Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Norfolk

Hannah Jackson, 15.10.2014
An integrated approach to sustainability
Six years ago Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse in Norfolk embarked on a sustainability project to identify, pilot and promote opportunities for the museums to become more sustainable.  

As funding priorities have changed, this work has continued and become increasingly important to operations at the 50-acre site. It is no longer merely good to be green – increasingly, it is economically essential.  

An integrated approach is key. At the forefront of our work is the Gressenhall Green Team, a group of staff and volunteers from all levels in the organisation, operating with the support of senior management.  

Through their enthusiasm and dedication, we have identified greener ways of working, from increased composting and recycling, to improved biodiversity.  

We have also put in measures to increase our energy efficiency, such as draught-proofing windows and doors, putting in loft insulation and installing LED lighting and motion sensors in our displays.   

A biomass boiler, operating on wood pellets, has also helped us to reduce our dependency on oil. Finally, "eco elves" occasionally roam the office corridors after hours to check computers and lights have been switched off (rewarding those who do with a sweet treat).

This has led to a 44% reduction in the average annual electrical consumption on the 2008 figures, and a 10% reduction on heating, with 14.6% of our heating now coming from renewables.

None of this is rocket science, and fortunately we are all far more environmentally savvy than we were back in 2008.

Hannah Jackson is the sustainability project officer at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse