Young ‘eco warriors’ take the air at Armistead wind farm

November 28, 2013 | Armistead News

Young ‘Eco Warriors’ from a local school have been on site at South Cumbria’s newest wind farm to find out more about renewable energy.

Fourteen children from Casterton, Sedbergh Prep School visited the Armistead Wind Farm near the village of Old Hutton as guests of developer Banks Renewables to see for themselves how the scheme was developed and now operates.

The children received a wide range of information about the wind farm, including about how the turbines are controlled remotely using up-to-the-minute technology, and also heard about the environmental and conservation work that Banks has undertaken as part of the scheme’s construction.

The pupils who took part in the visit are all members of the school’s ‘Eco Warriors’ group, which pays particular attention to recycling, energy usage, biodiversity and waste reduction.

Colette Dobbs, Head of Pastoral Care, from Casterton Sedbergh Prep School, says: “Our children are all learning about how small actions can help the planet.

“The school has bird feeders, chickens, rabbits and horses, with the children being closely involved in the animals’ care, and we also have solar panels and an electronic monitor which indicates the energy being produced and the reduction in CO2 production as a result of these.

“We visited Armistead Wind Farm to help reinforce the children’s knowledge of renewable energy, and had an excellent tour around this fascinating site.

“The Banks staff were really informative and sparked huge interest in the children, with one of our group going straight home and building a model of a wind turbine, and they contributed greatly to what was an inspiring day.”

The six-turbine Armistead wind farm has an installed capacity of 12.3MW, and as well as generating substantial amounts of renewable energy, it has also brought a wide range of other benefits to the area, including new jobs, contracts for local firms and a new pedestrian footway through Old Hutton.

The associated Armistead Wind Farm Community Fund is now also making grants up to £12,300 every year that are making a positive, long-term difference to community groups and facilities in the area.

Banks is currently progressing two other wind farms in the area which are at different stages of development.  It has begun preparatory work on the site of the Heysham South wind farm, a three-turbine scheme located to the south east of the town for which planning permission was secured last year, and is looking to secure approval to build the proposed Killington scheme, which would be located on land between the A684 Sedbergh Road and Junction 37 of the M6.

Barry Grimes, development relations coordinator at Banks Renewables, who hosted the Casterton visit, adds: “The Casterton pupils were extremely knowledgeable and asked our team an awful lot of very informed and pertinent questions.  It was a real pleasure to have them all on site, and we hope the information and experiences we provided will be useful to them in their future work.

“The pupils represent the generation that will have to deal with one of the 21st century’s most pressing challenges – how we generate the energy that we all use without adversely impacting our environment – and their interest in and enthusiasm for their topic was extremely encouraging.

“We firmly believe that onshore wind farms such as Armistead have a prominent role to play in the drive to generate more energy from renewable sources while reducing the country’s carbon dioxide emissions, and with this increasingly urgent need in mind, we strongly believe there is a very strong case for the second scheme we’re looking to build at Killington being given planning approval.”

Anyone who would like any further information about the proposed Killington scheme should visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/killington, or contact the Banks Renewables’ community engagement team on 0844 209 1515 or 0191 378 6100, or via killington@banksgroup.co.uk

 

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