessex EcoEnergy


Category: Biomass Energy, Dorset Energized News, Energy Deals & Offers, Green Deal, Renewable Energy
Tags: , , , ,


Wessex EcoEnergy

Dorset Energized recently attended and exhibited at the Dorset County Show, with a stand in the tent provided by Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset. Alongside us in the tent, were Wessex EcoEnergy – and below is some information about them that they provided us with:

Wessex ECOEnergy is a local renewable energy company based in Dorchester and provide renewable energy systems to homes and businesses.

One of the company founders attended Thomas Hardye School so grew up in the local area. They aim to take more of a consultative approach to your renewable energy needs and offer combined systems to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and energy price rises.

They specialise in providing and combining:

The World’s leading Solar Thermal system: Which uses daylight to heat your hot water and central heating system. Clients can save on average 50% to 75% of their annual bills and get ongoing payments from the government via the RHI (renewable heat incentive) scheme.

Market Leading Biomass
Their Froling solution is a market leader offering pellet, wood and combined wood and pellet boilers. Also benefits from substantial RHI payments.

Primary business clients:
Hotels
Farms
Nursing Homes
Nurseries
Schools/Universities
Airports
Caravan Parks/Campsites
Supermarkets
Breweries
Any business that owns it’s own premises
Homes
Any home with a reliance on oil will make a substantial saving
Detached properties
Households with 4 or more people

Contact for a consultation and quote:
sales@wessexecoenergy.com
01305 250429



18
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Anna Celeste Watson says:
Wildlife Friendly Gardening for Wild About Gardens Week 2014


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Wildlife & Nature
Tags: ,


Bee on Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'

I was going to blog this week about how my partner Stu and I are planning on applying for the Dorset Wildlife’s Trust’s Wildlife Friendly Garden Award Scheme, and talk a bit about how now is a good time to think about wildlife friendly gardening when we are tackling our gardens this Autumn for the Winter, when I discovered that it is actually Wild About Gardens Week!

Wild About Gardens Week

According to Wild About Gardens, over the past 50 years we’ve seen declines in two thirds of our plant and animal species, so Wild About Gardens is a joint initiative by the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts to encourage people to support local biodiversity in their gardens.

The massive decline in the UK’s animal and plant species is for a range of reasons including loss of habitat from housing developments and farming. Many of our common garden species – hedgehogs, house sparrows, starlings and common frogs, for example – are becoming much less common. This is where gardeners can make a difference, by making their own gardens and the green spaces in their communities more wildlife friendly.

Community Grass Free Lawn Event in Dorset

Sat 20th September at Poundbury Garden Centre, Dorchester (9am – 6pm)

Here in Dorset, you help to create a Grass Free Lawn of low-growing flowering plants to be installed in the Dorchester Borough Gardens on Easter Monday next year 2015.

Pop along to the Poundbury Garden Centre to collect your free seed trays, peat-free compost and seeds, plant each different species in a separate seed tray, look after them at home and bring them along to the Borough Gardens for the Grand Planting Day next year.

Or find out if there is a Wild About Gardens Week event near you at www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk

Provide a sanctuary for wildlife this Winter

From hedgehogs and butterflies to birds and bats; it’s time to join forces and do something to help wildlife in your garden! For example, stems and seedheads provide habitats in your garden border so go easy on cutting back (which means less work for us too, hooray!).

Watch some ideas on how to encourage beneficial wildlife to stay in your garden through the coldest months:

Find out lots more about what you can do in your own garden at www.wildaboutgardens.org.uk and make sure you visit The RHS and The Wildlife Trusts for more tips on how you can make a difference this autumn.

The Wildlife Friendly Garden Award Scheme

Creating a wildlife-friendly garden (at any time of the year) makes a valuable contribution towards conserving your local wildlife and can form a vital patchwork linking urban areas with the wider countryside.

The Wildlife Trusts say that garden acreage is at least five times that of all the nature reserves and national parks put together. Climate change is also a real threat for our wildlife and having safe havens with food and water all year round could help some of our more vulnerable species survive.

