The last week has been quite hectic and extremely varied, and although I am exhausted has been one of those weeks that you will remember for a long time.Monday – Check on the progress of re-instatement of the marine walk at Plas Newydd in advance of heat pump contractor starting in earnest. The restoration works were completed by our upland footpath team from Snowdonia and the before and after shot shows just what a fantastic job they have done.
Evening presentation to a community group in Montgomery. I was asked to “do a turn” on the work that the National Trust has on the go. Ranging from heat pumps to hydro’s; PV to LED. Its only when you stop to catch breath that you realise how much has actually changed since we started all of this 5 years ago.Tuesday – Travel down to the East of England to look at renewable heating options at several properties with other NT colleagues. This is the fun bit!
Those of you who know Keith and I know that we like nothing better than to pontificate, be nosey and generally crawl around in either the undergrowth or down manholes. The two days spent assessing opportunities at Blickling, Sutton Hoo, Wimpole and Anglesey Abbbey was no exception. Did you know that Blickling (potential Lake based heat pump system) had an underground waterwheel which was originally used to transport foul water away from the property? Neither did I. I then got funny looks when I asked if I could crawl down the hole to see it as I could not resist!
The property team are currently restoring the wheel with the aim to utilise it to help alleviate the risk of flooding. It goes to show that countryhouse technology really does work and can play an active role in management well into the 21st Century.Friday – I travelled to Cardiff in order to present on Wales NT environmental work at the AGM on the Saturday.It was an extremely interesting day with opportunities to talk with our members on renewables and environmental management. The afternoon included an open debate on energy generation and the National Trust with Patrick Begg outlining how the National Trust is in the unique position of trialling, educating and sharing our lessons across a wide range of technologies, whilst always ensuring appropriateness within the setting. The end of the debate saw an open vote, the result of which was a resoundingly positive affirmation of the NT’s approach to efficiency and renewables.