A good weekend for Hydro

25th Oct 2013

Locals and visitors alike enjoyed a green weekend on 12-13 October when buildings across the Peak District opened their doors to the public as part of the Friends of the Peak District’s Green Buildings Open Up Weekend.


In spite of rain, mist and fog, hardy visitors turned up at green venues across the Peak District to find out what all the fuss was about.


They were treated to tours and presentations by farmers, home owners and community members, all of whom had been involved in innovative green buildings projects.


Combs Village Hall provided a focus for the ‘quarry corridor’ of the Peak District, showing how a village hall and infant school could lower their bills and save precious natural resources by embracing green technology. Meanwhile, Over Haddon Village Hall showed off its range of green technologies including photovoltaic tiles, air source heat pump, water collection, and state of the art heating control system.


In the central Peaks, visitors were wowed by small scale hydro schemes in Ashford in the Water, Alport and Calver. For a few minutes, water stopped running over the renovated mill wheel at the old corn mill in Calver, and visitors were able to explore the mechanism and underground workings of this fantastic green renovation project undertaken by Professor Bill Speirs and his neighbour.


Hopton Hall also welcomed scores of visitors from across the Peak District who were interested in biomass. Installed by Purple Energy, the biomass scheme at Hopton Hall has helped significantly reduce the estate’s carbon footprint. Purple Energy were present on the day to answer questions and advise visitors as to the best green technology to suit their needs.


Other highlights from the weekend include the Torrs Hydro scheme in New Mills, a community owned archimedean screw which was open to the public on both days, and which even had musical accompaniment from a local school choir on Sunday afternoon. Another highlight was Big Fernyford Farm, a National Park property which has been renovated in a manner sensitive to both the environment and surrounding landscape.


Profiles of all the green buildings involved in the Open Up Weekend can be found online at www.green-buildings.org.uk