Here’s the current criteria for the Dorset Wildlife’s Trust’s Wildlife Friendly Garden Award Scheme:

You need to send photographic evidence to show you have five or more from the list below, to include at least one from each column A, B and C to be eligible for a plaque saying you have a ‘Wildlife Friendly Garden’.

A: HABITATS

  • Wildlife Pond
  • Bog or permanently wet area
  • Bird Bath
  • Bird Box
  • Bat Box

B: PLANTING

  • Wild flower Meadow
  • Climbing plants/Trellises suitable for nesting and feeding
  • Nectar rich flower border and bushes
  • Mixed Native Hedge
  • Mature Native Tree

C: MANAGEMENT

  • Log pile and/or substantial decaying tree stump
  • Compost Heap
  • Long Grass area
  • No-go area
  • Slug pellet free

Stu and I have discovered we already more than qualify for the plaque, basically because we quite like wild gardens and are so busy working from home as Designers we don’t spend a huge amount of time gardening to be honest, although it is very grounding and satisfying when we do!

Apart from feeding the birds (and squirrels!) every day, making sure water trays are full for our frogs and resident hedgehogs, having a compost bin which our slow worms and smaller worms love, some bay trees which our lovely resident blackbird family sleep in, some runner beans that the slugs and snails love (we would NEVER dream of using slug pellets which can kill hedgehogs) and a couple of log piles left over from last time we gardened, we’d also like to actively create even more space for nature… so watch this space!!!

Find out more on www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife-friendly-gardens-scheme.html and I’ll update you on if and when we get our plaque, hopefully soon!

Also check out Friends of the Earth’s 4 steps to a beautiful Bee World as we all know by now that its vital we have plants to feed the bees, as they are crucial to our whole ecosystem. Until next time… : )


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Natalie B. comments:
    "I love this article! I like events like garden week! There are many great ideas you can learn. I think it is very important to make your garden animal-friendly. I do everything I can to have many birds in the garden! Thanks for sharing! "
    October 15, 2014 a 10:42 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "This approach to helping wildlife by the way we garden is very close to my heart.
    My wife Lin has spent the last 25 years putting together a natural organic garden that we believe is a haven for wildlife of every kind.
    Our passion is seeing the bees and butterflies thrive and our ash, beech and silver birch trees grow ever bigger each year.
    2014 has been an amazing year with weather that appears to be perfect for the natural garden to thrive.
    If everyone of us changed our habits by allowing piles of garden rubbish to stay in situ the bees would thrive, hedgehogs, insects of all kinds and think of all the energy saved when big trucks don’t have to collect garden waste bags !! "

    September 18, 2014 a 5:37 pm


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Anna Celeste Watson says:
Meat Free Monday – Climate Pledge Campaign


Category: Climate Change, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living
Tags:


The Meat Free Monday team including Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters Mary and Stella, are encouraging people to take the pledge to skip meat one day a week, to reduce their carbon footprint and help tackle climate change.

The ‘Meat Free Monday Climate Pledge’ campaign (make sure you follow and use the twitter tag #MFMclimatepledge) will run during the build up to the UN Climate Summit that is taking place later this month.

Greg Barker, the Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, will be taking the signed pledge to the UN Climate Summit, where Global Leaders will be meeting in New York, on 23rd September 2014, to showcase support, and talk about the positive benefits for eating (and producing) less meat.

Did you know?

Fact1

Meat production is responsible for 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization1, with some scientists saying the percentage is higher.

Fact2

Skipping meat for one day a week can reduce your annual carbon footprint by as much as not driving your car for a whole month.

Fact3

An area of Amazon rainforest the size of a hundred football pitches is cut down every hour to create room for grazing cattle.

The launch, held at vegetarian restaurant tibits in Mayfair, was attended by environmental NGO leaders and a host of supporters including Chrissie Hynde and Victoria Pendleton. During a delicious Meat Free Brunch, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, WWF, Global Action Plan, Sustainability Hub and the Eating Better alliance came together to back the campaign and committed to encouraging their members and supporters to get involved too.

Greg Barker, who has personally supported Meat Free Monday since the start of the year said: “Giving up meat one day a week is more than just a symbolic act and, if enough of us do it, will send a very powerful and loud message to world leaders. Meat production is an increasingly large contributor to dangerous climate change so coming together like this may have a small but very real impact.”

