Kellie Channing a House Steward at Dudmaston

 Sunlight and shadows bathe the East Front of Dudmaston Hall as the evening sun sets
Meet Dudmaston Hall's house steward and Green Champion National Trust Images / Michael Caldwell

With 90 volunteers and two staff members to take care of, Dudmaston's house steward Kellie Channing has certainly got her hands full. Somehow she still manages to find time to be a ‘Green Champion’ to her colleagues and has helped make some big energy savings.

Kellie tells us about her role and what motivates her.

Becoming a house steward

'When my children were small I took a part-time role as a visitor services assistant at Alfriston Clergy House. From there I went on to Nymans as a conservation assistant and then came here as a house steward.'

Getting the house in order

'Now that Dudmaston has opened after the winter break, I’m making sure the hall is ready for visitors. I’ve got two colleagues in my team and while they do the cleaning, I’m in the office making sure the admin is up to date.
I also have more than 90 volunteers to organise, which takes up most of my time. I ordered 130 cakes last week to keep them all going! They’re vital to Dudmaston and the Trust so it’s important they’re happy and supported.
I really enjoy my job, but I’ve recently been thinking about becoming an environmental practices advisor for the Trust and will be shadowing one of our fantastic advisors, Ed Wood.'

Going green

'I’ve been a Green Champion at Dudmaston since the project started in 2011. We’ve been making some really simple changes like swapping fixed electric wall heaters for wood burners in the tea room, gardeners office and reception area.
The wood comes from the estate so there’s no mileage on it at all. Making small changes like this has made a massive difference. In my first year as a Green Champion we made a 50 per cent saving on our energy bill.'

Measuring success

'I really like graphs and statistics. I love it when the environmental advisors send out reports that show how much energy all of the Trust places have been using and saving. I like to see how we compare with others; I love the competition.
Now we’ve done all the quick wins – for example swapping normal lightbulbs for LEDs and electric heaters for wood burners – we’ve got to think bigger to keep on making progress. The next project on the horizon is a heat pump in our Big Pool.'

A lifetime of green living

'I’ve always been a champion for recycling and energy saving throughout my whole life. When I was a child in the 70s we often used to have water and hose pipe bans, so it made me appreciate our natural resources and not waste them.
I firmly believe in climate change and I do think it’s exacerbated by us, but there’s much we can do to reduce, reuse and recycle to protect the places we love