World Heritage Site Designation For Lakeland – Some Thoughts

Lakeland landscape with Derwentwater Fells. C. Paxton image and copyright.

Lakeland landscape with Derwentwater Fells. C. Paxton image and copyright.

The pride is real. The British Lake District is worthy of World Heritage Site designation.

Elterwater with mallard duck presents idyllic Lakeland scenery. C. Paxton image and copyright.

Elterwater with mallard duck presents idyllic Lakeland scenery. C. Paxton image and copyright.

I feel compelled to write my reaction to George Monbiot’s May 19th article “Fell Purpose” , a highly stimulating article. Monbiot begins by saying that “The attempt to turn the Lake District into a World Heritage site would be a disaster”. I disagree, but he is right in saying that it is an almost irreversible move and worthy of due consideration, especially in the light of Brexit, as the area currently benefits from three billion pounds of E.U. funding annually. If people turn against the idea of designation as a UNESCO WHS then at least the gauntlet has been dropped and similar funding can then be sought from other more local sources.

The fact is that the Lakeland that we know and love depends very much upon active management from farmers, landowners, non-profit groups and volunteers as well as local and national government. There’s no way they’d let a disaster happen to Lakeland. They love it too.

In short Monbiot’s article presents an illusion of reality from selective observations and condemns plans to assist ‘preservation’ of English Lakeland at international expense begging the question of whether it would be developed in other (better?) ways if the area wasn’t made a WHS. Not only is there no evidence that that would happen, but he needs to explore the ideas of betterment out loud so that we can see the extent of them and ask why they couldn’t happen in a WHS?  In terms of ‘improvement’ he can’t simply equate progressive development with general aforestation. That image of the screes that he has selected for criticism of the region at large, is of Wastwater in Western Lakeland near Scarfell, which is famous for … its craggy screes. There are few other such dramatic screes elsewhere, they continue underwater in what is one of our deepest lakes, yet he would hold that glacial feature as an example of widespread ecological mistreatment and blame sheep for it. He’s being a bit heavy handed there.  Wastwater was never rainforest in the time of man, if you want that visit Lodore Falls. If people want clear views of Fell tops on the whole, and they do seem to, then cluttering them with trees isn’t a particularly bright idea. In fact the report notes that many fine viewpoints that were clear in Wordsworth’s day would benefit from sensitive and judicious clearance. There are already areas of native deciduous forest around Haweswater, Ulswater and Derwentwater for example that are gorgeous and on marginal rocky lowland and grazed.

On p.534 Only landscape character types B, E, F and G are listed as being in any condition equal to or lesser than moderate! I is moderate to good. So, it’s not in a parlous state by any means but there’s quite a lot of room for improvement.  On page 535 the biodiversity table shows the bulk of SSSIs 66%, as recovering. Monbiot is right, this could be better.

However, the real eye opener, I think is Table 4.1 the percentage of  listed buildings and scheduled monuments at risk! A lot of the scheduled monuments will be archaic ones such as the Cockpit. The Lake District has a wealth of heritage that is appreciated worldwide, why should it not receive the official recognition and accompanying financial support that it so richly deserves?

The supporting documents for the bid proposal make good reading for anyone interested in Cumbria’s Lake District (http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/caringfor/projects/whs/lake-district-nomination).

While there’s some truth in what George says about the size of the farms increasing and the need for subsidies to continue even in the face of Brexit, World Heritage Site status would probably suit the Lake District perfectly well as far as I can see because:

a) it’s mainly the farmers,  landowners and teams of volunteers who maintain the landscape and culture nexus that UNESCO wants to preserve. They wouldn’t want to cover the fells with trees anyway, some ravines and along watercourses perhaps but not the felltops, WHS would give a shot in the arm to the cultural and historical sites (some that have struggled to thrive through tourism only, e.g. my wife and I miss Cockermouth’s Sheep and Wool Centre now gone) and offer some degree of maintenance for scheduled monuments that are mostly looked after gratis by landowners.

b) UNESCO would likely act on the advice of the National Trust and Natural England, Eden Rivers Trust, English Heritage etc. with regard to policy decisions and improving public access facilities in a sensitive manner, they have acted sensibly elsewhere.

c) much of the tourism infrastructure is already in place, the grant money could be usefully employed repairing essential infrastructure and improving access and interpretation that benefit locals and visitors alike.

d) The Lake District has large tracts of sheepscape but there is native woodland with deer, cattle pasture with rare breeds, and there are pine plantations e.g. Grizedale some of which could be systematically replaced with native mixed deciduous forest over time, though our red squirrels like the pines too, as do many birds, so some conifers should certainly remain. Herdwicks are one of the few types of animal that will live year-round on some of the higher fells.

e) the elements considered most at risk are scheduled monuments and listed buildings – this is a primary concern of UNESCO.

f) there’s a lot of scope for sensitive and imaginative development for recreation and education.

 

The Carles of Catslerigg, near Keswick. C. Paxton image and copyright.

The Carles of Castlerigg, situated in some of England’s finest landscape near Keswick. One of Cumbria’s great Neolithic stone circles, it is also one of the oldest. C. Paxton image and copyright.

Fell walkers pause to admire the Cockpit on Moor Divock, Askham Common. C.Paxton. image and copyright

Fell walkers pause to admire the Cockpit on Moor Divock, Askham Common. C.Paxton. image and copyright

I think there are a lot of prehistoric sites that could benefit from the WHS status; a lot of cultural treasures made more accessible.  When you consider that the amazing rock art on the boulders at Chapel Style were only officially recognized in the 1990’s you can appreciate that there are other wonders awaiting (re)discovery! It’s really a very exciting area. The Moor Divock Necropolis leaps to mind as an example. A plateau 1000 ft above sea level, where chariots raced through one of Europe’s most interesting funerary complexes.  You could walk through it now without learning a thing about it. Sensitive archaeological exploration and interpretation would be great!  Much of the local archaeology was conducted in previous centuries. Amongst other notable monuments there’s a very rare ‘starfish cairn’ in the form of White Raise.

If farmers / landowners are paid to help maintain heritage sites that would be good, because many are maintaining them for nowt at the moment.

Moor Divock's Standing Stones, site number 4.

Moor Divock’s Standing Stones, site number 4 on Askham Common.

Lodore Falls, dramtically blurred by slow shutterspeed.

Lodore Falls, dramatic waterfall set in lush forest.

There’s certainly plenty of scope for selective reforestation and riparian improvements through re-meandering and restablishing water meadows, otteries, heronrys etc. Eden Rivers Trust have the know how.

Landowners / managers could perhaps be encouraged not to kill otters, foxes, badgers, eagles, harriers etc.  Is there scope for one or two beaveries and bear parks? Lordly stags and sounders of wild pigs might yet have their place.

What do you think?

The White Raise burial cairn has a rare 'starfish' shape.

The White Raise burial cairn has a rare ‘starfish’ shape.

Author with his father at Sinside great circle in Novemeber 2013.

Author with his father at Swinside great circle in November 2013.

Summer Pudding In Appleby, Anyone?Live Music, Circus Acts, Crafts Market, Cake Contest, Family Fun!

THIS SATURDAY: DON’T MISS THE SUMMER PUDDING AT APPLEBY CASTLE

BUY TICKETS NOW

Saturday 20th August COME ALONG, SHOW YOUR SUPPORT  Daytime: 1 Fairytale Castle,  3 Live Music stages, 4 Performance Stages, Funfair, Jaw-dropping Circus Acts, Crafty Vintage Market, Cake Competition, Children’s activities, woodland walk and more.

Night-time: Top festival bands on the inner bailey stage The Correspondents, Gypsy Hill & Sam and The Womp 

www.summerpudding.co.uk

BUY TICKETS NOW

A FLOOD RECOVERY EVENT FOR APPLEBY: COME ALONG, SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

supported by Eden District Council, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, Appleby Town Council, Cumberland & Westmoreland Herald, Country Puddings. An Eden Arts event.

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News from The Butchers Arms Community Pub

Here’s some news from The Butchers Arms Community Pub in Crosby Ravensworth

The Butcher's Arms

The new chef at The Butcher’s Arms has creative flair and has prepared meals for celebrities. C.Paxton photo and copyright

Reblogged from https://lyvennetcommunitypub.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/butchers-arms-update-2016-05-12/
Posted on 13/05/2016 by lvcpnews

Excellent new tenant landlords Stephen and Carrie are now serving at The Butchers Arms. All food is freshly cooked and the specials board changes regularly. There is a range of dishes to suit all tastes.

There is a position of a Commis Chef available so please contact Steve or Carrie if you are interested or know of someone who may be. Call 01931-715500

The bank holiday has been very busy with sales of nearly 600 drink sales on Saturday alone and numerous meals.

The Butchers Arms AGM is Saturday the 2nd July at 5pm.

There will be a hot buffet & vegetarian option also, this will be served at 7pm.

Please book direct with Carrie 01931-715500, Email is butchersarms.cumbria@gmail.com

 

  • The Butchers Arms walking group, has with the light nights, started meeting for its fortnightly Wednesday night walk followed by supper in the pub. For further information or to join the mailing list please contact me at at kitty.s65@btinternet.com
  • The Lyvennet Activity Group is coordinated by Joan Raine with support from other committee members. Joan has been successfully running a lunch club on the first Thursday in every Month. Anyone wishing to join the lunch club please contact Joan direct for more information on 01931-715351

Lyvennet Activity Group has run various fund raising events too, which has raised thousands of pounds for different charities. The last event in April raised £1,350 for Penrith Mountain Rescue Team.

The Charity music fest with live music and a hog roast is on Saturday the 13th August from 1pm. It is in the same field as last year, just up from the pub. It was well supported last year and raised £2,180 for 3 charities. I am trying to raise sponsorship to help cover costs. Anyone interested in helping with this should contact me directly at kitty.s65@btinternet.com

Anais, a French student, will be working at the Butchers Arms for a week in June and July to help improve her English language. It will be a good experience for her.

Kitty,

Secretary, Lyvennet Community Pub.

Carlisle Toy Fair Expands Stall Space For March 15th

 

Daleks and steam engines, there's a wide range of models and toys at Carlisle Toy Fair to suit varied tastes.

Daleks and steam engines, there’s a wide range of models and toys at Carlisle Toy Fair to suit varied tastes.

Additional stall space made available for next Sunday’s Toy Fair in Carlisle. Time to clear your attic and share the joy? 

by Charles Paxton

Carlisle Toy Fair organiser Alan Gunston is having such a positive response to table bookings that they have decided to open up more space near the cafeteria area, offering would-be stallholders the chance to be there to sell, buy or swap a few yards further down from the main hall.

Carlisle Toy Fair offers classic, vintage and new trains. planes, trucks, tanks, dolls, soft toys, movie and TV memorabilia, posters, games and more besides.

So if any reader is interested in running a stall at Carlisle Toy Fair on Sunday March 15th  enquiries are still being taken on 07855 289271. See carlisletoyfair.com for details.

 

Charles Paxton manages the Carlisle Toy Fair website for profit.

Lyvennet Community Trust – Open Day

attractive modern housing at Stoneworks Garth, Crosby Ravensworth

Come along to the Lyvennet Community Trust’s Open Day to see attractive modern housing at Stoneworks Garth, Crosby Ravensworth

Come Along To Lyvennet Community Trust – Open Day

 

Stoneworks Garth, Crosby Ravensworth, CA10 3JE

 

Saturday 26th April and Sunday 27th April from 10:30am to 3pm

 

Do you need a well built and insulated modern new home in a quiet rural location ?

  Then we have just the house at our Stoneworks Garth multi award winning site at Crosby Ravensworth  

  • 2 bedroomed detached home £178,000
  • 3 bedroomed detached home with garage £225,000

Heavily insulated, double glazed, underfloor wet heating and conventional radiators upstairs, heating by air source heat pump.

Or would you like to build your own home ?

  We have the LAST two plots for sale at £76,000 and £85,500. Both plots are fully serviced, and are available with planning for 4 bedroomed homes with detached garage. Not what you want – then amend them to your design.   We will have staff on site along with our architect and a local builder to advise and answer any questions.   Come and have a look. Refreshments will be available.

Classic Models and Toys at Carlisle Toy Fair on March 23rd 2014

Alan Gunston, Carlisle Toy Fair Organiser, loves the models, the trade and the talk.

Alan Gunston, Carlisle Toy Fair Organiser, loves the models, the trade and the talk.

There will be treasure-trove of classic models, toys, figures and games on display and for sale at Carlisle’s Toy Fair on Sunday March 23rd at Carlisle’s H&H Borderway Exhibition centre, at Rosehill,  accessible just off the M6 at junction 43.  This biannual  event is Cumbria’s largest toy fair and it draws enthusiasts from far and wide. For collectors it presents an opportunity to seek particular treasures, for the rest of us serendipitous chance to find the kinds of toys that we always wanted (or wanted more of) and a reunion with the things we may have wrecked or lost as children. For parents it is an opportunity to find something special for birthdays or Christmas. Die-cast military, civilian and agricultural vehicles are available in various conditions from mint boxed to battered veterans of the sand-pit.  All the big names in models are there: classic Dinky,Corgi, Matchbox, Hornby, Mecanno, Triang, Britains, Bassett-Lowke and more besides.  Many of the traders are happy to chat about their wares and tell you the historical background of a particular model or toy. Furthermore there’ll also be display cabinet trade stands so you can protect and show-case your collections!

Overview of Carlisle Toy Fair

Overview of Carlisle Toy Fair

Entry is just £2.50 for adults and 50p for children under 10. There’s free parking on site and plenty to see and a lot of expertise gathered under one roof and for refreshments there’s a very good cafe with a range of tasty snacks and drinks.

