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Sedgeberrow Energy Scene “Sedgeberrow Energy Scene� production costs provided by Sedgeberrow Parish Council

Sedgeberrow Village Home Energy Survey undertaken in August & September 2013 Report produced by : Mick & Kim Workman, Mike Parker, Chris & Mel Wilson, Marilyn Butt, Mary Unwin, Rachel Jones. Watercolour by Pam Cuthbert.

A SeSaME Production. March 2014.

Editorial Editors Mike Parker: 01386 881863 Mel Wilson Email: Website:

Acknowledgements A joint planning meeting with Mike Parker of SeSaME, Mary Unwin from Wychavon Housing and Rachel Jones of Act on Energy finally created the Home Energy survey form and Door Knock crib sheet that you can see on pages 6 to 9 of this document. We are grateful to Wychavon DC who printed all the forms and the crib sheet, together with a calling card to leave when a villager was out.

Page Index 3. Introduction to the Energy Scene 4. 5. Introduction to the Home Energy Survey 6. 1st page Home Energy Survey Form 7. 1st page Door knock crib sheet 8. 2nd page Home Energy Survey Form 9. 2nd page Door knock crib sheet Act on Energy Survey Data Analysis 10. Background to the Project 11. Roads surveyed and Houses tenure 12. House types & House size 13. House Age and Wall Insulation 14. Roof Insulation and Windows 15. Main heating Fuels and Type 16. Boiler Age and Heating Controls 17. Hot Water Type & Improvements Desired by Householders 18. Household Characteristics and Fuel Suppliers 19. Householdâ€&#x;s Qualifying for help 19-22 Comments and Recommendations, with Follow Up Action 23-27. Energy Report for Village Hall. 27. Sesame Seeds Allotment 28.29.Opportunity for Energy Creation

The survey was launched on the 1st of August with a two page centre spread in the Sedgeberrow Post (see the page 4 & 5 here) and a letter from our Wychavon Housing Officer to all village households. We owe many thanks to 15 staunch villagers who each visited an average of about 25 Sedgeberrow houses.

30. RSPB & Climate Change 31. Fossil Fuel Focus

32. Sandfield Farm HLS Scheme 33. Rooftop Housing Insulation 34. Land Management & Flooding 35. Sedgeberrow School 36. Useful Local Information

This publication is printed on (FSC) responsibly produced paper.


Introduction This Sedgeberrow Energy Scene comes to you courtesy of the team that produces and delivers the Sedgeberrow Post bi-monthly, our village newsletter. Like the Post it is also available on the Sedgeberrow Sustainable and Manageable Energy (SeSaME) website at Its printing costs have been met by a Sedgeberrow Parish Council grant and we are very grateful for their support. The report has also been made possible because SeSaME joined forces with Wychavon District Council and Act on Energy to conduct a survey of our village‟s energy needs, the core subject of this booklet. The opportunity has also been taken to include details of other initiatives, in and around Sedgeberrow, that are already making their own contribution to ensuring that the village becomes a more sustainable community. We wish them all well. Wychavon‟s Principal Housing Officer, Mary Unwin together with Rachel Jones of Act on Energy organised the training of our 15 volunteers. We planned the Survey Form‟s content with them. Those volunteers went on to undertake the actual survey, delivering, talking to villagers and collecting the completed forms. Wychavon District Council printed the actual form and a crib sheet that explained the purpose of each question (See pages 6 to 9), together with a “Sorry we missed you today card” to leave when people were out. Mary Unwin also wrote to all villagers before the Survey was about to begin and this was complemented by an article in the Sedgeberrow Post explaining in detail the reasons for SeSaME doing the Survey. Many thanks to them all. The village responded well with a 61% return of completed forms. We have four of the “Big Six Energy Suppliers” in foreign ownership, and solely responsible for around three-quarters of British electric and gas generating capacity. With French owned EDF, together with the People‟s Republic of Communist China, also developing a proposed new nuclear power station and French owned Total investing in shale gas drilling, a process banned in their own country, little old Sedgeberrow cannot expect to have much influence on our countrywide energy policy.

