Hydro-electric power scheme planned for Great Langdale

The Westmorland Gazette: National Trust environmental practices adviser Garry Sharples at Stickle Ghyll National Trust environmental practices adviser Garry Sharples at Stickle Ghyll

NEARLY 200 litres of water a second could be pumped from a Lake District stream to help power a pub.

The National Trust has applied to Lake District National Park Authority planners for permission to build a hydropower scheme at Stickle Ghyll, Great Langdale.

If approved, it would be capable of producing up to 350,000kw of renewable electricity per year, equivalent to the annual usage of more than 80 average homes.

And around 30 per cent of the power generated is planned to be fed directly to the nearby Sticklebarn, the only National-Trust-run pub in the country.

The £600,000 project is one of five pilot renewable energy schemes across England and Wales which are part of the National Trust’s ‘Grow Your Own’ strategy.

The trust wants to generate more of its own power as it bids to reduce fossil fuel use in half by 2020.

“The Hydro scheme will generate savings for us as we won’t have to buy electricity for the pub and we’ll also benefit from power sold back to the grid, which we’ll be able to reinvest in our conservation work,” said Garry Sharples, the trust’s environmental practices adviser.

“During 2011, a regional project team reviewed the potential for hydropower on trust land. As a result of this work, more than 160 potential sites were identified in the Lake District alone.”

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As sites were identified, the trust also looked at what other improvements could be made while carrying out the scheme.

Mr Sharples added: “A fragile water supply, which serves several properties in Great Langdale, was highlighted as part of the Stickle Ghyll scheme and will be improved with renewed pipework buried under a reinstated path.

“Stickle Ghyll was chosen as it is one of our least sensitive sites for ecology and geology. The structure that will house the intake point will also strengthen part of a bridge abutment that currently provides access to the Langdales for walkers - another additional benefit.”

The National Trust is working with specialist hydro-developers Ellergreen Hydro Ltd of Burneside to develop the design and licensing of the scheme.

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