Classic clockwork train set at Carlisle Toy Fair

Train enthusiasts will find much to delight them! This one, run by clockwork is a good example.

Talking toys, buying, selling and swapping. It's all great fun.

Talking toys, buying, selling and swapping. It’s all great fun.

People discussing toys at Carlisle Toy Fair

Exchanging information is a large part of the fun!

There'll even be two display cabinet traders at this Carlisle Toy Fair, so you can organise and showcase your treasures!

There’ll even be two display cabinet traders at this Carlisle Toy Fair, so you can organise and showcase your treasures!

You can find full details on The Carlisle Toy Fair official website.

Invisible Orchard Shortlisted For Tate Britain IK Prize 2014

Exciting news for a local digital education business in Morland! Adam of Invisible Orchard has been shortlisted (one of four contenders) for the Tate Britain IK Prize 2014. This is the first year of the prize, it recognises the most exciting digital creators in the UK today and Invisible Orchard is a contender!

The project is to create an incredibly Minecraft Map that will actually take players inside the art work, and even beyond, into the artist’s studio. Apparently the details and vision are amazing. Really exciting stuff and they are also the only family run, rural contender. The video even features the Orchard for a snap second.

There are 6 judges, and the seventh judge is the public.

So please, if you like the project or just want to support them, do cast your vote. It is super easy to do. Just go to the link below, watch the videos and cast your vote. And if you feel able to share this news, please do.
Here is the link to see the four shortlisted artists for the Tate IK prize. You can vote online for Adam and votes close on 24th Jan.

http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/ik-prize-2014-shortlist-tatecraft
Here is a video with a bit about the project and some of the images, which gives a deeper insight into the scope of the vision and beauty. It was made by one of the international collaborating artists that Adam would like to bring in. We thought you might like to see it at: http://youtu.be/HA-xPW1M9q0

Askham Hall Market Great Success!

Askham Hall Christmas Market's magical atmosphere, good for shopping and selling.

Askham Hall Christmas Market’s magical atmosphere was good for shopping and selling. C. Paxton photo taken on Sigma Foveon Merrill DP2.

Askham Hall Christmas Market? Brilliant! Here’s a taste. Eggsquisite decorative items from caskets to Christmas tree ornaments by Christine Kendall Crafts of The North – all crafted from egg shells, the goose eggs from her own flock at The Spruced Up Goose

By Charles Paxton

All photos by C.Paxton of www.the webcat.biz apologies to those many that I didn’t photograph. Click on the images if you wish to view them larger.
Photo sketch of Askham Christmas Market on Dec. 8th 2013

Shoppers and stall holders in the converted barn at Askham Christmas Market on Dec. 8th 2013

Preparing for Christmas may be on your minds at the moment and Christmas Markets are ideal for getting something local and distinctive! One such is Askham Hall’s Christmas Market, held in the grounds and converted barn at the C13th Hall last Sunday. Askham Hall opened to the public last year offering 13 guest rooms, restaurant and party barn it’s a high class events venue, see Askham Hall’s website for more info.  This sort of event is so good you just want it to live on!

This year there was a wider range of high quality local produce available than last, according to organiser Marie-Louisa Raeburn and there was a bigger turnout too, for the 32 local stall holders who were selling Christmas crafts and food and classic antiques. The Café sustained the merry throng with hot food and drinks. It was a cornucopia of produce from local businesses large and small.

From the number of cars it’s estimated that visitors numbered between 1,200 and 1,500. They came in a steady stream rather than a crush and were fortified by drinks and tasty snacks from the Café.

Marie-Louisa Reaburn, organiser said “We are delighted that our second Christmas Market, both outside and in our newly converted barn was such a success. A fantastic range of craft and food stalls, Santa’s grotto, hot food and mulled wine and an excellent turnout made it a fantastic day all round.”

First, let me tell you about the crafts; they ranged from the traditional to the highly contemporary, many highly distinctive: Christmas Wreaths with both aromatic and visual appeal, fragrances, haberdashery, gorgeous decorative eggs that bring Carl Faberge to mind from Christine Kendall Crafts of The North, available as caskets, standalone decorative ornaments and to hang on the Christmas tree.

Ornamental candles to brighten any Christmas from Sarah McCraig Designs

Ornamental candles to brighten any Christmas from Sarah McCraig Designs

Candles are essential for Christmas, and the lovely ornamental ones from Sarah McCraig Designs would grace any home.  Delightful pressed flower and leaf ornamented wooden boxes by Anne Riddick somehow preserved the natural colours with great vividness. There were also reasonably priced and high quality local art photographs from Rod and Pauline Ireland The Out There People in a variety of sizes to suit your space, and postcard books of Cumbrian prehistoric sites and a Prehistoric Sites Trump card game by Charles and Kimberly Paxton of thewebcat.biz.

