Two National Trust sites from either ends of the country have been able to cut back their carbon use by installing new energy saving technology.

The project is being done with help from the National Trust’s Green Energy Fund in partnership with npower.

Buildings within the Borrowdale valley, an area of spectacular Lake District landscape acquired by the National Trust throughout the 20th Century, are now sitting firmly in the 21st century following the installation of a state of the art heating system. Meanwhile, two 19th century houses located on the Isle of Wight have installed in small scale renewable energy generation, reducing their carbon footprint on the island.

Bowe Barn is the main office and workshops for Borrowdale valley, which forms the site of the National Trust’s first ever acquisition in the Lake District, in 1902. Covering some 11,000 ha, Borrowdale has up to 25 staff using the buildings as offices, workshops and a rest area for the foresters. As part of The National Trust’s Green Energy Fund, a 75kw Heizomatt woodchip boiler has been installed and for the first time since its construction in 2003, Bowe Barn is now receiving adequate heating with minimal CO2 output or staff effort. It is also now possible to calculate actual energy output figures via the system and thus actual energy cost saved, as well as the financial savings for the property.

There are also plans for the National Trust to install wood pellet systems in various tenanted properties within this region of the Lake District. Maurice Pankhurst, Warden at Borrowdale, said; “this is a positive opportunity for the property and given the local interest in woodchip systems, we expect to receive many enquiries about the success of this new technology”.

350 miles south on the Isle of Wight, two 19th century houses owned by the National Trust have moved in to the 21st century after also being installed with modern energy - saving technology through the Trust’s Green Energy Fund, supported by npower. ‘Marconi’ – which was converted from a barn in the 1970s - has had solar thermal panels installed on an east facing roof to provide hot water for the household, as well as energy efficiency measures carried out to improve the property as a whole. The thermal value of the property has increased by putting in insulation and secondary glazing, and other improvements to the layout of the house have been made, ready for new tenants to move in.

At Mottistone Farm Cottage, a former farm worker’s cottage, the money has been used to replace the existing oil fired Rayburn with a wood burning stove which provides hot water and heating and is more efficient whilst reducing dependency on fossil fuels. Energy efficient measures have also been carried out with installation of draught exclusion on windows.

Tony Tutton, The National Trust’s Property Manager for the Isle of Wight, said: “It’s great to be able to use this money from npower to help make energy saving changes to our properties here on the island, not only increasing their efficiency in terms of carbon use, but also saving money for the people living in the houses”.

These projects are just two of many taking place at National Trust properties across England and Wales who have successfully applied to the Green Energy Fund, supported by npower, for the installation of renewable energy projects on Trust estates through small scale microgeneration projects. Projects vary in size and situation, but all are installing new, carbon saving technology; including Sudbury Hall, a 17th century stately home in Derbyshire.