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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Lake District pub to be powered by water

Punters could soon be enjoying their favourite tipple at a Lakeland watering hole powered by...water.

Garry Sharples photo
Garry Sharples at the site where the hydro-electric plant is to be placed

The National Trust is bidding to launch a 100kw hydropower scheme at Stickle Ghyll in the Lake District.

Around 30 per cent of the energy generated by the £600,000 project would be used to power the Sticklebarn pub in Great Langdale.

The Sticklebarn, the only National Trust pub in the country, is built from stone, slate and timber from the surrounding valley.

It has served local farmers for generations and sources as much food, water and wood from the surrounding area as it can, while all proceeds are invested back into the landscape.

The hydropower scheme is one of five renewable energy pilot projects throughout England and Wales.

It is part of the National Trust’s Grow Your Own strategy to generate its own power and to help the organisation cut its fossil fuel usage by half by the end of the decade.

More than 160 potential sites able to harness hydropower were identified in the Lakes alone following investigations two years ago.

One of the sites, Hayeswater, was found to be capable of providing 600kw of energy – enough to power about 500 homes.

Garry Sharples, the trust’s environmental practices advisor in the north west, described the project as an exciting opportunity.

He said: “It’s part of our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint by generating much more of our own energy. Reducing our spending on energy costs allows us to invest more in our conservation work in Langdale and across the Lakes.

“The hydro scheme will generate savings for the National Trust as we won’t have to buy electricity for the pub and we’ll also benefit from power sold back to the grid, which we’ll be able to reinvest in our conservation work.”

As part of the hydropower scheme, the trust has also identified a series of other improvements in the area that can be carried out at the same time. The village’s fragile water supply is set to be improved with renewed pipework buried under a reinstated path.

And a bridge that is set to host the water intake point and currently provides access to the fells for walkers will be strengthened.

If the scheme is granted planning permission work is due to completed in the autumn next year.

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