An energy company has gone off grid with its latest project, supporting Steyning Downland Scheme.
Bright Spark Energy, based in Warningcamp, worked with the conservation charity by sponsoring its new Gateway building.
The company donated a solar PV system with battery storage and LED lighting, so the building could be used all year round.
Mark Stevenson, managing director, said: “Part of our ethos is to invest our time and profits back into working on local community projects such as the Steyning Downland Scheme.
“I was very impressed by the work they have been doing and the positive impact it will have on the local schools and wider community.”
The scheme manages 165 acres of rolling downlands, woodland and ponds on the Wiston Estate in the South Downs National Park.
Teams of up to 170 active volunteers run a calendar of guided walks and other events through the year, monitor and manage the natural habitats, keep a conservation herd of Dexter cattle, are working on restoring the disused rifle range, dating back to 1860, and maintaining the network of footpaths.
The new gateway building, off Mouse Lane, Steyning, has created a hub and meeting point, as well as an information resource for visitors and homes for wildlife.
Matthew Thomas, project manager, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Bright Spark Energy for helping us out with a power supply for the Gateway.
“Now we can fit lighting inside, which will be a huge help, particularly for those short, winter days when we do most of our habitat conservation work.”
Bright Spark Energy tries to fund a number of charity projects each year and likes to support communities, in particular schools.