Gloucester Cathedral’s Solar Spires and Storm Doris

Despite trees on train lines and gale force winds as Storm Doris swept across the country, a wide range of interested network members made it to the Network’s latest event  at Gloucester Cathedral.

At the Cathedral, whose origins date back to the 7th Century, members were able to learn about ‘Project Pilgrim’, their ambitious ten-year programme to conserve and restore the Grade I listed building, improve its sustainability, enhance accessibility and create a green public space.




As part of the project the team has developed a £100,000 solar project on the nave roof with 200 panels now supplying 25% of their electricity. This will cut energy bills and reduce carbon emissions. The energy produced by the panels will also be used to supply energy to an air source heat pump powering a soon to be installed underfloor heating system.

Members including the RNLI, Kew Gardens, The Canal and Rivers Trust and WWT had the opportunity to network before learning more about the work at the Cathedral. Experts Andrew More from Historic England and consulting engineer James Sheehan talked about issues connected to heating large buildings, such as churches, and the importance of reusing 100 year-old radiators.

The group were then given the chance to climb the 348 steps to the top of the tower of the cathedral. The high winds didn’t stop those brave enough make the ascent from taking in the breath-taking views across the city.



Anne Cranston, Project Pilgrim manager, said: “We were pleased to be able to showcase what we’re doing to the Network. We are the custodians of Gloucester Cathedral and are committed to making fit for the future. By installing solar panels have helped reduce our environmental impact and I hope we can provide inspiration to other churches and historic buildings considering this option.”


By Robin Clegg