Published : 08 Nov 2017

We are so pleased that Sticklebarn is the first National Trust hydro-powered pub and we're serving you one of the greenest pints in the UK.

In October this year, Stickle Ghyll Hydro celebrated its second birthday. In May Sticklebarn became the first National Trust hydro-powered pub and we’ve been serving you one of the greenest pints in the UK ever since.

Stickle Ghyll hydro, a system that uses fast-flowing water to generate energy, was completed in 2015 and delivered 385,421 kWh in its first year, that’s enough energy to power 90 homes and 7% more energy than we anticipated. Since May this year Sticklebarn has been hooked up to the scheme, meaning that the whole pub is powered by clean, renewable energy.

 “Most people who come to the pub have had an energising hike through this fantastic countryside, and they’re after a bit of refreshment. The great news is that by having a pint, visitors can help us look after this landscape,” hydro project manager, Garry Sharples said.

By using water flowing down the hillside in the Langdale Valley, the hydro helps reduce environmental impacts by supplying clean, renewable energy year-round. Any excess electricity is also fed into the National Grid, freeing up funds for our vital conservation work.

" I’m always really happy when it rains, which luckily, it does a fair bit here, because it essentially means we get fuel from the sky!"
- Garry Sharples, hydro project manager

Continuing the tradition

Stickle Ghyll has a long legacy of industrial use – in a way we’re actually following in the footsteps of what was here before.

The stone walls found at the start of the path, behind the pub, are part of the remains of a fulling mill which was built here in 1453 to clean and felt wool. The mill would have been powered by water wheel using water diverted from Stickle Ghyll. 

The tarn that feeds Stickle Ghyll was enlarged by the building of a stone dam in 1838 for the Gunpowder works at Elterwater, providing a controlled water source for mechanical power and in the mid 1900’s, a modern day electric Gilkes generator provided power for the adjacent New Dungeon Ghyll.

Our ambition

The hydro project is part of a Trust-wide renewable energy investment programme (REI), set up to create renewable energy projects to help the organisation reduce our fossil fuel use, provide clean energy alternatives – and reduce some energy bills to boot.

“As an organisation we’ve committed to reducing our own reliance on fossil fuels by 50 per cent by 2020. We’re already experiencing the impact of climate change at many of our places, and we feel it makes complete sense that we should play our part in reducing reliance on fossil fuels and look after the long-term health of the places we care for,” said Mike Hudson, the National Trust’s REI programme director.

Serving hydro-powered pints to weary fell walkers is just the first step in our ambition for Sticklebarn to become truly sustainable.

“We are so pleased to be using hydroelectricity to power Sticklebarn, it’s a huge leap forward in realising our ambition to become a truly sustainable pub, harnessing energy from the natural resource that we often have in abundance in Langdale. But there is still so much more that we can do, we’re currently starting to look at ways to embed sustainability into all aspects of our operation including the way we handle waste, the equipment we use in the kitchen and the way we source our ingredients,” said Gareth Fuke, Catering Manager at Sticklebarn.

You can help to keep the Lake District green by tucking in to a picturesque pint, and supporting the vital conservation work that is happening in the area. The money we save on our energy will enable us to continue caring for Langdale for years to come.

Thanks for your support.

Our work on energy

Find out more about how we're being careful with the energy we use, and tips for you to reduce energy and save money in your own home