TV star opens charity's HQ

ONE of the country's most environmentally friendly charity headquarters was opened in Suffolk at the weekend.The Foundry - a former tractor shed in Lawshall, near Bury St Edmunds - is now home to the Green Light Trust, which works with communities up and down the country to recreate natural woodland environments.

ONE of the country's most environmentally friendly charity headquarters was opened in Suffolk at the weekend.

The Foundry - a former tractor shed in Lawshall, near Bury St Edmunds - is now home to the Green Light Trust, which works with communities up and down the country to recreate natural woodland environments.

On Saturday, the charity's patron Stephanie Cole - star of popular television shows such as Waiting for God and Doc Martin - attended a special open day to celebrate the completion of the new building, which has been constructed using the very latest environmentally friendly techniques.

“I am absolutely 100% behind what the trust is doing, and I'm incredibly impressed by what it has achieved over the years,” she said.


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“People are becoming increasingly aware about sustainable energy issues, and to see a building which operates this in practice is inspiring and informative.”

The Green Light Trust, which up until now has been run from people's houses and portable buildings, bought the site for The Foundry in April last year, from a local farming family.

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A derelict timber-framed traction engine shed, dating from the 1890s, was dismantled and reconstructed as part of the new building.

It will now be used for office space and a meeting room for environmental and educational training.

Nigel Hughes, chief executive of the trust, said he was thrilled with the new building, which has been made possible thanks to grants totalling £180,000 from various agencies.

“As an organisation we aim to encourage people to look after the environment and conserve natural resources, and our new headquarters have been designed to be as friendly to the local environment as possible,” he said.

“For example, the building is heated using a wood-fuelled boiler. In around 10 years' time we will be able to run the boiler with coppiced wood from our own Golden Wood on our doorstep.”

The Foundry has been built using lime instead of concrete, and insulated with hemp rather than fibreglass. Locally-grown hazel has been used along with clay to make a traditional wattle-and-daub structure for the interior walls, and solar energy panels generate hot water, while toilets are flushed with rain water.

Douglas Pike, chairman of the trust, said: “We are all very excited that building work is complete, and it is a big step forward to get a proper centre from which to carry out our work.

“At the Green Light Trust we put the environment first. That is why it is vital to us that our new headquarters have been constructed with the local environment as the main concern.

“We are confident that the Foundry will be an asset to the people of west Suffolk for generations to come.”

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