The hope is for a million signatures by the end of this week so please pledge to go meat free for at least one day a week here: http://pledge.meatfreemondays.com

For full details of the campaign follow this link: www.meatfreemondays.com



15
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Lets Get Energized says:
Slyers Lane Wind Farm Proposal – Public Exhibition 22nd September


Category: Community Energy, Energy Events in Dorset, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , ,


Slyers Lane Wind Farm Proposal – Public Exhibition 22nd September

The Planning Application for a Wind Farm at Slyer’s Lane, nr Charminster, is going to planning in 1-2 weeks so public consultation will be starting around end of September.

The developer, Broadview, are holding their Final Public Exhibitions next Monday 22nd September at:

Charminster Village Hall: 1.00 – 3:30  DT2 9QL
Herrison Hall , Charlton Down: 5.30 – 8.00  DT2 9UA

They are going to have the visualisations (photomontages) plus their latest images showing what the wind farm will look like from several different sites.

Broadview are also bringing along documents and reports that are be submitted with their application for people to look at. Good chance to know what their final plans really are and a last chance to ask questions.

About the visualisations:

Everyone,whether for, against or undecided, realises that the wind turbines will be seen from some places. Broadview, to satisfy planning requirements for Landscape Assessments, have had to follow strict protocols in producing the visualisations and they have followed the Scottish Natural Heritage guidance. Thus coming to the exhibition is a chance to  get as accurate an idea of what the proposed Wind Turbines will look like in the landscape as can be produced professionally for the planners.

Broadview Energy`s online information (including visualisations) regarding Slyers Lane, can be found – Here


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "We are now nearing the end of the consultation process and its time for everyone who has a interest to go along to the exhibition, see what is being said and get the facts. I believe that for centuries we have used the wind for our food and for travel and it a natural resource that can bring so much good clean energy to our region. What we have to find is how to bring harmony to local communities for the good of all with WT projects. That’s what Keith and I shall be doing a few miles down the road in Pymore on the someday at 7.30pm where we shall be showing local residents what might be possible with a potential hydro project.
    We want to listen to everyones views and see if there is a consensus to moving forward. We don’t have all the answers, the project is embryonic but with good will and a desire we can achieve success. Why not try going to the Exhibition and Pymore for a truly Renewable evening experience. "

    September 15, 2014 a 9:48 am


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Lets Get Energized says:
Community Energy Fortnight 13th – 28th September


Category: Community Energy
Tags:


esf-logo

It’s great to see so much going on this month on the subject of energy – with the launch of our new monthly prize draw competition for Organic September and Zero Waste Week earlier this month and now it’s Community Energy Fortnight (13th – 28th September 2014)…

Last year was the first ever Community Energy Fortnight which took place right across the UK. Events ranged from a walking tour of mountain hydros in Snowdonia, a visit to Westmill wind farm and solar park, to a free Energy Saving Workshop here in Bridport Dorset and an Open Energy-Saving Homes Day in our neighbouring county of Hampshire.

The aim of the Fortnight is to engage and inspire people about the wide-ranging benefits of community energy – and to encourage groups to set up their own projects too.

Both in the build-up to, and during, the 2013 Community Energy Fortnight, The Community Energy Coalition (CEC)  ran a petition in support of community energy. We are thrilled to hear they received nearly 60,000 signatures! They presented the petition to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, during the Fortnight.

2014 Events

Here in Dorset for 2014, 18 local residents in Bridport, Lyme and surrounding villages will be opening their homes to the public to share information about how they have made their homes energy efficient, and energy generating between 12th – 14th September as part of an Open Ecohomes weekend.

There is also an Energy Savers Eco Fair in Devon, a Renewable Energy Fair in Somerset, a Poetry Slam in Exeter, and quite a few events including more open eco homes, energy saving workshops and a DIY Solar Panel workshops, in nearby Bristol.

