A couple of weeks ago we hosted photo/video journalist John Robertson for a day to talk about life at Hockerton, and how we manage to live sustainably whilst enjoying all the comforts of the 21st century. He was particularly keen to hear about one family’s move from London and how they’d settled in.
It’s always a pleasure to show people round, and see the moment they ‘get’ we’re not a load of judgemental hemp-soled-sandle-wearing soap-dodgers, but that this is a lifestyle that makes sense on so many levels. JR definitely got it, as you’ll see in the film below – and no bribes were offered or taken!
Today BBC Breakfast used Hockerton Housing Project (HHP) as the backdrop to their coverage of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report.
The IPCC has found that climate change is having a bigger impact than previously expected, and that temperature rises continue though they are slower than expected.
Science aside, HHP was delighted to be asked to show why sustainable living makes sense whatever your views on carbon and the climate.
The live broadcasts featured the zero carbon homes and renewable energy systems to show how action on carbon helps reduce energy bills, aids energy security, and galvanizes community spirit.
Simon Tilley talked through life at Hockerton Housing Project, “Our mission at HHP is to bring sustainability to life and what better platform than BBC Breakfast with its 7 million viewers? We were probably chosen because our homes look and feel different but the reality is that every home can become more sustainable: our approach to energy efficiency works in a townhouse, as seen in Southwell’s autonomous house; renewable energy is now more accessible thanks to the feed-in tariff and local community schemes; and it has been fantastic to see the resurgence of food-growing and the allotment movement.”
His daughter Naomi gave the most powerful line though. When asked by the presenter if she felt confident about the future, she replied “I’m not confident, I’m scared”. She later admitted that part of the fear was down to being interviewed live on national TV, but the line helped the coverage look beyond the current ‘debates’ to what we need to focus on – the legacy we leave for our children.
The Daily Express has featured Hockerton Housing Project to illustrate the benefits of sustainable co-housing developments…
As my car bumps along the potholes of the dirt track, the setting that unfolds before me is idyllic. Sheep graze lazily in the field to my left and a dozen or so chickens cluck like gossiping washerwomen as two young children excitedly collect eggs from the henhouse.
In the distance there are beehives while ahead ducks glide effortlessly across the still surface of a lake as a heron swoops in. Nearby a couple of men wearing fleeces are engrossed in conversation.
Though you may imagine that I’ve arrived in a sleepy country park or farmyard this in fact is a snapshot of life at one of the many so-called co- housing projects that are springing up all over Britain…
It’s an unconventional way of life that certainly wouldn’t be right for everyone but it’s impossible not to admire what they stand for at HHP. I can’t deny that as I drive back up the dirt track and out into the rat race again, I can feel my own stress levels kick back in.
Read the full feature, including an interview with residents Bill and Lou, here.
The media continue to follow the progress of our community-owned wind turbine with interest, and today BBC Nottingham provides an online update.
So far the turbine has generated over 240,000Kwh of electricity (latest figures from end of December 2010), the equivalent to saving the emission of 136 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The energy generated to date is worth approximately £54,000 and Sustainable Hockerton is hoping to pay investors a return of 5% for its first year of operation, with remaining monies funding sustainable projects in the village.