2 April 2020
We are delighted to welcome three new organisations to our membership this spring. Ditchley Foundation, Portsmouth Cathedral & Centre for Alternative Technology.
Image: Centre for Alternative Technology © Samuel Mann
Used as a secret base by Churchill during the early years of World War II, Ditchley was set up as a privately-funded charity after the war ended to strengthen Anglo-American relations. As well as the historic Ditchley Park house, the estate includes 300 acres of pleasure grounds set in a further 3550 acres that are managed sustainably by the HDH Wills Charitable Trust, which provides grants to conserve the environment and wildlife. Ditchley has been a haven for wildlife since at least 1500, creating a unique eco-system that includes many rare plants, animals and birds.
In terms of joining Fit for the Future, Ditchley want to be carbon neutral by 2025 and they hope to run a climate change programme next year. They have already installed a biomass plant (fuelled by timber sourced from the estate) and run an organic farm. In the future they want to explore sustainable travel including EV charging points as well as other renewable energy options.
Portsmouth Cathedral is at the heart of the Diocese of Portsmouth. The building includes features of the original medieval church as well those from a seventeenth century rebuild and extensive additions made in the 1980s and 90s. The estate also includes Cathedral House, a 1950s building housing a community hall, offices and accommodation.
Responsible stewardship of resources, money and buildings is a key goal of the cathedral's 'Development Plan 2014-19'. This has led to a focus on reducing carbon footprint, reducing expenditure on grid electricity and taking steps to produce power onsite at Cathedral House. You can read more about the successful carbon reduction, energy savings and generation work in this Fit for the Future case study.
We are delighted to welcome back CAT, an educational charity based in Wales that is dedicated to researching and communicating positive solutions for environmental change. Across their varied portfolio of buildings, which includes a Straw Bale Theatre and the award winning WISE building, CAT have experimented with using a wide variety of sustainable building techniques and materials. They also have a host of on-site renewables and examples of boosting positive environmental impacts such as biodiversity.
In joining the network, CAT are particularly keen on looking at sustainable tourism and transport. They are also having a rebuild of their centre, so would like to further investigate sustainable materials.
Our three new members join more than 80 other organisations and the hundreds of individual practitioners working to make these organisations 'fit for the future'. See our full membership here.