Lynn and Richard have provided long term community engagement and communications support to an innovative carbon neutral project in their Cheshire village of Ashton Hayes, which has received global media coverage over the past six years.
In 2007 they were actively involved in organising the first national grass roots conference on tackling climate change at Chester University and presented a seminar on communications and engagement for other communities interested in carbon neutrality. Richard has given presentations to a number of communities throughout the country on his experience of community engagement in Ashton Hayes. He also played a major role in writing the bid that secured £400,000 in funding from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for the microgrid in the village. The funding provided solar photovoltaic (pv) panels on the village school, a low energy pavilion with solar pv panels for the sports field and an electric car for community use. In addition he wrote and delivered a presentation to the visiting DECC inspector.
Lynn and Richard are currently supporting the development of the village’s pioneering low carbon energy company, devising a range of communications to inform and involve local people. The company, which is being monitored by the government as a model for other communities, owns extensive solar, pv panels throughout the village and is managing the feed in tariff income on behalf of local people.