What a fantastic result to the Big Green Challenge! I admit it we have been a bit quiet since the results have been announced but it has taken us this long to recover from all the anxieties from the weeks previous to the announcement, travelling to and from the bright lights of London, catching up with the hundreds of kind emails and normal workloads and of course there might have been a celebratory drink or two in there!!
Congratulations and all the very best for the future goes out to the two other groups sharing the joint 1st prize of £300,000 pictured below is Household Energy Services, Ludlow, Shropshire & Green Valleys, Brecon Beacons, Wales.
The Household Energy Service is a community based energy service company that helps households to reduce carbon
emissions, improve energy efficiency and save money on fuel bills. They offer practical energy saving measures along with estimates of the financial gain households could generate. Since the Big Green Challenge they have managed to expand their services to other communities in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire – increasing its reach to 15,000 homes. If you would like further information on this organisation go to www.h-e-s.org
Green Valleys in the Brecon Beacons is aiming to make the region a net exporter of energy, by developing community renewable energy schemes and supporting communities to reduce their carbon emissions. All revenue from community-owned installations will be reinvested in community based carbon reduction projects such as electric bike sharing or community woodlands that provide managed wood fuel. For more information on this group please go to http://www.thegreenvalleys.org
The runner up prize of £100,000 went to Low Carbon West Oxford a network of local people working to reduce their individual and community carbon emissions by taking practical action on renewable energy, traffic, food and waste. For additional information have a look at http://www.lowcarbonwestoxford.org.uk/
Hopefully links will continue with all our fellow Big Green Challengers and we can all work together in some way in the future. As for the 6 finalist groups that may not have been prize winners but certainly deserve huge recognition to the endless voluntary hours and further examples of excellently, inspiring and innovative community work;
Hackney City Farm, Back2Earth, London, www.hackneycityfarm.co.uk
St Bede’s High School, Lytham – www.easy2begreen.co.uk
Meadows Ozone, Nottingham – www.meadowspartnershiptrust.org.uk
Global Generation, London – www.globalgeneration.org.uk
Waste Oil recycling in Prisons, Sussex – www.nesta.org.uk/biggreenchallenge
Faith & Climate Change, Birmingham – www.faithandclimatechange.wordpress.com
A huge thank you goes out to all you supporters that have sent cards and incredibly encouraging emails to all of us. It is exceedingly reassuring to feel the backing of so many supporters worldwide towards Eigg’s progress and path we are choosing to follow. The recognition we have now gained from being part of the Big Green Challenge is phenomenal and credit can only be given to NESTA in running a competition in this way.
So, I hear you all ask the same question “where do we go from here now the Big Green Challenge is over?” The answer to that is still to be decided but we do know for sure our own Green Challenge will continue, building on everything we have achieved over the last year. We have nothing set in stone yet and the first Green Team meeting since our winnings is planned for next week for an initial stab at this years projects! At this stage it is also important for us not to rush into anything to fast and take our time on the appropriate direction to take in cutting our islands carbon long term combined with how best to initiate and extend the funds available.
I am delighted to announce that the first part of the process towards creating our community orchard has started! After finally deciding on a plot of land above Clanranald Bay in the shelter of some well established trees there is a natural clearing perfectly sized for the planned fruit trees we aim to get growing this coming year. Just last week the area was cleared from the fierce competition by the bracken and now lays open to envisaging what a fantastic space this will be and we look forward to seeing this progressing over the years.