A while ago Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) embarked on a project to restore a vacant house on North Avenue, off the Stone Road in Stafford, as an ‘eco house’.
SARH asked the Council's Partnerships Co-ordinator to get involved in this project who in turn encouraged the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Sustainability Matters, plus staff from the Health Team here at the Council, to get involved too, thus tapping into a range of expertise.
SARH have emphasised energy efficiency in the new home, installing external wall cladding, super efficient lighting, double glazing, loft insulation and an electrical car recharging point, plus solar thermal and solar photo-voltaic systems on the roof. They have also installed raised beds, a greenhouse and shed, compost bins and several water butts.
In addition to these features, the Council has been able to provide advice and some funding, to upgrade the Solar PV system, install permeable paving and purchase two adult electric bikes, as well as to introduce features to make the garden more wildlife friendly. Bird tables, nest boxes and a bee house have been installed, and various habitats created. Climbers have been planted up the fence and shed and a wildflower border created to attract bees and butterflies. A native hedgerow, a bog garden and a ‘habitat pile’ have been created plus two herb planters, which will also provide fragrant herbs for the new family to use. We are also providing support through a Gardening and Cooking Course for the new family.
Stafford and Rural Homes were keen for the new family to take up the eco-banner so set up a selection process to choose tenants with a commitment to living a greener lifestyle.
The winners convinced the judges that they were the right tenants for this special home, partly as a result of their daughter's lovely artwork.