We can though have our own energy policy. We can if we wish:

USE LESS, SAVE MORE, BUY TOGETHER and even CREATE OUR OWN ENERGY. Which is what this little booklet is all about. Mike Parker. (SeSaME Chair) Sedgeberrow Energy Scene is available online at Go to the Home page and click on the Survey link.


Background Story to the Survey (Pages 4 - 9) These pages repeat information provided in the Sedgeberrow Post before the survey started, except page 5 which has been altered due to radical new changes proposed.

Home Energy Survey to Cut Your Fuel Costs. SeSaME has joined forces with Wychavon District Council and Act on Energy to conduct a survey of our village‟s energy needs. This will help us to utilise any potential funding resources that are available, such as the new Energy Company Obligation* and the Green Deal**. Starting this August a member of our survey team will be knocking on your door and asking you to fill in a home energy survey form with them. This form will enable us to see what energy efficiency measures you could benefit from, and ultimately the level of funding that might be available.

A completed form is important to enable us to establish levels of funding we might be able to access.

How it will work? Once all the information has been gathered, the data will be collated and assessed to see what levels of funding can be achieved and what sort of measures can be offered to you.

What could be on offer?   

Detailed assessment/ survey of your house. Potential to access funding for assisting work on some properties. An information event organised at the Village Hall, where villagers can see what is on offer and talk through their needs. A chance to meet local traders and organisations. They will be invited to the public event in the village, offering solutions to the energy needs that your survey has revealed. Villagers can make contact there with approved traders, see what types of measures can be installed and decide what could be done for them.


What we are hoping to achieve?    

Help villagers invest profitably in their homes by reducing energy costs. Improve villagers joint buying of energy and thus reduce purchasing costs. Reduce our villages‟ carbon footprint. Link insulation with flood protection in affected properties.

Who is doing the survey work? A team of 15 village volunteers, complete with a survey form and information about the reasons for the questions you will be asked, will be doing the legwork. Please fill in your form with their help, even though you believe the results may not help your personal housing situation. Having first hand information for the whole village will help our efforts to reduce the heating costs of many residents: especially those with a history of old housing stock, built with poor insulation and heating sources. Mary Unwin from Wychavon District Council is providing the printed forms, together with all the related paperwork needed to ensure all our efforts are recorded and collated properly. The scope of the questions was jointly decided by all the three parties and Act On Energy created the master copy for Wychavon District Council to print the final copies. The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO)* is an energy efficiency programme that was introduced into Great Britain at the beginning of 2013. ECO places legal obligations on the larger energy suppliers to deliver energy efficiency measures to domestic energy users. It operates alongside the Green Deal** which is designed to help people make energy efficiency improvements to buildings by allowing them to pay the costs through their energy bills. ECO* is intended to work alongside the Green Deal** to provide additional support in the domestic sector, with a particular focus on vulnerable consumer groups and hard-to-treat homes such as those with solid walls.

Home Energy Survey Event. Sedgeberrow Village Hall. Saturday 12th April 2014. 2pm to 5pm. See page 22 for more details about Follow-up Action Copies of the actual form and a crib sheet that explains the purpose of each question are on pages 6 to 9, followed by Act on Energy‟s analysis of the information received with final comments and recommendations.






The Act on Energy report follows over the next 12 pages.

Report compiled for Wychavon District Council Energy Efficiency of households in the village of Sedgeberrow Background Sedgeberrow is a village community just 4 miles south of Evesham and clustered around a 14th Century church. It consists of around 370 domestic properties, a public house, shop and primary school/village hall and several outlying farms. The River Isbourne, a tributary of the Avon, runs through the north eastern edge of the village which suffers periodic flooding. The village is typical of a rural community located in this part of Worcestershire and although close to the market town of Evesham, does not have access to mains gas. Properties include a number of listed buildings in a conservation area with 57 buildings quoted on the historic building list. The Project Wychavon District Council in conjunction with the Warmer Worcestershire partnership have been developing plans to intensively target a compact community to identify potential improvement measures and attitudes towards having them carried out. Act on Energy has assisted the Council in developing the project along with the local community group SeSaME. Act on Energy helped them to develop a community questionnaire to ascertain the energy efficiency potential of the housing in the village. SeSaME undertook training from Act on Energy and the Council on energy efficiency and the questions within the survey. SeSaME members then visited every house in the village to obtain as much information as possible on the energy efficiency of the housing stock. By collecting this data the project hopes to be able to offer households a suite of energy efficiency measures that could be delivered including measures such as loft/cavity/external wall insulation along with heating improvements and suggestions on minimising fuel cost by energy switch/bulk buying.