For a full list of 2014 UK events go to: http://ukcec.org/events/community-fortnight-2014

Our Top 5 Dorset Community Energy Projects

It’s probably a good excuse to highlight some great community renewable energy projects we have previously reported on, to hopefully give you some inspiration to start or get involved with a local energy project with your own community group, school or business:

  1. Community Hydro Energy in Pymore Bridport (Currently only in the Planning Stage)
  2. Salway Ash Primary School in Bridport Go Green (with Solar PV, Heat Pumps and a Wind Turbine)
  3. Benjafield Screw Turbine Installation Near Gillingham (Hydro Power Project)
  4. Blandford Forum Parish Goes Green (with Renewable Heat Systems)
  5. Bindon Mill Screw Turbine Installation (Hydro Power Project)

Check out our Community Energy category here on our blog for lots more news and views too.



11
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Vince Adams says:
Story from Sweden


Category: Combined Heat & Power, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , ,


Story from Sweden

High on the Bjare peninsular near Barstad there is a famous tourist destination called Havers Hog below which the Halland Sas becomes the Kattegat Sea leading North to the Arctic.Its a beautiful site and has a great Hotel with views and good food.

I meet with the Owner and he explained his approach to sustainability and the environment and I was truly impressed. All their heating and hot water is produced by their own biomass boiler using local hay stubble that previously was burned in the Autumn.

All the hotel roofs have been grass covered and at this time of year are a haven for wild flowers and grasses. The grass provides amazing insulation and is great for the environment. In the main lounge and dining room they have a huge wood stove that in Winter is hugely productive using only local wood from sustainable sources. They use as much local food as possible and have their own market garden that is fully productive throughout the year. To cap it all they have pioneered with a local Swedish company a means of maintain great-usable clean water without burdening the local eco structure. I was shown the system which involves three levels of purification from proactive to react and then finally into an interact area with reeds, ponds and wildlife. The system is now being marketed throughout Scandinavia and has created a prosperous grwowing company with many staff and distributors all benefiting from what started at Havers Hog Hotel.

The projects have all shown economic sense as well as the Green feeling so why oh why can’t more of our UK hotels follow a similar pattern?

I am sure that they are trying so let’s hear their stories and spread the word.

View from Havers Hog

View from Havers Hog



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Lets Get Energized says:
Pymore, Bridport – Community Hydro Power Event


Category: Community Energy, Energy Events in Dorset, Water Power
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Pymore, Bridport – Community Hydro Power Event

Three weeks ago we described (here) how members of Dorset Energized had been invited to investigate the possibility of installing a small Hydro Power electricity generating station on the river Brit in Pymore near Bridport.

Well things are moving along and to build momentum on the 22nd September at 7.00 pm a Tea & Cakes event is being held at the Weir itself, in Pymore, where you can find out more about what is being proposed. It will also be an opportunity to pledge money toward the development, an investment in a better, greener, cleaner, future.

So if you have the slightest interest in hydro power, community energy, or are just curious, please come along and meet the people involved – a mixture of local residents and people with experience of developing community energy projects.

Would you like your community to generate its own electricity from the river

Would you like your community to generate its own electricity from the river?


3Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "Thanks for your questions Monty. If the management committee agree use of the river bank for a meeting next Monday, I hope you can join us and would appreciate it if you can ask further questions that I will answer as best I can. I want to emphasize that in my view, this has to be a community project and should not proceed further unless there is a clear will from the management company and residents to do so.
    The drawing is representational only and the turbine house has to fit in with the visual aesthetic of the site. It would need to be placed above flood level, as would the generator.An abstraction license, flood risk consent and possibly impoundment license would be required from the Environment Agency. The project design and negotiations with the EA would be lengthy. The site owner (the management company?) has right of access and must give their permission. A resident of Pymore (Jonny) has publicised the Monday meeting to all in Pymore and Management company directors will – I presume – carry above average weight at the event. The power could go three ways from the 3 phase generator to three different properties where the grid connections would be made. There are numerous design choices. I believe the project should be community owned. Again, there are choices as to the structure.`There are lots of discussions that could be had. I believe Vince and I have the answers to most questions that can be thrown at us but we want to hear the views of the company and residents. "

