The greening of Bransdale
Bransdale is a hidden gem in the heart of the North York Moors comprising 2,000 acres of upland farm land.
Many years ago the Trust decided that it should be a place to be discovered so you won’t find it in our literature. Some 80 hardy souls live there, mostly Trust tenants. Today Bransdale is fast becoming an exemplar ‘green’ community.
The first innovation was back in 2001 when we used sheep’s wool insulation at Bransdale Lodge, the largest of the buildings in Bransdale, which was being renovated prior to new tenants moving in. This is now fairly commonplace, but back then was considered slightly wacky. The houses which were part of the wood fuel project in 2010 have also had their insulation upgraded to sheep’s wool and it is now fitted as a matter of course when we prepare houses for new tenants.
Cutting edge technology in the form of an Archimedean screw is providing one remote farm, Bonfield Ghyll, in Bransdale with reliable electricity for the first time.
Solar panels and sheep's wool insulation have helped us turn an old unused school house into a community space for the residents of Bransdale.
The Community Renewable Energy Programme is helping us improve our woodlands and providing sustainable fuel for our tenant farmers.
There are great things going on at the farms in Bransdale to improve farming practices, making them kinder to the environment.
What of the future?
Well, in addition to supplementing the PV panels at the Old School, we look after Bransdale Mill, an old water mill at the top of the Dale, which is currently used as a bunkhouse. It would be fantastic to get the old water wheel turning again to generate electricity, but the more efficient option would be another Archimedean Screw. This may even generate enough power to not only power the Mill, but also keep most of the homes in the Dale supplied.
Watch this space.