Cardigan Castle viewed from across the River Teifi

Cardigan Castle – Eco-renovation on a grand scale

The pill box peeking over the top of the massive stone ramparts that tower over the river Teifi are perhaps the only clues to the history hidden within. Cardigan Castle is now open to the public after a 4 year and £12 million pound restoration. It’s a renovation project on a grand scale. The restoration of the buildings and gardens to immaculate detail was made … Continue reading Cardigan Castle – Eco-renovation on a grand scale

Get Cosy without Costing the Earth this Season

With shorter days come cold-weather energy bills. Each year the same worries about the cost of keeping warm rear their ugly heads, whether those costs are to us or the planet. But we don’t have to put up with it. There are a some fairly simple solutions which last years and save countless pennies in the long run. Insulation A well-insulated home retains a lot more of its heat, … Continue reading Get Cosy without Costing the Earth this Season

Rainwater Harvesting and Sustainable Drainage Systems

A number of organisations are involved in designing the waterworks of a new development. Planners, the Local Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) Adoption Board, designers, and civil specialists all have to come to a consensus on what’s best for the project. It’s important that self-builders know the technical issues involved, and that they share the vision of how their project will benefit from the water-related work, … Continue reading Rainwater Harvesting and Sustainable Drainage Systems

Insulating a Suspended Timber Floor

Many of the houses in the UK are hiding a dark secret, and it’s giving us cold feet – cold feet that cause echoes to bounce around beneath the house with every footstep because underneath the floorboards is a great, cold, energy-zapping box of nothing.  Suspended floors have plenty of excellent benefits, including being quick and relatively easy to fit, long-lasting, sustainable, and great for … Continue reading Insulating a Suspended Timber Floor

Why does your House need to Breathe?

Breathing keeps houses healthy and safe to live in by letting moisture out from the walls. Over time, houses have been decorated inside and out using plastic-based paints. Whilst these paints look fine and work well to start with, the walls beneath begin to suffocate. This is because the paint creates an impermeable covering.  In time, the walls begin to deteriorate. A suffocating house tends to be damp, and the … Continue reading Why does your House need to Breathe?

A Bit on British Wallpaper

The first example of British wallpaper was found at Christ’s College, Cambridge, printed on the back of documents dated 1509. The paper was in the fashionable Italian damask, mimicking materials such as embossed leather and plasterwork. The designs were block printed onto small sheets, with the overall pattern only becoming obvious when everything was brought together on the wall. Block-printing was done with a block … Continue reading A Bit on British Wallpaper

Which Solid Wall Insulation?

About a third of homes in the UK have ‘solid’ walls, and solid walls are the cause of around 45% of the heat loss from those homes. Insulating a solid wall is a little trickier than fitting insulation into the existing gaps in cavity wall, and comes with a few unique hurdles to overcome. The insulation can either be applied internally or externally, and which … Continue reading Which Solid Wall Insulation?

Ben’s volunteering Blog: Days Two & Three at Long Wood and Denmark Farm

I was high on the feel-goodness of my first Sunday’s volunteering at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre, so I committed myself to a whole weekend of it a fortnight later. Day One -Long Wood Community Woodland I heard about the Long Wood Community Woodland green build project from Gary at the farm, and arranged to help out with the build last Saturday 12th July. Long Wood … Continue reading Ben’s volunteering Blog: Days Two & Three at Long Wood and Denmark Farm

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is all about living harmoniously with our natural environment. Centred on growing food that is native and beneficial to the local area, permaculture also includes everything from sustainable building and renewable energy, to entertainment and waste management. Self-sufficiency Living a strict permaculture lifestyle would mean achieving total self-sufficiency, but there is plenty about the permaculture way of living that everyone can take something from. … Continue reading What is Permaculture?

Grow a Permaculture Garden

Most gardens follow a similar design, with a few shrubs around the edges and a large area of cut grass set between them. A permaculture garden makes much more of your outdoor space, allowing you to grow food and provide habitats for wildlife right on your doorstep! You can do this alone or as part of a group, like the Transition Towns that are cropping … Continue reading Grow a Permaculture Garden