    September 15, 2014 a 11:13 am

  • vince adams comments:
    "Dear Monty, thanks for your comments which are really what we are exploring on Monday. We want to hear from everyone locally about their feelings, is it good idea , should we go forward together and explore all the problems. requirements and possibilities. I am sure Keith will be able to answer many of the technical questions and I am there to talk about community share schemes. But its your project and local desires that count. "
    September 15, 2014 a 9:54 am

  • Monty Crook comments:
    "Interesting and fine in theory. No account seems to have been taken of what happens to a wooden top structure that it subject to major flooding at that point maybe 2-3 times a yeard. Also, what permissions are needed and from whom. Who ‘owns’ the existing structures in the river at that point? The Environment Agency? Have they given any permission? What access rights would be needed and from whom? Has Pymore Villoage Management Company been approached? Where would the power produced ‘go’? Where would it be connected to the grid – on whose property? Who would own/manage the installation – and administer the finances? What track record do they have? Monty Crook, Pymore "
    September 14, 2014 a 10:47 am


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Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Cyclelife Ebike Shop – Dorchester


Category: Electric Transport, Energy Events in Dorset
Tags: , , , ,


Cyclelife Ebike Shop – Dorchester

Our friends at the Dorset Ebike Centre have recently opened a new shop at Poundbury in Dorchester. The shop is called Cyclelife Wessex and it is the first Raleigh Cyclelife Shop which is entirely dedicated to selling Ebikes – the Raleigh range and the Haibikes.

The shop has been open a few weeks but this Saturday, the 13th September, they are having the Official Opening – with a 10% discount on the day (though a “little bird tells me” that the 10% discount might well be available for anyone buying an Ebike throughout this week – just tell them you heard this from Dorset Energized :-).

Anyway – if you`ve never tried an electric bike, why not pop into the shop, have a look. And if your tempted to find out for yourself why so many people are taking up this form of transport, ask for a test ride. You might be surprised by how much fun it is – and how practical cycling suddenly seems. And if you`re already Ebike aware – well a ride on a Haibike might still prove a revelation!

We have the poster for the shop opening below – and roll on the electric transport “revolution”/”evolution”!

Cyclelife Wessex Opening

Cyclelife Wessex Opening



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Lets Get Energized says:
Ecotopia Back to Uni Kits for Zero Waste Week


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags:


The lovely ethical people at Ecotopia (powered by 100%  renewable energy suppliers Ecotricity) have asked us to share some news as part of Zero Waste Week (1st – 7th September 2014).

As this years theme is “one more thing”, they have pledged to do even more than they already are (as if creating a clean energy future for Britain was not enough!), so they will be sharing hints and tips on their Facebook and Twitter pages and would love to hear what your “one more thing” is. Use the hash tags #onemorething #zerowasteweek and #GreenBritain to get involved on social media.

backtouni

ecotopia-backtouni-kits

They have also launched three eco-friendly back to uni survival kits. It includes a healthy variety of essentials that students (or teachers!) will need for your first few weeks. They have even included a cheeky herbal hangover comforter – it will ease the pain of that unavoidable first hangover from hell!

There are lots more Zero Waste Week Price Reductions at the Ecotopia shop here too, so happy shopping!



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Anna Celeste Watson says:
3 Recommended films to inspire you to action for Zero Waste Week


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Film/Video, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


As Zero Waste Week continues this week, I thought I would share a couple of films I have been recommended on the subject of reducing waste. Perhaps this is something like me, you can add to your #ZeroWasteWeek pledge (i.e., watch the films and be inspired, or maybe prodded more likely, into action!) or maybe Dorset Energized will put on a screening sometime – please let us know if you want to get involved with a film night or know anywhere in Dorset screening these!

1. Trashed (Feature Film, 2012)

Trashed – No Place For Waste, starring Jeremy Irons, looks at the risks to the food chain and the environment through pollution of our air, land and sea by waste. The film reveals surprising truths about very immediate and potent dangers to our health. It is a global conversation from Iceland to Indonesia between the film star Jeremy Irons and scientists, politicians and ordinary individuals whose health and livelihoods have been fundamentally affected by waste pollution. Visually and emotionally the film is both horrific and beautiful: an interplay of human interest and political wake-up call. But it ends on a message of hope: showing how the risks to our survival can easily be averted through sustainable approaches that provide far more employment than the current ‘waste industry’. The film premiered in Cannes 2012 and has won 8 awards.