Sedgeberrow Data Analysis The survey form was provided to 371 addresses in Sedgeberrow and achieved responses from 226 homes representing 61% of the village. Responses have been received from properties ranging from 16th Century to modern day and from 1 to more than 6 bedrooms. 1.0 The following is an analysis of the properties as reported by the residents:

Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 2


1.3. Distribution of house types: -

Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 3


1.5. House Age

2.0. The following is an analysis of energy efficiency characteristics of the properties: -

Note:- Part of the village is in a flood risk area and wall insulation may not be advisable for some properties. Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 4


Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 5


2.4 Main heating fuel: - a main fuel is assumed if they identify several different fuels

Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 6


2.5.1 Central heating boiler age: -

2.5.2 Central Heating Control: -

Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 7


2.6. Hot water type: -

Improvements desired by householders

Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 8


Household characteristics 45 (20%) single person households (57% over 60- including 18% over 80) 105 (46%) homes have someone over 60 years old with 44% of these having solid walls 121 (54%) are under 60 and 31% of these have solid walls 30 (13%) households have at least 1 child under 16 and 23% are in full time education 45 (20%) have Energy Performance Certificates (18% of these are less than 3 years old) 24 (11%) do not have working smoke alarms (58% over 60s) Electricity Suppliers 187 (79%) use one of the big 6 energy suppliers for electricity 76 (41%) of these use Npower, traditionally the local electricity supplier

Fuel Suppliers

Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 9


Households with Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation, (HHCRO) qualifying benefits living in private accommodation 21 (10%) of private households could qualify for The Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) funding under HHCRO 8 (4%) receive Pension Credit and of those 38% have 15yr+ LPG boilers, 38% inadequate loft insulation, 50% solid walls 7 (3%) receive Child Tax Credit and of those 14% have 15yr+ LPG boilers, 14% inadequate loft insulation, 43% have solid walls 5 (2%) receive working tax credit and over 60 or with a child under 16 and of those 20% have 15+ yr old LPG boiler, 20% inadequate loft insulation and 60% solid walls 1 receives Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) with work related support component and child but with no qualifying measures. 7, (50%) of households in social housing receive qualifying benefits although not HHCRO eligible 3, (43%) have inadequate loft insulation 3, (43%) have solid fuel back boilers 6, (86%) have solid walls

Comments and Recommendations The survey represents 61% of domestic properties in the village and could be considered as representative although the proportion of social housing responses was probably lower than actual. There were also some answers that were suspect either because the householder didnâ€&#x;t know or guessed wrong resulting in unlikely combinations. Considerations to be addressed include the cost of heating and energy in general and the ability of households to keep warm with appropriate heating provision but with the overriding concern about carbon emissions and limiting climate change. The village does not have access to mains gas but is close to the areas that do and the first priority would be to investigate the options of running a gas supply to the village to make a cheaper heating fuel available. The question of how many homes would switch to mains gas if it was available was not asked in the survey but was volunteered by 2 respondents. With over 50% of existing central heating boilers less than 10 years old, the immediate take up may be limited but could be significant over the next 5 years or so. Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 10


