Dove Valley Centre


Address/venue name: Dove Valley Centre
Under Whitle Farm
Building type: Haybarn
Green Technology: Ground source heat pump, wool roof insulation, low energy lighting/LED, windows double glazed filled with argon gas, local materials (most within 10 miles). They planted woodland 25 years ago and they use this to fuel woodburning stove

Venue details

Name of owners: Elspeth and Paul Walker
Who installed green technology:
  • RLM Associates (Architectural Consultants)
  • Wayne Byatt (Building Contractor)
  • David Brough (Electrician)
  • Matthew Goodwin (Eco Energy)
  • Reclaimed timber (Richard Bagshaw)
  • Sheep’s Wool Insulation
  • Black Mountain Insulation Ltd
  • Tel Hawk Tiling and others
Why they did it: To reduce their carbon footprint and to create an aesthetically pleasing building that was practical and comfortable to use and complemented the adjacent building
Benefits: The heat pump is an unobtrusive way of generating the heating and the hot water in a sensitive landscape. It reduces Elspeth and Paul’s carbon emissions compared to oil or gas. They also buy electricity from Good Energy, which generates all of its electricity through renewables
What they did to get approval from National Park for the work: This was non-controversial and was relatively simple as there were no structural alterations to the building
What were the biggest problems faced: The time scale that was imposed because of the grant from the redundant building grant in Staffordshire meant that some of the groundwork for the heat pump had to be carried out in winter conditions- not to be recommended- the diggers’ tracks froze to the ground!The couple later discovered that their electricity supply to the farm and house was not adequate to run the heat pump at certain times and this has still not been overcome.

The use of the hemp/ lime insulation was relatively new and the first fix for the electrics was fairly tricky

What did it cost, what savings are made: The Installation of the heat pump and the associated adjustments to the plumbing in the holiday accommodation and the new plumbing were costly and they have not been able to compare them to other systems.Elspeth and Paul did, however, plant a woodland 25 years ago and this now provides timber for the woodburning stove in the barns and in the farmhouse – reducing carbon emissions and transport costs