A fresh spin on green living at Nymans

Nymans Green Living day - mum Sinem de Klijn with children Rose 2 & Tess 4 from Haywards Heath, credit Keith Mason, National Trust SUS-140924-094419001
Nymans Green Living day - mum Sinem de Klijn with children Rose 2 & Tess 4 from Haywards Heath, credit Keith Mason, National Trust SUS-140924-094419001

Hundreds of visitors enjoyed a free green-themed day out at Nymans, Handcross, on Saturday September 13.

From a giant hamster wheel and behind-the-scenes tours to green gardening advice and the chance to win a year’s free electricity – there was shedloads on offer for all ages.

The National Trust house and gardens, in West Sussex, opened its doors for free on to host a special Green Living day in partnership with the 100 per cent renewable electricity company, Good Energy, and sustainable energy charity, the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE).

The event was part of Heritage Open Days, the largest free heritage festival in the country.

Visitors got the chance to see how much energy they could generate on Good Energy’s giant hamster wheel, had a go at composting with the help of a special piggy and learnt the biodynamic gardening secrets behind Nyman’s spectacular 20th-century garden and nursery on guided tours.

Plus everyone had the opportunity to win a year’s free electricity with Good Energyand take home some energy saving goodies and advice.

At Nymans, staff and volunteers have been working hard to save energy and use the power of nature where they can, to help the conservation charity meet its ambitious targets to reduce energy use by 20 per cent and generate half of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. This will help to cut the Trust’s greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent and also save the charity around £4m each year, which can be spent on more conservation projects.

Hollie Ryan, Visitor Programme Manager at National Trust Nymans, said: “It’s been fantastic to see children and adults rolling up their sleeves and really getting stuck into composting and some of our other green living activities.

“Many of our visitors have been coming regularly for several years but they might not have known about the work we do to be greener here. It’s great to show how we’re not only caring for our old and historic homes, but also looking after the environment.”

Charmaine Coutinho, Business Development Manager at Good Energy said: “It has been great seeing lots of visitors to Nymans this weekend trying out Good Energy’s human hamster wheel, generating some of their own electricity.

“We have enjoyed speaking to visitors about what they can do in their own home to save energy, whilst also highlighting the benefits of cleaner, greener 100% renewable electricity.

The event at Nymans is part of a wider series of green living themed activities in September hosted by the National Trust, which looks after 250,000 hectares of countryside, 742 miles of coastline and hundreds of historic places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Visitor and dad of two, Andrew Garvey, said: “It’s been really fun for the kids to learn about green energy and all the other things they do at Nymans to be environmentally friendly in the gardens. The human hamster wheel’s a brilliant way to teach people about solar power too.”

It is hoped the events have helped to tell the story of the Trust’s cleaner energy ambitions, and inspired others to save energy and discover ways they can look after their own homes for the future.

Find out more about the National Trust’s green living work and partnership with Good Energy and CSE at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/energy

Report and picture contributed by the National Trust.