Over half of homes currently use oil as their main heating fuel with a quarter using bulk LPG (the most expensive fuel) and 10% using off-peak electricity. 5% use solid fuel which is relatively cheap at the moment although most of these were in particularly inefficient back boilers which are likely to need replacement. The most cost effective way to heat the whole house is with a central heating system and over 84% of homes have central heating. However, almost half of these have boilers over 10 years old and therefore unlikely to be the most efficient types. When they are replaced with high efficiency boilers the energy consumption should reduce by between 15 and 25% particularly in the case of LPG boilers, making a significant impact on the affordability of heating. Based on the latest Sutherland Tables this could represent a £400 annual saving for an average 3 bedroom property using LPG and £300 in the case of oil. In most cases, householders with central heating systems report they have thermostatic radiator valves either with a timer and room thermostat which is the most efficient control setup because it turns the boiler off when not needed and when the home is warm enough. 40% have this with arrangement but 44% don‟t have a room thermostat with 16% having nothing at all or just a timer. With the advent of remote programmable thermostats, adding further control is relatively straight forward with no need for hard wiring around the house and this could be promoted to householders. In the case of oil central heating, the most immediate impact is likely to be promoting the local oil buying group to achieve higher volumes and correspondingly lower unit fuel costs. This could be done by producing a flyer giving the most recent unit prices compared to other suppliers and distributing it to homes using oil. Unfortunately bulk LPG users are likely to be tied to a supplier through their gas tank contract although informing them of their renewal options could be helpful. In all cases, households should be encouraged to check that they are with the cheapest electricity supplier. With such a high proportion of homes still using Npower, the inference is that they have never switched supplier and could make significant cost savings by shopping around. For those who don‟t have access to the internet (50% of homes didn‟t say they had an e-mail address) then a local event could be organised in the village hall/school for those who don‟t have internet access, utilising the school internet to help those who can‟t do it themselves and also giving teachers an opportunity to become involved. Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 11


The only long term solution to reducing the cost of energy is to use less and this involves using the most efficient equipment and improving home insulation. Over 10% of homes are likely to qualify for 100% ECO funding although this does not currently address most of the measures applicable to their homes. Around half of all homes have all or mostly cavity walls and of these 90% say they are already insulated. The remainder are mainly brick or stone solid walls and although the survey suggests that a third of these are already insulated, that seems unlikely. However, the village is known to be prone to recent flooding with almost a fifth of homes having suffered flooding in the past and so wall and floor insulation would need to be considered carefully before being proposed or undertaken.

Cartoon Š Kipper Williams. As seen in Country Life

Loft insulation is less of an issue but with only half of homes having more than 100mm there appears to be some scope to target this improvement. The low apparent take up may be due to people not knowing how much insulation they actually have or because they use their lofts for storage and donâ€&#x;t want to clear them. This could be tackled by promoting insulated boarding or raised platforms to accommodate more insulation. Some contractors will offer this service and whilst unlikely to attract much if any subsidy, could be promoted at a village event. Although over three quarters of homes have full or partial double glazing, 16% of people wanted better draught proofing including most of those with double glazing. This suggests that their double glazing either has defective draught proofing or the problem is not associated with windows. Most doors and windows can be improved with DIY draught proofing and other draughts can be reduced using expanding foam or mastic to seal gaps between floors and walls and around openings. This could also be addressed at a village event. The most popular improvements wanted by householders and quoted in the Contd Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 12


survey were heating and a fifth wanting photovoltaic panels. This is also something that could be promoted at a village event with a significant number of homes potentially being suitable, having south facing roofs. Ground and air source heat pumps were also indicated as wanted by almost a fifth of householders and these may be an alternative for those with insulated homes that currently use LPG boilers if mains gas canâ€&#x;t be provided or those with storage heaters who want to change to a radiator system.

Follow-up Action Organise a community energy event in the village hall to promote the issues identified above with representatives from the Council, School, Oil Buying Club, Act on Energy, Fire Service, Renewable Energy Contractor, Boiler Manufacturer and Insulation Contractor. To maintain the momentum created by the survey and to satisfy interest already expressed, the event should follow shortly. Due to the recent announcement in the 2013 Autumn statement the level of subsidy for wall insulation and other energy efficiency measures is currently being reviewed. There will shortly be a consultation released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on the proposed changes and how this will impact on the current and subsequent Energy Company Obligation. We hope that there will remain some form or subsidy for solid wall insulation and also the return of support for the lower cost measures such as loft insulation. In addition, the Councils across Worcestershire are seeking additional funding through the Department of Energy and Climate Change to provide further support for energy efficiency measures in hard to treat properties. This is a community based fund focused on delivering energy efficiency improvements on a street by street basis. This would include measures such as external/internal wall insulation and narrow fill cavity wall insulation. If successful in its bid the fund would also provide support to a community building in the form of the installation of an energy efficiency measure. The council and its partners will update the village and its community on any changes and potential funding opportunities that villagers are able to access to enable warmer and more energy efficient homes. Act on Energy

Come along to this event and see for yourself what energy options are available.

