From transforming a Victorian sewage pipe into a gardening watering system to drawing out the energy beneath our feet, we're working in unusual ways to make the places in our care more sustainable.
Listen to our podcast to discover how we keep the flowers blooming in the gardens at Blickling Estate and use energy from the lake to protect some of the rarest items in our collections.
We aim to produce 50 per cent of the energy we use from renewable sources by 2021, and heat-pump energy, which uses pipes buried deep beneath the ground to extract the heat that is trapped there, is helping us to achieve this. We use this kind of energy at 83 of the places in our care, and, overall, it generates 2,076,210 of kilowatt hours a year.
We'll be installing 20 more heat pump projects at the places we care for during the next five years, which means we'll be able to put even more money towards vital conservation work to protect the countryside you love.
The podcast was made possible thanks to the support of BMW i, the brand behind the all-electric BMW i3. As our partner, BMW i is not only allowing us to expand our network of electric vehicle charging points it is also helping us achieve our renewable energy ambitions by investing in groundbreaking projects at National Trust places.
Episode 3: Lake-powered books
Heat-pump energy isn't feasible for many of us, but there are several things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. From tree planting to using ethical search engines, we've got lots of ideas for you to try at home.
Use charitable search engines, which use the money they get from advertising to repopulate the world's forests.
Making your garden grow
You could rearrange the flower beds and plants in your garden to be in line with your household drain pipes. This means that surplus water from the home can be used to water plants and shrubbery.
Plant a tree
Trees are the best natural defence again greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide. Petition for more trees and greenery in your local area, and get involved National Trust or other community tree planting projects.
Our work with BMW i
BMW i is committed to creating a more sustainable future and makes use of many of the renewable energy technologies that we do.
Powered entirely by four wind turbines, the production of the all-electric BMW i3 uses 50 per cent less energy than a normal car, and 70 per cent less water. The land around the plant is full of flowering meadows, trees, and shrubs, and is home to lots of plants and animals.
There are more than 230 apple trees, harvested by the factory each September, and 780,000 bees help support the local ecosystem and supply the local community with honey.
Our partnership with BMW i also means we can invest even more in renewable energy projects, and make travel to the places we care for more sustainable by expanding our network of electric vehicle charging points.