There were fine local ceramics from  Little Bird Studio, Stuart Broadhurst Ceramics and Gwen Bainbridge Pottery and exquisite jewellery from Fire Frost, Scrappo Worko and Pendragon Crafts. All glittering under the lights and wooden beams of the barn.

More images of  the crafts follow.

Colours of pressed leaves preserved and served on wooden coasters by Anne Riddick of Crafts Of The North

Colours of pressed leaves are preserved and served on wooden coasters by Anne Riddick of Crafts Of The North

Great ribbons

Great ribbons and haberdashery

Clever and delightful ceramics from Gwen Bainbridge Pottery at Brougham Hall.

Clever and delightful ceramics from Gwen Bainbridge Pottery at Brougham Hall.

Gwen Bainbridge's designs are based upon Elizabethan fabric patterns.

Gwen Bainbridge’s designs pictured here are based upon Elizabethan fabric patterns. www.broughamhall.co.uk/our-community/pottery-studio/

Lustrous jewellery from recycled silver items by Scrappo Worko,

Lustrous jewellery from recycled silver items by Scrappo Worko,

There was a broad range of good local food and drinks too. The drinks included organic pure pressed Cumbrian Apple Juice from Al and Jane Woodstrover of Beech Tree Farm, Reagill, also Jason Hill’s popular beers from the Eden Brewery at Brougham Hall, and for harder stuff, Bedrock Gin and Standing Stones Vodka from Vince Wilkins’ Spirit of the Lakes.  Bet you didn’t know that Cumbria has its own gin and vodka distillery! As always  drink responsibly.

Stocking fillers - Cumbrian prehistoric sites card games and organic Cumbrian apple juice will be just some of the local produce available at The Invisible Orchard this Saturday, 14th Dec.

Stocking fillers – Cumbrian prehistoric sites card games and apple rings from TheWebCat.biz and organic Cumbrian apple juice from Beech Tree Farm, Reagill.

Bedrock Gin and Satnding Stones Vodka by Spirit of The Lakes.

Bedrock Gin and Standing Stones Vodka by Spirit of The Lakes.
Those of legal drinking age see their site http://www.bedrockgin.co.uk/

Great local beers from Jason Hill's Eden Brewery of Brougham Hall.

Great local beers from Jason Hill’s Eden Brewery of Brougham Hall.

High quality foods included tasty chocolates and Fudge, Northern Fells’ reared venison and beef from Deer ‘n Dexter, Free range poultry from Knipey’s Heartwood Poultry (you’ve got to love his hat!), choice baked goods from Country Fare and Nana Day, Bessy Beck’s awesome Smoked Trout and the formidably delicious Winter Tarn Cheese. Even the offering for breakfasts was top-notch with Rachael’s Kitchen Granola and Dalemain Marmalade.

Good condiments are absolutely essential for festive feeding and with Elliot’s Chutneys and Mr.Vikki’s extremely yummy spicy piccalillis at your elbow, those turkey left-overs will be a delight rather than a chore!

Flavourful cheeses from Winter Tarn organic cheese specialists, fine stilton

Flavourful cheeses from Winter Tarn fine and organic cheese specialists, fine stilton and Withnail Blue

Happy free range poultry makes for tasty dinners! Mr. Knipey pictured here in a comical hat, has a good selection.

There’s no mystery about it – happy free range poultry makes for tasty dinners! Mr. Knipey has a good selection from Tebay in the Orton Valley.

Fresh and smoked trout from Bessy Beck's fresh waters in the Orton Valley!

Fantastic Cumbrian  fresh and smoked trout from Bessy Beck‘s fresh waters in the Orton Valley!

Elliott's Chutneys and Picalilli.

“It was a really good day” Lots of people reach for Elliott’s Chutneys and Piccalilli as great condiments for their meals.

Local baked goods for all the family from Dalefoot Bakery!

Local baked goods for all the family from Country Fare! http://www.countryfare.co.uk

It's all about good taste. fine baked goods from Becky Day's Nana Days  call 07572 404400

It’s all about good taste. fine baked goods from Becky Day’s Nana Days – call 07572 404400

Award-winning, tasty, hot and spicy condiments from Mr. Vikki.

Award-winning, tasty, hot and spicy condiments from Mr. Vikki.

Dalemain's award-winning marmalade! Need I say more?

Dalemain’s award-winning marmalade! Treat your tongue to some, you won’t regret it.

Another treat for the breakfast table! Rachael's premium granola is packed with good grains, seeds and dried fruits. Good flavour , texture and micro-nutrients abound!

Another treat for the breakfast table! Rachael’s kitchen premium granola is packed with good grains, seeds and dried fruits. Good flavour , texture and micro-nutrients abound!