Home Energy Survey Event. Sedgeberrow Village Hall. Saturday 12th April 2014. 2pm to 5pm. Act on Energy report on Energy Efficiency survey in Sedgeberrow. Page 12


Report undertaken by Act on Energy at the request of SeSaME


The main hall is used daily in term times but is available for village hall bookings at other times. The Betteridge room is used for other events and a daily playgroup.



Scaling the measurements from the plan provided, the floor area is 1028m2. The village hall area is 85m2 (8%), the shared area is 205m2 (20%) and the school area is 738m2 (7%). Assuming the village hall has 50% use of the shared space then it can be calculated what is their responsibility for overall costs. However energy canâ€&#x;t necessarily be shared in the same way because consumption depends on use as well as area, and without meters canâ€&#x;t be separated for each area. Energy use is also a function of the time during which the space is heated and lit, and the number of people using the hot water facilities. This requires some negotiation between the school and village hall. No assessment has been made for the school


The year 2013 saw our first three allotment holders begin to harvest some produce after much hard labour by them, their families and the rest of the group to clear the site, battling brambles and the detritus of discarded rubbish. With the ground so wet and the fierce winds we have been experiencing this winter itâ€&#x;s not been a good time to be out on the allotment. We have to be content with planning time, though it wonâ€&#x;t be long before we will have to be out there getting ready for the growing season. Anyone wishing to be considered for a plot on the allotment can contact our Chair Richard Hunt on 01386 882079 and for any other information. Useful links: Growing Worcestershire Website Go to For home composting or minimising waste in other ways. Go to or call 01386 565018.


Opportunities for Energy Creation SeSaME and the newly formed Sedgeberrow Energy Co-operative Ltd. 2010: From the very beginning SeSaME has been keen to explore reducing energy costs through improved insulation – hence the Home Energy Survey – and community bulk buying – hence the Oil Buying group. Alongside this we have continued to explore ways of generating our own electricity. All actions are aimed at reducing some of our reliance on the factors outside of our control. 2011: Four members of SeSaME between them committed £3000 to enable the building of a proposed 3.96 kWp (kilowatt peak) solar photovoltaic panels installation on the village school, with the remaining funding to be met by the County Council‟s “Spend to Save scheme”. The project fell through after the goalposts were moved with regard to the timing and amount of the Feed In Tariff (FIT). (Matt Cartoon © Telegraph Media Group)

2012: SeSaME applied to Marches Energy Agency for funding, receiving a £600 allocation, to help explore the possibility of hydro power on the river Isbourne. The study, carried out by Sharenergy, quickly found no practical hydro resources in the Sedgeberrow area, leaving enough finances for them to carry out an outline wind study as well, if we wished them to. We received this wind study in December 2012. At that time the report concluded there may be a possible site for a medium-scale turbine of around 500KW. This possibility wasn‟t followed up immediately because of the high costs of the more detailed feasibility study required and the priority of our commitment to planning for our village Home Energy Survey, whose results are now being analysed (2014).


Cartoon found on a Woodmansterne card.

2013: Government funding fortuitously became available from a new Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), aimed specifically at feasibility studies to determine the viability of renewable energy projects. SeSAME decided that as such a project, if approached as a community co -operative, would bring significant financial advantages to the village and it was agreed that we should at least ask relevant questions. We approached Sharenergy again to help with preparing a bid for RCEF Stage 1 funding for a detailed feasibility study, meanwhile securing 4 days‟ of Sharenergy‟s time from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, to help with business planning and preparing for legal negotiations with a landowner. Success with the RCEF fund, delivered by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) would then take us to the stage of knowing whether a planning application was appropriate and could have a workable outcome, (though there would still be considerable more work before we knew for definite that a planning application could be worth submitting). When the RCEF application form was tackled it became clear that SeSaME was not a suitable community organisation to apply for RCEF money. What was required was an Industrial Provident Society (IPS). Accordingly Sedgeberrow Energy Co-op Ltd was formed and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority on 19 August 2013. This new Cooperative, though an independent body, will operate as a natural extension of the work of SeSaME, complementing our other activities. Four members of SeSaME formed the Co-op‟s Founding Members. 2014: Sedgeberrow Energy Co-op Ltd has now a received a grant of £7,800 from the RCEF towards the feasibility study to be undertaken by Sharenergy. At this stage there are still many unanswered questions. However, the important thing for SeSaME is that we are asking the questions, as we have done before with Hydro and Solar opportunities. With regard to Solar we are hoping that one result of the recent survey will be that villagers discover ways to reduce installation costs by creating a joint approach to contractors, so that a group of householders can benefit from cheaper setup costs. Please get in touch We are very keen to keep villagers informed about what is happening. Please contact us on the email address below to say that you support our work or let us know if you have any concerns. If you wish to be involved, know more and/or receive regular updates on progress please email Mike Parker, Secretary of Sedgeberrow Energy Co-operative Ltd, (SEC) on


