Thorpe Le Soken: Smallholder thinks big with wind energy project

AN Essex smallholder hopes to halve his electricity bills after installing a small-scale wind turbine to power the farm.

Former security company boss Dave Todd, 66, has run his smallholding at Scenefelda Farm in Thorpe Le Soken, near Clacton on Sea, with his wife Heather, 68, for the past seven years.

The couple keep chickens, geese, ducks, pigs, sheep and horses and sell their own produce. In spite of their age, they have no plans to retire.

They wanted to look at ways to make the smallholding as sustainable, environmentally friendly and as cost-effective as possible for the future.

“I wanted to look at alternative forms of power with the goal of cutting costs as well as carbon footprint,” explained Dave. “I personally don’t favour solar panels and research showed that on average wind turbines provide more power anyway.”

The 15 metre high turbine is situated less than 150 metres from the house and by the geese.

“It’s not noisy at all,” said Dave.

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“You certainly can’t hear it over the noise of the geese and none of the animals have batted an eyelid at the newest addition to the farm. The sheep have been grazing happily around it and I’ve even seen some of them rubbing up against it as a scratching post.”

The couple are now planning anothere turbine.

Their original turbine was installed by Windcrop, based at Norwich. It was the firm’s first installation in Essex.

Managing director John Moore said a large proportion of their customers across East Anglia are smallholders.