Itís raining again today, as it has been for most of May. By way of contrast Angus Dart recorded only 1.6mm for April at Sherwood Farm, his driest month ever. But remember the wetness of the winter when it simply poured. In fact the months from October to March were the wettest over the UK since 1914, with 138% of the average recorded over the Thames Basin. Angus measured 413.5mm over the 6 months, compared to the average for the whole year of about 580mm. Itís no wonder all the springs in the village have been gushing and the stream from the Wellsprings flooded. Climate change seems to be bringing longer spells of one weather type as well as advancing the spring.
Sustainable Energy for the Home
About 50 villagers listened to Ian Bacon of Thames Valley Energy, Newbury talking about the different ways of reducing household energy consumption, to save money and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In Blewbury, where he lives, the Blewbury Energy Initiative found that the average house produces about 7 tonnes of carbon a year and that this could be lowered through a range of measures. Closing curtains at night and turning off lights and standbys were relatively simple means. Fitting low energy light bulbs and thickening loft insulation were next. Cavity wall insulation was relatively cheap to do and improved heating controls, like zoned thermostats and time switches which altered from week days to weekends, could be fitted inexpensively. Double glazing was recommended. Next he talked about installing solar panels to heat water and to produce electricity together with systems which used ground heat, but these required an outlay of between £3000 and £15,000. There was also the problem of selling unused electricity to the electricity company. Small wind generators caused planning problems and they required bearings to be replaced periodically. There are different types of boiler which can be fired by wood chips, wood pellets and other fuels which can be grown locally.
The Group is planning to investigate household energy use in the Village, starting with a thermal imaging survey. Anyone wishing to join in should contact a member of the Committee.
The annual meeting of the Group took place before the talk when reports on activities and finance were presented and the existing Committee was re-elected. The members are: John Rodda (Chair), Betty Price (Secretary), Steve Moll (Treasurer), Mais Appleton, Paul Chilton, Viola Crowe, Josie McCarthy, Annabel Rodda and Trevor Wintle.