A ‘Green’ Father Christmas…

With Christmas just around the corner Father Christmas will be checking and rechecking those lists and we’re hoping to be on his ‘nice’ list for all our green activities…

Energy reduction is a one of our key priority areas in the National Trust at the moment. We’ve made an ambitious target to use 20 per cent less energy, halve our fossil fuel use and generate 50 per cent of our energy from renewable sources by 2020. Here at Charlecote this may seem like a huge task but we’re doing our bit. Some of our previous blog posts looked at special ‘switch it off’ events and networking events where we have been able to ask questions to people in the know, share ideas and get inspiration from other organisations.

Many National Trust places also have a green champion. Here at Charlecote, its me! I recently had a great chat with Katie, one of our External Affairs interns, from our central office in Swindon. She had heard about green champions and I was delighted to tell her more…

My recent exploration into the realms of changing energy behaviours revealed a mysterious character whom I was yet to come across. This character resides at our properties and goes by the name ‘Green Champion’. They may not actually have magical powers, but they can certainly instigate small but profound changes in our attitudes towards energy; a magical enterprise indeed!

This week, I had the pleasure of discussing the benefits and challenges of ensuring behavioural change at our properties with Ruth Webb, Property Administrator and certified Green Champion at CharlecotePark, Warwickshire.

Ruth was approached four years ago to assume the role of Green Champion. Like me, she had little experience of dealing with the technological side of energy. However…

< Read more >

And whilst we’re mentioning Christmas, have you seen this ingenious way of recycling light bulbs?


Ruth, Green Champion


Celebrating all things beautiful and useful: Win a year of Good Energy

Our green group saw this exciting competition on our website and thought it was worth sharing. If you do enter, let us know as we’d love to see what you do. Good Luck!

We’re harnessing the power of nature and being careful with energy, water and waste so that the special places we look after can be beautiful and useful forever.

Join us in celebrating everything that is both #beautifulanduseful in your life by shooting a short video or snapping a photo. You could win a year’s supply of renewable electricity and a home energy audit with our partner Good Energy.

How to get involved
Entering the competition is easy. All you need to do is shoot a short video or take a photo of something you find both beautiful and useful, and share it on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #beautifulanduseful and mentioning @nationaltrust.

The competition closes at midnight on Thursday 12 December, so get those entries in for a chance to win.

Got any questions?
Our terms and conditions should answer most of your questions, but if there’s anything else you want to know please get in touch via Twitter or Instagram using @nationaltrust.

Beautiful and useful inspiration
Our beautiful and useful inspiration videos were put together by Charis Williams, professional artist, up-cycler and TV expert. We found out how she got into up-cycling and delved behind the making of the films. Some of her tips might be useful for your own photos and videos.

Read our interview with Charis Williams.”

< Full terms and conditions are on our website here >

Greening our act – Top tips

It has been a little while since we last blogged about how we’re working to ‘green up’ our act here at Charlecote. It might have fallen off our blogging radar but it is still very much an important part of what we do on a day-to-day basis.

We’re currently planning a big ‘switch it off’ morning where we turn off all electrical items to see what our overnight energy baseline should be.  At the moment our energy use fluctuates at all different times of the day and night and we’re not sure what it should be. Carrying out this exercise should help us to be more active in turning off equipment and also see where we could make energy savings. This will also involve almost all members of the team so everyone is in the know!


The House Elves have also been looking at their opening and closing routines and which lights need to be on when.

Recently I wrote some top tips for a Heritage Open Days blog post, these top tips have also been shared on the ‘Greening our Museums‘ blog. You can read them by following the links below…

Since the eco-assessments earlier this year our Green Museums have been working hard to identify their priorities, monitor energy use and begin to make positive changes. Ruth Webb updates us on the lessons learnt so far at Charlecote Park

‘Heritage venues are usually hundreds of years old, battling against the agents of decay and trying to survive into another decade. We often charged with their upkeep and maintenance. But are we doing it in the most environmentally friendly way?

At Charlecote we are working in partnership with a number of heritage venues in the West Midlands. We are led and inspired by our county Museum Development Officer as we together embark on a journey to become ‘green museums’.

In being part of this project I have become aware of how many ways we can green up our act in the simplest of ways. You don’t all have to raise money to install solar panels or composting toilets (but if you do – well done!). Sometimes the trickiest job is just getting people to change their…’

Read more <Greening our museums – Top tips from Charlecote Park>

A refreshing time at the Green Knowledge Café

Last week I had a day out of the office and travelled into Birmingham. I was attending the first ‘Green Knowledge Cafe‘ organised by our wonderful Museum Development Officer, Glynis. It was a chance for all of the venues taking part in the ‘Greening Museums’ project to meet each other and share where we are currently at each of our places. We vary from small volunteer organisations – like our neighbours at Chedham’s Yard to large spaces such as the Coventry Transport Museum.


We were treated to a top notch lunch and interesting talks from;

  • Northfield Eco – who had carried out our assessments earlier in the year. They talked us through the reports and how to interpret the thermal images. We also found out more about the Green Deal.
  • Smarter Working WM – a European Union funded initiative to help small businesses work more effectively with regard to their energy and productivity.
  • DTA Wales and Touchstone/Energy Action Group – about buying energy together and using energy brokers to get us the best deals on our energy costs. It was helpful to hear advice on how to read our energy bills correctly too!

You can see the presentation slides on the dedicated blog – Museums: Going Green.


Me, looking slightly scared. Why? There are huge spiders in our cellar!!!

On the Marches Network blog there is a piece about the day.

“The need to increase green measures across the region is something that MDOs have been working towards within their sphere of heritage sites.

A recent Green Knowledge Café event was the first event of its kind to bring together 13 selected museums, who elected to work with Northfield Eco Centre in Birmingham, to do a baseline assessment of all the sites to see, by using green technology, how much money could be shaved off their annual bills and also reduce their carbon footprint.

The Green Knowledge Café event enabled the 13 museums to get together for the first time since they had their assessments done and all were taken through their individual and collective action plans to help them move forward…

Read more here: A refreshing time at the Green Knowledge Café.

Ruth, Administrator and Green Champion!