Eco-soundings – our environmental news round-up

WELCOME to our round-up of eco and environmental news from the Fine Times Recorder. We feel that there is a real need in this area to have somewhere people who are interested can find out about groups working on sustainability projects, general news on green issues, events, news, exhibitions, Transition Town projects, etc.

We will welcome news, events and short articles from anyone involved in community groups or their own individual projects. Contact us by email or by Twitter, @yourFTR


New music for ancient trees

DORSET musicians Emily Burridge, cello, and Karen Wimhurst, clarinet, join sound artist Adrian Newton for All Trees Are Clocks, a multi-media performance celebrating ancient trees and woodlands, at Dorchester Corn Exchange on Sunday 21st April at 2.30pm.

The musicians play live, accompanying field recordings and video curated byAdrian Newton, documenting how ancient woodlands are changing over time. All Trees Are Clocks was recently featured on the Cerys Matthews show on BBC Radio 6.

The piece follows ancient trees as they change through the seasons, but also explores the potential impacts of climate change. “For many people, climate change is something remote that doesn’t affect them personally,” says Adrian Newton, who is producing the event. “Yet many of our ancient trees, which people love to see, are already suffering because of it. We hope that this piece will remind us just how special ancient trees are, not least because of their great age. Perhaps they experience time differently from how we do.”

Emily is a virtuoso cellist, whose improvisational skills create exquisite and spiritual music, fluidly crossing classical and contemporary genres. Her recent work has explored the soundscapes of the Amazon rain forest and the legacy of JS Bach.

Karen is a widely commissioned composer, whose work ranges from chamber pieces to music theatre, embracing folk and jazz influences alongside classical music. Recent compositions include Jump, in which she plays the clarinet alongside the sounds of insects and amphibians.

The performance will employ the Corn Exchange’s surround sound system, providing an immersive listening experience. Tickets are available from Dorchester Arts.




Greener heating at Stourhead House

THE National Trust’s Stourhead House has a new greener heating system. It previously took 33,000 litres of oil to heat the Palladian house each year. Now the energy needs are provided by two woodchip boilers, saving thousands of pounds a year on heating bills and 90 tonnes of C02 emissions.

The new biomass system will be fuelled by locally sourced, sustainably grown wood supplied and chipped ready for use by local suppliers.

Tamsin Holmes, environmental practices coordinator, said “The switch to biomass for Stourhead House is a major part of our whole property ambition to stop using oil as an energy source.

“Nationally, the Trust has a target to generate 50 per cent of its in-hand energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.  The switch to woodchip in Stourhead House will contribute 1 per cent towards the national target.”

The biomass boilers  have been installed in the renovated Pumphouse behind Stourhead House. A new woodchip store has been built behind the Pumphouse, designed to be sympathetic to the original building, and to blend in with its surroundings.