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).


DECC issues £400,000 grant offer

We are delighted to report that the Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral Project has weathered recent government spending reviews to be awarded a £400,000 grant that will finance a range of zero-carbon energy generation technologies for the village. The funds will be managed via the Parish Council.

The grant, awarded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change under its Low Carbon Communities Challenge project, will be used to install a sustainable combined heat and power biodiesel boiler to supply heat and electricity to Ashton Hayes Primary School and feed the surplus into the community microgrid. The grant also covers the installation of photovoltaics on the roof of the primary school and a ground heat store to accumulate excess heat for use in the winter. Wind power generation is not being funded by the DECC grant. The project is due for completion in this financial year.

Click to read more ...


BITC accolade for our project instigator

Garry Charnock, our co-chair with Roy Alexander, has been awarded the BITC Leadership for Sustainability award 2010 in the North West. The award is in recognition of his "Inspirational leadership for his work within the community and world-wide business networks, as the part time CEO of the Carbon Leapfrog Charity". Representatives from Lancaster University Management School, which sponsors the award, described Garry as 'an established leader' for his work in Ashton Hayes and presented him with his trophy at the annual BITC event at Blackburn Rovers Football Ground on 24 June. For more details click here.


DECC funding - still awaiting offer letter

We are eagerly awaiting the offer letter from DECC to confirm they will fund our new combined heat and power plant and PV array for the primary school. They are reviewing some issues regarding State Aid and we are drawing on the support of Carbon Leapfrog for advice. We'd like to thank law firm Bird & Bird for their free support and hope we can report positive news soon.


Students complete highly successful 2010 survey

We'd just like to say a big thanks to the team of second year students from the University of Chester who are nearing completion of the 2010 survey. This is the last survey we will carry out for 3 years and they have already obtained data from around a third of the houses. Thanks to all the residents who have helped us with our annual surveys since 2006. We must be one of the most studied communities in the UK! The team also carried out extensive land use and biodiversity surveys that will be invaluable for future research.

To see a bigger image of the team, please click on the photo. From left to right: Laura McAfee, Matthew Fox, Clare Davey, Abi Hall, Joshua Lepper, Mary Robinson, Jon Brain, Laura Jones.



See Oxfam's video about Sahena's visit

A while ago we had an amazing video by Sahena from Bangladesh - who came to chat to our primary school about the problems of liviing with worsening flooding that affects her riverine village. This video is now on YouTube.