A Bird’s Eye view of Climate Change The Spring 2014 issue of the Magazine of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds records a battle underway at the RSPB Minsmere reserve on the Sussex coast. This is what they say. “It‟s not a battle between Marsh Harriers and their prey. The real battle is between the reserve itself and our changing climate. The precious habitats and wildlife here are under attack from the sea. Each year the water level rises, and eventually parts of the sea wall will lose their fight to keep the salty water out. In fact take a closer look at nature and you‟ll see that climate change is having a big impact. The clearest sign is that nature is on the move. The comma butterfly, for example, could only be found in the south of the country in the 1970s, but it has now reached Scotland. On average, species in southern Britain are moving about five metres northward every day”. Their final conclusion is: “Wildlife, it seems, is in no doubt that our climate is changing, neither should we be”. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2013 report forms the background to RSPB‟s activity. They quote the report as saying. a) Warming of the planet since pre-industrial times is unequivocal and scientists are 95% certain that humans have been the primary cause of this. b) The future of the climate is our choice. Further warming is inevitable, but it is still possible to keep climate change to “safe” levels. c) The world‟s carbon budget - the amount of carbon dioxide we can safely release into the atmosphere - is significantly less than the world‟s fossil fuel reserves.

RSPB gets the Wind up. Summer News from the 2013 RSPB Magazine: Wind Turbines. “As part of a mix of renewable energy sources, wind turbines can contribute a great deal because, unlike many energy sources, the wind will not run out. With appropriate planning design, and location, wind turbines are not only compatible with wildlife, but a crucial tool in creating a healthy, sustainable environment for future generations.” In partnership with the green energy company, Ecotricity, the RSPB will be submitting a planning application to erect a turbine at The Lodge, their HQ.


Fossil Fuel’s Future -What’s it to be? There is clearly a consensus amongst informed scientists and politicians that controlling the concentration of Co2 in the atmosphere is imperative. That means that in the long term continued production of significant amounts of energy from all types of fossil fuels will have to cease. Now that‟s tough on the fossil fuel industry, particularly the gas and oil technicians with their hard honed skills and massive investment tied up in underground assets. Persuading them to change tack more quickly is not proving easy, particularly when the instinctive reaction to ice melting in the Arctic is on the level of “Wow, access to new fields, lets get out there and drill.” This country has potential access to sufficient, permanent, clean energy in the shape of wave, wind, hydro, sun, biomass, air & ground source, which together with us reducing our consumption, could easily minimise the need for fossil fuels. What‟s missing is investment, compounded by inertia. Why can‟t we change and drive the oil/gas market to invest in renewables? It‟s good business sense long term. People hate change, yet it‟s everywhere and we don‟t notice. Our road transport system wasn‟t always as it is now. The car trip I made in a dumpy Austin Devon along the first motorway, the M1 near Preston, fuelled by my 13p a litre petrol the week it first opened, was the start of a massive revolution to a transport system that we now treat as if it has always been here. Happily we can change if we need to and there is no doubt we really need to. And time is short! Mike Parker When new fossil fuel deposits appear we seem to take the line: “Give a cheer let’s have a party, pretend it’s Christmas all over again.” “Better not tell the children’s children what we are up to though!”