You can watch this online for a very modest download fee – just go to http://www.trashedfilm.com/purchase or watch the trailer below:

2. N0 Impact Man (Feature Film, 2009)

In No Impact Man, Colin Beavan decides to completely eliminate his personal impact on the environment for the next year. It means eating vegetarian, buying only local food, and turning off the refrigerator. It also means no elevators, no television, no cars, busses, or airplanes, no toxic cleaning products, no electricity, no material consumption, and no garbage. No problem – at least for Colin – but he and his family live in Manhattan. So when his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two-year-old daughter are dragged into the fray, the No Impact Project has an unforeseen impact of its own. Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein’s film provides an intriguing inside look into the experiment that became a national fascination and media sensation, while examining the familial strains and strengthened bonds that result from Colin and Michelle’s struggle with their radical lifestyle change.

You can watch this online for FREE – just go to http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/no_impact_man or watch the trailer below:

3. The Story of Stuff (Short Film, 2007)

The Story of Stuff, originally released in December 2007, is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the Stuff in your life forever.

You can watch this short film online for FREE – just go to http://storyofstuff.org/movies/story-of-stuff or watch the trailer below:

 

There’s so many more great looking environmental and food themed films out there I want to watch, but these 3 should do for now!

Please send us your reviews on these films and any other recommendations by submitting your Comments below : )



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Anna Celeste Watson says:
Save water and energy for World Water Week


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


HSBC/ WaterAid Partnership

As we celebrate Organic September and Zero Waste Week, this week is also World Water Week (31st August – 5th September 2014) and water is one thing we should never take for granted (although we all usually do of course – every day!)…

Global leaders gathered in Stockholm on 1st September for the 24th annual World Water Week, urging energy and water communities to work together to face some of the main challenges of our time providing clean drinking water and energy for a growing world population. The theme of 2014 World Water Week is “Energy and Water”.

In the UK, the excessive amount of water we all use every day at home is putting an unsustainable demand on our planet’s resources, biodiversity and people, and by using, and wasting, a lot of water we are also using, and wasting, a lot of energy (and money of course).

World Water Aid tell us that there is also a global water crisis, as every minute, every day, people in poorer countries suffer and lives are lost needlessly, simply because of a lack of safe water and sanitation. Most of us cannot even begin to imagine what this must be like, so we can at least make a small effort to save water and recycle it where we can, so as not to put a further strain on our fellow people and the Earth.

Eat less meat to save water (and help stop climate change too!)

As I mentioned here on the Dorset Energized blog last year for last World Water Week (where does the time go?!), it takes 10,000 – 20,000 litres of water to produce just 1kg of beef! This compares with around 1,200 litres for 1kg of maize and 1800 for a kilo of wheat. I have also read this week that to produce a day’s food for just one meat-eater takes over 4,000 gallons of water! Read more about water use in intensive factory farming on Compassion in World Farming’s RAW website (under Resource Waste).

According to the Vegetarian Society, farming accounts for around 70% of all freshwater taken from lakes, waterways and underground water supplies, much of it to produce meat. Waterways also run with manure, antibiotics and hormones washed in from the land and all sorts of pollutants from industrial fish farms.

We all know by now that we need to eat a lot less meat, and reports on how a plant-based vegan diet is the most eco-friendly and can help end climate change and reduce our impact on the environment, are all over the news and social media at the moment. I highly recommend visiting The Vegan Society website for more advice. I can vouch that being vegan makes you feel good too – on every level, and I truly feel it is one of the best decisions I ever made : )

Fracking uses millions of gallons of water

As one of our users previously commented on our blog – fracking uses a staggering 3 to 8 million gallons of water per frack. The water is also so toxic with chemicals and radioactive particles that it cannot be recycled and when the well leaks (as all wells do eventually) the water table will also be contaminated.

So yet another reason (as if any sane person needed one) to oppose fracking and support clean energy instead. Find out more at http://frackfreedorset.org.uk

Go Go Hydro Power!

