Reducing our carbon footprint at Blickling Estate

A view of Blickling Hall across the lake
Published : 21 Feb 2017 Last update : 25 May 2017

Teaming with wildlife and measuring 2km at its widest point, Blickling’s lake supports a diverse ecosystem including carp, pike, reed warblers and great crested grebes. Now its importance has grown even further, as we use it to harness green energy thanks to the National Trust's Renewable Energy Investment Programme.

A new lease of life for the book collection

The library at Blickling has long been home to one of the most important book collections in the Trust, with more than 12,500 books under its care.

You'll find precious first editions of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice , as well as two extremely rare copies of the Coverdale Bible, the first English language bible.

The Blickling estate now also features a state-of-the-art water-source heat pump, which sees three miles of pipes connected in a giant loop system under the surface of Blickling's lake, extracting enough heat to warm the house and one of the service wings.

" The delicate nature of our books means a constant ambient temperature is essential for prolonging their life and slowing down the rate of deterioration. The oil fired boilers that we were using, tended to result in temperatures fluctuating; encouraging mould, pests and cracking along the spines of the books."
- Kenny Gray, House Steward

The savings

The scheme is part of the Renewable Energy Investment Programme, which was set up in 2013 in partnership with green energy provider Good Energy.

Thanks to the programme, the system will save the Trust more than £30,000 a year on oil costs.

It will also reduce carbon emissions by 69 tonnes a year and help contribute to the Trust's ambitious target of transferring 50% of its usage over to renewables by 2020.

" It was an easy decision to make, not only will it reduce our carbon footprint and save money that we can be put towards conservation projects here at Blickling, it’s safer for our wildlife too."
- Spike Malin, Premises Manager