“Reproduced by kind permission of PRIVATE EYE magazine

Cartoon by Nick Newman


Sandfield Farm The Higher Level Environmental Stewardship scheme. (HLS) Pond Dipping

Sandfield farm in Sedgeberrow has been farmed by five generations of the Holyfield family. Emma Harrison (nee Holyfield), who now farms it with her husband Robert, is that fifth generation. They also farm in the Cotswolds with around 220 dairy cows. Under HLS Emma has opted for educational access which means that Sandfield is an „open farm‟. Emma hosts visits for 60 groups a year. All the classes from our local Sedgeberrow First School are regular and enthusiastic visitors and the teachers incorporate many aspects of the children‟s experience on the farm into the school‟s curriculum. There is a small classroom with toilets that are sustained by a water-saving system, electricity and hot water garnered from a combination of solar panels and a small domestic-size wind turbine. Background Information Environmental Stewardship (ES): An agri-environment scheme which offers payments to farmers and land managers in England for effective land management to protect and enhance the environment and wildlife. The scheme is delivered for the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) by Natural England and forms part of the Rural Development Programme for England (2007-2013). It builds on the successes of previous agri-environment schemes, the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and Environmentally Sensitive Areas. The scheme’s primary objectives are to: Conserve wildlife (biodiversity). Maintain and enhance landscape quality and character. Protect the historic environment. Protect natural resources (water and soil). Promote public access and understanding of the countryside. There are also secondary objectives for genetic conservation (rare breeds), flood risk management, and an overarching objective to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) is an environmentally targeted, competitive scheme with 10-year tailored agreements of high environmental value involving complex and specialised land management. In addition to objectives for biodiversity, landscape, historic features and resource protection, HLS offers opportunities for access to the countryside and organised educational visits to farms for schools and special interest groups. HLS agreements are usually underpinned by ELS (Entry Level Stewardship), OELS (Organic ELS) or Uplands ELS.


Rooftop Housing Group A not-for-profit organisation providing more than 6,000 homes to people living throughout the Midlands. Picture: Sedgeberrow properties being renovated With the increasing costs of fuel and reductions in welfare benefits, a major concern for many households is fuel poverty. All the available evidence suggests that the most cost effective measure to reduce fuel poverty for those living in solid -wall properties is best achieved through external cladding. Therefore, Evesham-based Rooftop Housing Group has targeted, by March 2015, the fitting of such cladding to 650 solid wall, properties in South Worcestershire, about 10% of their housing stock. It is estimated that for households, as a result of these works,

the saving will be approximately £270 a year per property. The net cost to Rooftop will be just under £4 million. To date 72 properties have had work done, of these 10 are in Sedgeberrow. Residents of these properties are already talking about savings and that their homes feel warmer, although it will take a full 12 months to be certain of the exact levels. For Rooftop, as a landlord, the thermal cladding also represents a major investment that will bring other long-term benefits as the appearance and structure of each home is significantly improved. To make the most of the scaffold and to reduce future maintenance costs, Rooftop plans to replace other fittings where this is required. Described as „retro-fitting‟ it is, of course, best ideally to build new homes so that they are already as energy efficient as is economically viable. Rooftop has a commitment that all of its new homes are built to at least Code for Sustainable Homes level 4, the national standard for the sustainable design and construction of new homes. It aims to reduce carbon emissions and promote higher standards of sustainable design above the current minimum standards set out by the building regulations. The code provides 9 measures of sustainable design: energy/CO2; water; materials; surface water runoff (flooding and flood prevention); waste; pollution; health and well-being; management; and ecology. Recently, Rooftop finished work on a ground-breaking scheme built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 (this highest possible level). The scheme at Blake’s Hill North Littleton consists of 10 family homes. In order to meet the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6, the homes have to achieve net carbon emissions of zero. To ensure this happens the scheme was designed and orientated to maximise use of natural sunlight. Further features include the use of renewable energy technologies, high levels of insulation, compost and recycling provision, rainwater harvesting technologies, a sustainable urban drainage system and allotments. As a result, the running costs for these properties is significantly reduced.