Renewable energy is all about positively harnessing the power of nature to generate clean and sustainable energy, and hydro-electric power which comes from using water to turn a turbine, supplies around 20% of the world’s electricity and yet it is still barely being used at all in the UK even though apparently we have one of the highest wave energy potentials in Europe, if not the world!

For more information on how we can use water as a renewable energy source to make hydro-electricity, here in Dorset and the UK, see our section all about Water Power which also links to local hydro-power projects.

Use less water to reduce your water footprint

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has lots of information on their website on how you can save water and on their campaign to reduce the impact of humanity’s water footprint, such as:

  • Turn off the taps in-between brushing your teeth
  • Fix dripping taps
  • Take short showers instead of a bath
  • Install water-saving, low-flow shower heads
  • Collect rainwater
  • Collect rinsing water

You can also check out Waterwise’s Quick Tips and Facts on Saving Water.

And as always, remember that small changes in your every habits really can make a big difference – and it all starts with you and me!


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "What a fantastic set of news, campaigns and generally exciting opportunities for us all to get involved with.
    If everyone of us did just a small act within each sector, save some water, eat just a little less red meat and support renewable energy the effect to yourself, your family, to the UK and to the World is just huge.
    Come on join up and feel the success of doing something positive. "

    September 4, 2014 a 4:58 pm


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Lets Get Energized says:
Little Green Festival in Swanage 20th & 21st September


Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Sustainable Living
Tags:


little-green-festical-swanage

A new green festival is being held to celebrate, inform and inspire the people of Dorset about green issues including:

  • wildlife and conservation
  • energy and waste
  • good food and drink
  • local products and suppliers

There will be camping and self catering on site at California Barn near Swanage on Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st September 2014 (times TBC) with music, activities, an art exhibition and demonstrations. The Barn which is a wedding venue will also be open for viewing by prospective couples at this beautiful venue in Purbeck which overlooks the Isle of Wight.

The event will be fundraising towards the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s work on habitats in the area.

It looks like a great event so we hope to see you there!



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Lets Get Energized says:
Energize your day with It’s All Good Radio Show & Dorset Energized


Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy Film/Video, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,


It’s all going on this week here at Dorset Energized, and its all good!!!

Dorset Energized are very excited to be working with the inspiring duo Debbie Hyde and David Durant who have created their own internet radio show entitled It’s All Good as co-founders of Media for Good, which is a non-profit partnership with the aim of harnessing the power of media to effect change towards a more sustainable economy and protection of the Earth’s resources.

Dorset Energized’s Vince Adams first met Debbie at Ecotricity’s Green Britain meeting in March 2014 in Brighton, and since then our team have been in talks with Debbie and David about how we can work together to help people get energized and create a renewable energy future…

It’s All Good Radio Podcasts

You can tune in to stories, news and interviews with people like you – creating a bright clean energy future, every week on the It’s All Good radio show podcasts on Renewable Energy which will also feature contributions from the Dorset Energized Team including our bloggers Vince Adams and Keith Wheaton-Green.

Debbie has also set herself a challenge to write a blog post every single day this September so make sure you check them out at www.itsallgoodradioshow.com

As Debbie says on her latest blog post Communicating a positive vision of a 100% clean energy future – we all have power and we all have choices. Every one of us has the opportunity to choose today to work towards a positive vision of a 100% clean energy future, for as William Ward says “If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”

She calls upon fellow broadcasters, advertisers, writers, bloggers, designers, photographers, film makers, actors, artists, musicians and singers – as “together we need to bring sustainable living to life and make it a natural part of our culture which is relevant and fun for all of us.”

We are right here with you Debbie and very much looking forward to sharing your shows…

Throughout September you’ll enjoy a mix of stories, news and interviews from people all around the world who are making the switch to renewable energy. Get involved and share your stories too. Just click onto www.itsallgoodradioshow.com plus check out the previous podcasts on Renewable Energy at http://www.mixcloud.com/debbiehyde88

Do YOU support a 100% Clean Energy Future?
Choose a way YOU can take action:

Here are some great actions Debbie also shared on her latest blog post we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss:

It’s All Good Radio Show is an internet radio show produced and presented by Debbie Hyde which is broadcast at 9pm GMT on http://www.brooklandsradio.co.uk.



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