Best UK village: Coleshill
Saturday 17 April 2010
This classically beautiful village on the western borders of Oxfordshire with its village shop, tea room, pub and strong physical and cultural heritage is a hidden jewel of community-led energy efficiency and carbon reduction.
Over the last year, the village's 62 households have completed their own energy surveys and worked together to come up with ways to reduce their carbon footprint, with the added incentive of reducing energy bills too.
They started simple with basic energy-saving improvements – all houses now have sheep's wool loft insulation, for instance – but have since broadened their scope to include everything from eco-driving lessons to the use of real-time energy monitors.
Some residents are learning to become bee-keepers (the honey from the community hives will be sold in the village shop); others are helping set up a new community orchard.
Other measures coming soon include a biomass boiler which will use wood from the local estate to heat and provide hot water for the village shop, which is also to get a green facelift with new lighting and energy-efficient appliances.
The villagers have had terrific support and advice from npower and the National Trust to help them achieve all this. The village buildings are almost all older than the norm (pre-1930s) and many are beautiful vernacular examples; some are listed. This poses a challenge for energy-saving measures and renewable energy schemes. But what the community has shown is that people can think and act beyond the constraints of traditional buildings that often appear to stifle greener living in rural and historic settings. Coleshill has broken the mould and offers a great example to others.
Fiona Reynolds is director general of the National Trust
Britain faces malaria risk as climate change sees mosquitoes thriving in garden water butts
Cornwall hotter than California? British sea temperatures hit all-time high
Plan to reintroduce genetically pure bison could put the wild back into America's Wild West
Stop taking 'tiger selfies' that fund animal abuse, charity says
Snowdon is up for sale, and it could be yours for just £7m
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...