Green energy at Bodnant Garden

Solar panel installation at Bodnant in Wales win energy award

As a Grade I listed garden with 80 acres of formal beds, borders, woodland and meadow, Bodnant is already pretty green. But by using renewable energy we’re doing our bit to make the way we operate more efficient and sustainable for the future.

Our biggest green project to date has been solar-powering our tearoom with an national award-winning installation in the car park. Designed by Carbon Zero, the 175 photo-voltaic panels laid out on the hillside generate enough electricity to power the Pavilion cafe and two charging points for electric vehicles (plus gardeners’ battery power tools).

The photo-voltaic panels also generate power for an air source heat pump in the car park toilet block, providing hot water for hand washing as well as background room heating. The heat pump is highly efficient and works effectively all year round.

In the garden

In the garden we’ve switched to many battery operated power tools – they’re lighter and cleaner for our gardeners to use and quieter for visitors, as well as being better for the environment. We’ve even invested in a battery powered robot mower which is programmed to cut the rolling North Garden lawn automatically, freeing up gardeners for the trickier jobs. And of course we recycle all our leaves, wood chippings and plant cuttings to make our make our own compst, which mulches the beds in spring.

The National Trust has a mission to reduce the use of fossil fuels at its properties and places across the UK and to be carbon net zero by 2030. Solar power, hydro power and heat pumps are some of the ways we're replacing fossil-fired heating systems.

At Bodnant Garden every penny saved by using renewable energy goes back into conservation work. It helps fund garden renovation as well as ongoing architectural projects such as replacing the crumbling Croquet Terrace Fountain, repairing the Pin Mill upper floor and conserving the sculptural interior of the Poem mausoleum.