Eco-village makes mark on national stage

Derrington – Way Ahead was set up, with support from Stafford Borough Council, as the Borough’s first ‘pilot low carbon community’. Though the solar panels on Derrington Village Hall have become an iconic feature of the village, there’s been a lot more going on behind the scenes!

From home energy audits, to the Wednesday Health Walk; from Community Bench Building events to environmental art workshops; from establishing an annual Local Food Festival to planting an orchard at Cooper Perry Primary School; from setting up a fabulous IT project at the Village Hall to recycling bottles from the Village Hall Social Club. These are all projects that bring benefits to people, the environment, and make economic sense too.

The community has undertaken four main projects during the last year.

1. Design and installation of cycle parking at four sites around the Village, with a ‘Led Cycle Ride’ to launch the new facilities in March.

2. Two Bat Box/Bird Box Making events held in January and February, with over 100 people joining in, making over 250 boxes.

3. Installation of ‘Gateway Signs’, erected recently at the approaches to the village, with superb design and artwork from community members, including local children.

4. Creation of a Village Trail with ten themed Interpretation Panels, all with a sustainability message threaded into them. They are amazing and will be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, with an installation date to be confirmed later this summer.

These projects have benefited from grant funding from the LEADER Communities Mean Business programme, and support from Stafford Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council and many, many people within the village!

At the end of June 2012 ‘Derrington – Way Ahead’ was one of three projects short-listed in the national Future Friendly Awards. Out of several hundred that had entered, the village initiative was awarded joint second place with a prize of £500 to go with it!

To find out more contact Karen Davies, 01785 619408.  Visit the Village Trail

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