Page last updated at 18 July 2017 at 16:03
Focus on Itchen Valley Country Park
Itchen Valley Country Park is 440 acres of beautiful water meadows, woodland and meadows in the heart of the Borough.
We have tried to make the park as sustainable as possible and have looked at a number of ways of reducing consumption and generating our own heat and electricity.
Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP)
GSHPs work like a fridge in reverse and take heat out of the ground and deliver it into the home. They require a lot of space to install because the coil needs to be buried in a large area of the ground and space is something we have at the park. They also require a small amount of electricity to run the pump.
The Kingfisher room is heated by a GSHP and the children like to walk over the floor and accumulate on the warm spots.
To further reduce our heating energy consumption and make it a more comfortable place to visit, we installed a Biomass boiler to heat the shop and cafe building. It burns locally sourced wood pellets.
The carbon dioxide emitted when wood is burned is the same amount that was absorbed over the months and years that the plant was growing.
The process is sustainable as long as new plants continue to grow in place of those used for fuel.
You may not notice the GSHP or Biomass boiler when you visit the park but you will see the micro wind turbine in the field beside the shop. This demonstrates the clever process of harnessing the power of the wind.
It is a 6kW Proven wind turbine connected to the grid and provides some of the electricity for the Visitors' Centre.
Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels
The latest measure is the 4kW of PV panels on the Kingfisher room roof. Just like our other installations it is exceeding expectations.
Whenever considering generating your own energy it is always necessary to reduce your energy consumption as well, and insulation is a must do. The buildings are in constant use and have been fully insulated using sheep's wool insulation.
There is a rainwater harvesting system used to flush the toilets.
Go to our Itchen Valley Country Park pages to find out more about visiting the park.