Now in Association with

Ashton Hayes Community Energy CIC

Located in rural Cheshire, Ashton Hayes is a well knit community of about 1000 people that is aiming to become England's first carbon neutral community. We started our journey in January 2006 and since then we have already cut our carbon dioxide emissions significantly - by working together, sharing ideas and through behavioural change. We now have our community owned renewable energy company.

This website encapsulates our journey towards carbon neutrality and offers free advice and guidance. Please feel free to use anything from our website (we'd like a credit if you can).


Inspiring words encourage Natalie to cycle

Yesterday we had a lovely email from Natalie describing how our media coverage yesterday had inspired her into 'carbon neutral action'. Natalie has kindly allowed us to share her story...


Just wanted to share with you my morning thought processes. 

I had every intention of cycling to work this morning and was clad in my favourite lycra and Marmite top when Tom rings me to say that his train has been cancelled and can I take him to school. The bike is ready propped up against the garage and the panier is packed. It is 7:35 and he goes to school in Hartford. I leave Emily to fend for herself and dash out, annoyed that I will probably have to forgo my cycling treat even though I really know that the extra time it would take to shower and change at home and then drive round relentlessly in circles, looking for a parking space because it will be after 8:30, will probably more than match the increased journey time. It is also starting to rain!

And then, like a voice from heaven, you speak to me from the radio, espousing the benefits of small actions. So even though it was raining and 8:25 by the time I got home again, I cycled to work! And we are closer to becoming carbon neutral.

So thank you



Ashton Hayes featured on BBC Breakfast

The BBC Breakfast TV show came to Ashton Hayes this morning to report on our 13-year community effort to go carbon neutral. Interviews were broadcast live from the village and the pioneering work of the primary school was featured. The broadcast coincided with a news piece that highlighted the UK Parliament's Climate Emergency Declaration and a report that says the UK could be carbon neutral by 2050. 

Thanks to Prof. Roy Alexander (in brown jacket) and Richard Straddling (photos) who rose at dawn to give interiews and all the pupils and staff at the school. The community shop is also going to be covered, we are told.




AGM 2019

The AGM of the Ashton Hayes Community Energy CIC took place on 21 March at 7.30 in the Parish Rooms. Prof. Roy Alexander chaired the meeting and welcomed the board of directors and members of the public. He then showed a powerpoint presentation covering •Treasurers ReportChairs ReportUse of income from 2017/18 Proposed actions in 2018/19.

The directors of AHCE are currently.

Roy Alexander (Hon. Chair)
•Garry Charnock
•Maria Lindley
•Kate Harrison (Hon. Secretary)
•Richard Stradling (from March, 2018)
•David Wilson (Hon. Treasurer)


Students visit from Agnes Scott College, Georgia, USA.

4 March 2019: A group of 22 students from Agnes Scott College, Georgia, USA visited Ashton Hayes on Tuesday 5th March together with their professors, Sarah Winget and Matt Ruby. They came to learn more about our Going Carbon Neutral project and were hosted by Kate Harrison, Richard Stradling and Roy Alexander. We met at the pavilion to introduce the project and then walked through the village via the community shop and primary school to the village hall, where we had a very lively question and answer session over hot chocolate and pastries. Sarah and Matt previously brought a group in March 2017 and we look forward to seeing them again in 2021.


Our solar panels continue to perform well

Performance of solar photovoltaic panels at Ashton Hayes Sports pavilion

The generation performance of the solar photovoltaic panels at Ashton Hayes sports pavilion has been remarkably consistent since they were installed seven years ago (Figure 1). This has occurred despite fluctuations in sunshine hours over the years (see Figure 2 below). Quarters are seasonal.

Quarterly sunshine hours at Northwich have varied over the period with even this summer having a lower peak than 2013 and 2014 when summarised over a whole quarter (Figure 2).

However, there remains a strong correlation between sunshine hours and panel generation as shown in Figure 3 below. Note the difference between winter/spring figures (lower left points) and those from spring and summer (upper right).