Land Management & Sedgeberrow Floodgroup The 2007 floods caused damage to farmland, crops and residential property throughout the Isbourne catchment. Numerous studies have looked at the causes of flooding and they have highlighted the significant role that land management can play in limiting / slowing up surface run off and consequently reducing flood risk in the catchment. The Environment Agency (EA), in partnership with Worcesteshire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), has an ongoing project to promote changes in land use management. They are looking to demonstrate how minor alterations to land management can reduce the impact of flooding downstream. The Charlton Flood Alleviation Scheme was one of their initiatives. FWAG will do free advisory visits to discuss the Stewardship schemes and the opportunities to reduce rapid water run off into water courses. FWAG will help with applications for funding. FWAG at The Environment Agency will also offer advice to riparian (by the river) land owners. The Flood Group undertook their own river survey and presented it to the EA. They have taken part in a survey about volunteers in flood protection. They have also featured on the international stage. On Wednesday 8th February 2012 two delegates representing “Tokyo Kensetsu Consultants” and “Japan Water Forum” visited Sedgeberrow. It all started with them seeing a UK government document called “Preparing for emergencies - what you need to know”, a case study from Sedgeberrow Flood Group laying out why and how we started and what we do. This led to an exchange of emails, answers to various questions and a request to meet the flood group whilst they were visiting the UK. Sedgeberrow has been included in a new community resilience guidance document following the work of the flood group. The aim of the document is to illustrate how communities are developing their resilience and working together to be better prepared and able to cope during and after an emergency. For further information see Richard Hunt. (Flood Warden)


Photo taken during the visit with from left to right:- Mr Atsushi Wada, Ms Sayaka Suzuki, Mr David May, Mrs Sue Morris & Mr Richard Hunt.

Sedgeberrow CE First School 01386 881391 Eco School Green Flag Award Later this year we are due to reapply for our Eco School Green Flag Award so the committee have been very busy working together to ensure that we remain an eco -friendly school. They completed an environmental review in the Autumn and created an action plan from which we are currently working:

Action Plan  Litter: Remember to put your litter in the bins provided.  Transport: Try to walk to school, cycle to school, share a car or catch the bus   

to school. All of these are eco friendly but don't come in the car if possible because we don't want any more co2. Energy: You need to turn off the lights, whiteboards and computers when you are finished in a room. Healthy living: We will try to have a living plant in every classroom. Waste: Remember to compost waste food so that none goes in the normal bin. Electricity monitoring is an ongoing commitment of the whole school. For the last two years we have been keeping a record of our electricity usage and charting it on the eco-board. The committee take a weekly reading and it is recorded on a chart.

There is a winter target line which we try to keep below and also a summer one. Every week that we manage to keep below the line the children receive a token and when they have ten tokens each class chooses a focus for a special „treat‟ afternoon. The data enables us to make yearly comparisons to ensure that we are making the best possible savings. Last term we also joined in the “Switch it off‟ fortnight in order to further encourage our electricity savings. The eco committee produced an assembly all about global warming and what will happen to the earth if it gets too warm. It was a big success, as below. The Eco Committee showed how the earth has the atmosphere all around it, how the sun shines on the earth and how the CO2 traps the sun‟s rays in the atmosphere and the earth gets hotter. Mrs M Humphreys Headteacher Sedgeberrow School Blog:


Local information that you may find useful. Sedgeberrow Post is available online. Go to & click on the Kingfisher. If you want a reminder on every publication date see below:

Wychavon Intelligently Green Plan: Worcestershire County Council : Help with advice on living sustainably. The Worcestershire Green Directory:

Sharenergy – a not-for-profit organisation which helps communities find, build and own renewable energy generation throughout the UK.

Act on Energy. We encourage energy conservation by providing free & impartial advice to householders and small businesses in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Coventry, Solihull and the surrounding local areas. Contact number: 0800 9882881

Transition Towns: Transition Network Website: The term “Transition” refers to transition from a high oil and energy dependent way of life to a low one. Evesham Transition Link: Pershore Transition Link: Malvern Hills Transition Link: Worcester Transition Link: Stroud Transition Links: Cheltenham Transition Link: Glos Community Energy Co-op.

In association with Evesons of Worcestershire. Phone on 01905 775920 or by email to You must say you are part of the Sedgeberrow Oil Buying Group.

For a monthly email reminder - contact Mike SeSaME. Website: – Email:

Contact: Mike Parker (Chairman) Tel: 01386 881863


Sedgeberrow energy scene