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Low Carbon Cottages

This cutting edge project aims deliver one of the key actions that has emerged from the Low Carbon Tourism Action Plan for the Lake District; that of reducing the carbon footprint of the holiday cottage industry and of enabling second home owners to minimise their overall environmental impact on the natural environment.

The Low Carbon Cottages project is aiming to reduce carbon emissions and running costs of traditionally built holiday cottages whilst being sensitive to the aesthetic and cultural values and also the internal environment of the cottages. The project will be looking at assessing the current energy performance of traditional holiday cottages, using a study group of ten cottages, from this we can highlight what modifications or retrofit technologies can be implemented to reduce carbon emissions. We also want to understand the carbon created from the manufacture, use and disposal of these technologies, to understand the carbon saving over the whole lifetime of the products, this will be done using a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).  In addition the project wants to identify the energy demand and behavioural habits of a holiday cottage, by understanding how guests use their holiday cottage we can suggest further methods of carbon and cost reduction through changing behaviour and the building management. We will collate all the information from the project and create a guidance toolkit, including a list of local suppliers and contractors for other cottages to help manage their emissions and costs. 

Over the next 15 months we aim to:

  • Raise awareness of the local environmental issue amongst our holiday cottage visitors
  • …and encourage them to take action to reduce their environmental impact during their stay
  • Engage the self-catering sector with environmental best practice…
  • …and install efficiency improvements into properties
  • Reduce carbon emissions from the self-catering sector
  • ... and encourage more visitors to stay with green accredited accommodation

We're very excited to be making a start on this ground breaking piece of work and are pleased that it is being so strongly supported by the Lake District National Park with funds for the project being provided by the Sustainable Development Fund, the Technology Startegy Board, British Enegry Coast Campus and the University of Cumbria.

Working with several key lettings agencies and a mass of holiday cottage owners we are out to prove that you can ensure that cottages meet the highest of environmental standards without it costing the earth, either to the owners or to the holidaymakers. We'll be looking at how to make traditional Lakeland cottages as energy efficient as possible without losing any of their essential character by finding 5 typical cottages to pilot our findings.

We'll be:

  • Calculating the carbon footprint of a small number of properties
  • Developing 5 case studies
  • Working with 4 key lettings agencies
  • Talking to suppliers and negotiating discounts for holiday property owners
  • Raising awareness amongst holiday makers
  • Sharing the learning with other National Parks

There are many thousands of holiday cottages in the Lake District and Cumbria many of them because of the traditional nature of their construction, can have a high carbon footprint. What we are aiming to demonstrate with this pilot project is that even the most traditional of properties can with a little help become more energy efficient.

See the articles and blogs about the project;

Energy Efficiency - Its all in the data

LCC - Thermal Imaging Conclusions

LCC - Airtightness and Thermal Imaging

LCC - EPCs and Carbon footprints

LCC - Study group

Planning and retrofit

Breathability and traditional buildings

Low Carbon Cottages - New Appointment


Nurture Lakeland, Windermere Road, Staveley, Cumbria LA8 9PL     T. 01539 822622    E. info@nurturelakeland.org  get directions >

Nurture Lakeland is a part of Nurture Cumbria, a charity registered in England and Wales with the charity number 1130453 and company number 3317259

photography featured in top header courtesy of  James Bell PhotographyJames Bell Photography