Scrummy Vanilla Fudge from Loopy Lisa.

Scrummy Vanilla Fudge from Loopy Lisa. Bags of taste and bags of awards! 

After the festive feeding and partying it only remains to make a date in your new diaries for next year’s Askham Christmas Market, it will be Sunday December 7th 2014!

NB. Charles Paxton received no remuneration for writing this article, but he did gain from selling his goods at the market and accrued experience with his new camera.

Location, location, location! EDC Planners Tour Developments In Eden District Promoting Better Understanding Of Planning Impacts

modified from  Barry Cooper’s EDC Press release by Charles Paxton

 “provision of affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing the District”

Councillor Michael Slee, Chairman of EDC’s Planning Applications Committee

“Location, location, location!” Eden District Council’s Planning Applications Committee (PAC) embarked on a tour of completed development last Friday to see how the quality and design of developments in Eden District is helping to enhance and sustain the area.

The developments the PAC visited included:

  • A slurry lagoon at South Dyke Farm, Salkeld Dykes
  • A wind turbine at Barrockside Farm, Carleton
  • Units at the Castle Retail Park, Penrith
  • Housing developments at  Clifton, Crosby Ravensworth and Kirkby Stephen.

PAC determines the most controversial and significant planning applications, ranging from housing development and industrial sites to building conversions and extensions. The quality of development being approved in the District is also helping to create and sustain jobs in the local economy and supply much needed housing.

According to EDC, research from the CBI shows that every £1 spent in the construction industry generates a £2.84 multiplier of additional benefit for the UK’s economy. In Eden District 16.7% of men are employed in construction, compared to 12.8% nationally. It is the biggest source of employment for men compared to other sectors.

The PAC team covered a lot of ground on their tour, but their visit to Crosby Ravensworth didn’t seem at all rushed.

Affordable housing need has featured prominently in the news recently and it is developments like Crosby Ravensworth’s Stoneworks Garth community led affordable housing project, Kirkby Stephen’s and Clifton’s social housing that offer hope to people looking for affordable local housing in Eden while producing the valuable chain of economic benefit. The mood was light, but the Planner’s visit was intelligently focused, with plenty of poignant questions and answers. Some homes at Stoneworks Garth are faced in local buff sandstone, others with render, the porches help unify the development. Another unifying factor at Stoneworks Garth is the  environmentally friendly heating.

Renewable heating in each home distinguishes this development. With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s announcement this week that anthropogenic influence on climate change is an undeniable reality, the heating systems in this affordable housing project render it exemplary. When one planner wondered “Where are the chimneys?” David Graham, Chair of the local community land trust explained,”These are modern homes, there are no coal fires, so they don’t need chimneys.” Coupled with good insulation, the air-source heat pumps provide comfortable, clean modern heating efficiency. The self-builds here are eco-friendly too with solar thermal and solar photovoltaic panels and biomas heating. Very fitting, set as they are, in the beautiful Lyvennet Valley countryside.

David Graham, Chairman of the Lyvennet Community Trust and Chair of the national Community Land Trusts' Association describes the historical progress of the Stoneworks Garth community housing project in Crosby Ravensworth

“The gardens are looking more established now, the houses more ‘lived in’. People are stamping their mark on these homes,” says David Graham (left), Chairman of the Lyvennet Community Trust and Chair of the national Community Land Trusts’ Association describing the historical progress of the Stoneworks Garth community housing project in Crosby Ravensworth to visiting PAC members including the head of planning (centre left) and the PAC Chair (centre right)

EDC Planners from PAC view ecologically friendly housing at Stoneworks Garth, Crosby Ravensworth,

“Where are the chimneys?” EDC Planners from PAC view ecologically friendly housing at Stoneworks Garth, Crosby Ravensworth,

EDC PAC Planners admiring an exterior-mounted intake unit for a Mitsubishi Air-source heat pump at The Lyvennet Community Trust's Stoneworks Garth development in Crosby Ravensworth.

EDC PAC Planners and Parish Councillor Gordon Bowness admiring an exterior-mounted intake unit for a Mitsubishi Air-source heat pump at The Lyvennet Community Trust’s Stoneworks Garth development in Crosby Ravensworth.

Such housing, within easy walking distance of the Primary school, Community pub, Village Hall and Parish Church affording a great start for young families but also a useful opportunity for mature people needing to downsize and remain in the area that they love.

Of the tour, Councillor Michael Slee, Chairman of the PAC said: “It is very important for committee members to have a good knowledge about the quality and types of development that are taking place in the District. We also need to garner people’s views about these developments and recognise the important role planning plays in promoting good quality design and sustaining the local economy. This tour gave members the chance to visit a variety of different types of development from new housing and retail premises, to wind turbines and a slurry lagoon.

“We had the opportunity to view an affordable home that is nearing completion at a Story Homes’ development at Kirkby Stephen. This will be of particular interest to the committee as the provision of affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing the District. We also spoke with representatives from parish councillors on the tour, so they could feedback the views of the local community about the developments we visited.”

In the last full year Eden District Council granted approval for 207 new homes to be built in the District, this includes 34 affordable homes. Story Homes are building 106 new homes at developments at Birkbeck Gardens, Kirkby Stephen and Clifton Hill Gardens, near Penrith.

Claire Bainbridge and nine month old daughter Grace, welcome representatives from Kirkby Stephen Town Council, Eden District Council and Story Homes for a tour of the new market led and affordable housing at Birkbeck Gardens, Nateby Road, Kirkby Stephen.

Claire Bainbridge and nine month old daughter Grace, welcome representatives from Kirkby Stephen Town Council, Eden District Council and Story Homes for a tour of the new market led and affordable housing at Birkbeck Gardens, Nateby Road, Kirkby Stephen. EDC Photo

A local young person who has purchased one of the market led houses at the Story Homes site at Kirkby Stephen said: “This development gave me and many other young people the opportunity to buy a first home in and around the area that we were raised, the existing stock on the market in the smaller villages and towns in Eden is not within a realistic price range for a first time buyer. It’s great to see how quickly the houses are being snapped up by young local people and this shows an obvious need.”

A spokesperson for Story Homes said: “Demand on the developments in Clifton and Kirkby Stephen has been high and we have recruited local staff and sub contractors to help us deliver these much needed homes and our quality product, which is sensitive to the surroundings. We have a reputation for providing high quality private houses and we are proud that we can retain this quality in our social housing. Both developments complement and enhance the sustainable credentials of these key and local service centres, whilst delivering much needed open market and affordable housing within the Eden District.”

For more information about the local young families benefitting from the new housing at Birkbeck Gardens visit www.storyhomes.co.uk/customer-comment/mr-bainbridge

The affordable housing at Birkbeck Gardens and Clifton Hill Gardens are being managed by Riverside Housing. Riverside’s Project Manager, Becci Kenvyn said: “These properties offer much needed affordable housing for rent by local people. The two schemes address housing need by offering a mix of bungalows and houses. The provision of homes for Shared Ownership at the Kirkby Stephen site, offer a fantastic opportunity for local first time buyers to get on the housing ladder in an area that would have otherwise been unaffordable.”

For more information about Eden District Council visit www.eden.gov.uk or follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Rural Cumbria Connects Launches Community Purchase Scheme For Renewable Heating

Rural Cumbria Connects logo

For Original Press Release Click Here

Forty rural homes off the gas grid are to benefit from support grants from Energy Savings Trust (EST) for renewable biomass and solar water heating technologies  in a new community purchase scheme unique to Cumbria, run by Rural Cumbria Connects. 

Environmental education at Low Luckens Organic Resource Centre www.lowluckensfarm.co.uk

Environmental education at Low Luckens Organic Resource Centre www.lowluckensfarm.co.uk

Established for community benefit, Rural Cumbria Connects is managed by Simon Sjenitzer and Hazel Broatch of Low Lucans Organic Research Centre (LLORC). Low Luckens Organic Resource Centre was founded in 2000 as an Industrial & Provident Society based on 220 acres of organic farmland, ancient woodland and river not far from Carlisle.  LLORC works to promote sustainable farming, local healthy food and the countryside to visitors of all ages and abilities. Renewable heating is an important element of sustainable living in rural and urban areas alike, but it’s adoption in rural homes that are off the gas grid is seen as particularly important, not just in the reduction of carbon emissions from fossil fuels, but also in lowering heating costs, improving heating efficiency and quality of life.

The technologies supported in this initiative are Biomass boilers and Solar Thermal water heating systems and Rural Cumbria Connects has successfully arranged support funding from Energy Savings Trust that is significantly better than the Premium Payments previously available for householders. Under the community purchase terms the forty owner occupiers can get grants of £3000 towards biomass boiler installations , and £700 towards solar thermal panels, installed alone or in combination.  According to its website,

“the Energy Savings Trust serves communities and households by giving impartial, independent and accurate advice on carbon emissions reduction, saving water, reducing energy bills and developing sustainable sources of energy.”

