A Canal is a green corridor, rich in wildlife, a natural magnet for a very wide range of flora and fauna. The Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal Trust ensures that in each restoration project, sustainability plays a key role in its planning and development. Examples of this can be seen on each of our sites. Our motto – Working together in the present to revive the past and secure a better future shows the very essence of sustainability. We want to leave a green and pleasant waterway for future generation to enjoy. We are still learning how to do this extensively, but we have already made a lot of progress to this end.
Wind power at Alney Island
Gloucester City Council has erected a new wind turbine just behind our two cottages by the lock at Llanthony. We have been able to support this sustainable resource by agreeing that they could connect their turbine to the National Grid by means of the supply at our cottages.
This saved half the cost of installation and, in return, we receive the spare electricity whilst the Council has free power for its pump to keep the wetland on the island well watered. They also keep the “Renewable Obligation Certificates”.
A win for Gloucestershire County Council and for the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust.
Llanthony: Hydro-Electric & Flood Relief Scheme
Richard Benyon MP, the Minister for Inland Waterways, at Gloucester, together with David Penny from the Canal Trust, announced the above scheme to an assembled audience in Hereford on 12th December 2011. The assembled company included executives from British Waterways and the Environment Agency together with directors and cabinet members of the Local Authorities of both Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
The day was to permit the Minister to open the Environment Agency’s new flood storage scheme at Horsebere Brook and to launch British Waterways locally as a charity. After the Minister had delivered his speech, he handed over to David Penny to launch the £7m scheme at Llanthony to create a new lock that will also serve as a flood relief channel and a major hydro-electric scheme. As well as being a huge asset to the community residing either side of the River Severn’s route, the scheme is set to earn the HGCT a good return once operational.
It will take several years to reach the stage of acquiring planning permission and other consents, but it will now be full steam ahead, led from the HGCT headquarters at The Wharf House, Over, to reach that objective.
Saving energy at The Wharf House
The Wharf House is a good example of where our sustainability applies. During the fit-out vast amounts of insulation was used to fill every possible cavity, eliminating heat loss during winter months and low energy under-floor heating was fitted throughout the building.
All the tungsten filament light bulbs were all replaced by lower energy ones making a considerable saving to the electricity requirements. There is a policy of not using unnecessary lighting throughout the building, with a number of automatic switch on/off lighting areas triggered by movement.
The kitchen is fitted with an induction hob. They work by creating an electromagnetic field, that doesn't heat the hob itself, just the pan, so cooking is far quicker than it would be ordinarily, and temperature changes are instantaneous. On top of that an induction hob is an energy saver, making use of 90% of the energy produced compared with the 55% used by gas.
The roof of the building is fitted with 94 photovoltaic panels. At the time of installation this was the largest display of solar power panels in Gloucestershire and generates up to a peak of 17 kW per hour. A monitor within the Visitor Centre shows the current rate – it makes an interesting conversation piece for visitors.