Our Eco Makeover

Work underwayLike most eco-warriors I had the standard comprehensive list in my heart of eco-bling I wanted at The Secret Acre – PV, solar thermal, rainwater harvesting, green roof, etc.

But having worked at Forum for the Future on pathfinder retrofit projects, I knew in my head that our first priority on a budget had to be insulation, insulation, insulation.

So making it warm and properly insulated for the next 100 years has to come first, and then worry about the bling. And as with every retrofit, you have to work with the existing building you have to do what is possible, practical and appropriate. Continue reading

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The (3 Days) of the Triffids

Greenhouse  Triffids BeforeOn collecting the keys for the Secret Acre in July 2014, one urgent task was to excavate the greenhouse and save it from the Triffids.

We’d inherited a splendid 18 foot old greenhouse, but like everything else it was ‘in need of repair’. About a third of the glass was broken, and a dense thicket of brambles had colonised every square inch inside, sprouting out in escape bids through the missing panes, and generally putting so much pressure on the remaining glass that the whole structure looked like a pressure cooker ready to explode. Continue reading

You’ll be Knocking it Down Then

Original Front of HouseIt seemed like everyone had it in for our Secret Acre’s 1930s bungalow. You’ll be knocking it down then was the default view of Estate Agents, Builders, other prospective buyers, and Architects – especially the Architects! No we bloody well won’t was our answer, muttering darkly under our breath about embodied carbon and the general un-green waste of replacing one set of perfectly good bricks with another set of slightly newer bricks. Continue reading

Thank you Felicity Kendal…

Good Life LogoI could say it started recently with the dog, but that wouldn’t really be true.

Emma has already written about her motivation for finding our Secret Acre. For me I guess it started watching The Good Life television series at an impressionably young age, which helped foster a lifelong passion for our environment and living a happier, more self-sufficient life. Continue reading