Simon Sjenitzer, Chairman of LLORC said “The scheme is unique and has shown what can be achieved by community organisations across Cumbria working together. We have been successful in securing over £100,000 in grants (through The Energy Savings Trust) for homeowners across Cumbria who are dependent on oil, LPG, and coal for heating their homes.” He went on to explain that the homeowners will receive their grants direct from the Government after they have installed one of the identified technologies. “Community purchasing of these technologies is expected to benefit customers and suppliers, create jobs and further encourage the developing fuel-wood supply-chain locally. There is an anticipated depth of benefit that transcends efficient home heating, free of fossil fuels.”

The UK has committed to improving energy efficiency in domestic properties and has identified rural properties in areas that are not on the gas grid as good candidates for renewable heat technologies.

Carl Bendelow, Projects Co-ordinator for Heart of Eden Development Trust has been instrumental in advancing  several environmental energy projects with the Heart of Eden, including a successful Solar Photovoltaic installation and in-depth research into the feasibility of a micro-hydro electric project in the Eden. Carl said “The Heart of Eden Development Trust has an ongoing interest in promoting sustainable energy and so we’re very pleased to help rural homes switch to renewable heating. The uptake has been enthusiastic and the response shows that there’s a clear need and that our work has been worthwhile.”

Biomass boiler , Windhager LogWin, and insulated water tank installed by Logic . Photo Copyright LOGIC Renewables.

Biomass boiler , Windhager LogWin, and insulated water tank installed by Logic .
Photo Copyright LOGIC Renewables.

Many people that Heart of Eden contacted about the RCC scheme have expressed interest in biomass boilers and solar thermal panels. In the face of rising fossil fuel prices and fuel poverty, switching to Biomass has attractive benefits going forward:

  • Pellets are about half the price of oil per kWh, can be bulk purchased and fed automatically from storage hoppers.

  • The government rewards users under the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme (those who receive grants under this scheme will still be able to take part in the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive when it is introduced).

  • The fuel can be produced in Cumbria and surrounds, supporting local producers and reducing our dependence upon imported fuel so reducing the carbon emissions involved in “fuel miles”, and assisting local employment.

  •  The fuel itself emits carbon from this current phase of the carbon cycle, not from past atmospheres, and is clean burning leaving a fine ash suitable for enriching gardens and sweetening acid soil. If not burnt, vegetable matter will emit carbon dioxide in the natural course of its decomposition.

For more information about Biomass heating please see LOGIC’s biomass web page and Case studies pages

Solar Thermal systems specifically assist water heating. Serving best in summer months, they require little maintenance and can contribute up to 60% of domestic annual hot water supply. More information on Solar Thermal from LOGIC’s site

LOGIC Renewables has been selected as the the preferred installer for the projects and will be installing systems over the next three months. LOGIC was selected by Rural Cumbria Connects for their experience in renewable technology installations (see Case studies) for being a local employer and investor in skills development and for their professional practice of using only industry registered and certified, CRB checked engineers with uniforms, marked vans, equipped with PDAs for independent communication with their Headquarters on Appleby’s Cross Croft Industrial Estate. LOGIC’s capability of servicing the installations and 24 hr emergency call-out also make the firm a good choice .

Kevin Hall of LOGIC Renewables said “We are very proud to be installers for Rural Cumbria Connects. Community group purchasing for renewable heating should make it accessible to more people and will also help local employment.” He went on to say “LOGIC has put renewables into community buildings, farms, hotels and residential properties. Biomass and Solar Thermal are good reliable technologies. ”

The community groups and LLORC are maintaining a reserve list for later submissions. So home owners who complete and submit the Expression of Interest (EOI) form (To download,  click here to access the page) will have their interest registered and may yet be included in the event of any households dropping out, or if further funds become available. For more information on Rural Cumbria Connects please contact Hazel Broatch on 016977 48860 or Simon Sjenitzer 07796 763 816

LOGIC Renewables van outside the offices and showroom, no.6 Cross Croft Industrial estate, Appleby-in-Westmorland

LOGIC Renewables van outside the offices and showroom, no.6 Cross Croft Industrial estate, Appleby-in-Westmorland

For more information about LOGIC renewables contact:
Dave McGuiggan Renewables Manager   01228 59 8000
and view Logic’s website    http://www.logic-group.co.uk

Heart of Eden
HoE has been keenly engaged in important social infrastructure and environment and development work in the Appleby area of Westmorland.

They worked on a feasibility study for a hydro electricity generation plant at Bongate weir, Appleby, Solar Photo Voltaic systems on village halls with Big Society funding, a survey of energy use in the HoE communities (the SEE study) and a DECC LEAF study for the creation of an energy node at Kirkby Thore. For more information please view the HoE website.

http://www.heartofeden.co.uk

Or contact

Carl Bendelow
Project Development Officer
Heart of Eden Development Trust www.ApplebyBusinessCentre.co.uk Appleby Cumbria CA16 6QH