Dales dreaming of a green xmas

Green Christmas:  The Green Santa, aka Richard Bunting, meets Site Manager Andrew Mallyon-Price and Chris Bills at the Recycling Centre, Harrison Way.
Green Christmas: The Green Santa, aka Richard Bunting, meets Site Manager Andrew Mallyon-Price and Chris Bills at the Recycling Centre, Harrison Way.

FATHER Christmas hung up his red outfit to spread an eco-friendly message to businesses and groups across the Dales.

Showing off his traditional green costume, the jolly present-giver, aka Richard Bunting, from Little Green Space, paid a visit to the area to reward groups that are doing their bit for the community and the environment.

Green Christmas:  The Green Santa, aka Richard Bunting, meets Diane Brown of The Potion's Club, a workshop that shows how to use natural materials to produce household cleaners and perfumes, at the Derbyshire Eco Centre.

Green Christmas: The Green Santa, aka Richard Bunting, meets Diane Brown of The Potion's Club, a workshop that shows how to use natural materials to produce household cleaners and perfumes, at the Derbyshire Eco Centre.

The Dales is renowned as a safe, clean and green place to live and our favourite festive figure was impressed by how many projects are flying the green flag and helping tackle climate change.

First in line for a visit from Father Christmas was new Tansley-based business The Renewable Shop which is set to officially launch next month.

The shop, on the Brookfield Industrial Estate, aims to help customers save money and the planet.

Set up by Matlock men, Tom Mastin and Wayne Bradshaw, the business offers a range of products to help homeowners cut their carbon footprints including solar panels, air and ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers and under floor heating.

Green Christmas: The Green Santa, aka Richard Bunting, gives his ecological seal of approval to Tom Mastin, Jacob Johnson, Wayne Bradshaw and JJ van Oosten, directors of The Renewable Shop, Brookfield Industrial Estate.

Green Christmas: The Green Santa, aka Richard Bunting, gives his ecological seal of approval to Tom Mastin, Jacob Johnson, Wayne Bradshaw and JJ van Oosten, directors of The Renewable Shop, Brookfield Industrial Estate.

Customers will also be able to see the products in use in a specially designed showroom and the business hopes to invite school children in to the shop to see the technology working.

Next Father Christmas called in at Garden Farm, at High Leas.

The organic farm specialises in rare and traditional breeds of cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry.

Tim Sidaway and his wife Sarah Fowler took over the farm last January and have been working to develop it as a community hub and host a range of events throughout the year.

Green Christmas: Tim Sidaway of Garden Farm, High Leas is congratulated by The Green Santa, aka Richard Bunting, for his use of sustainable farming methods.

Green Christmas: Tim Sidaway of Garden Farm, High Leas is congratulated by The Green Santa, aka Richard Bunting, for his use of sustainable farming methods.

They are urging people to have an ethical Christmas and offering local and free range produce direct from their farm.

Tim said: “All our Christmas produce is reared or grown on the farm.

“We strive to keep our organic food affordable so have price checked the local supermarket and ensure our like for like produce is cheaper.”

Derbyshire’s Eco Centre was also in line for a seasonal treat.

Diane Brown of The Potion’s Club, a workshop that shows how to use natural materials to produce household cleaners and perfumes, welcomed the festive figure.

The £1.4million centre at Middleton-by-Wirksworth, which has recently celebrated its first anniversary, helps protect Derbyshire’s rural heritage by offering courses to keep traditional skills alive and teach people to live sustainably.

Almost 800 people have taken part in 133 courses at the centre during the first year.

The centre itself boasts green credentials with a grass roof, rainwater harvesting to supply toilets, solar panels to heat water and under-floor heating driven by an air source heat pump.

Finally the Recycling Centre at Harrison Way in Northwood received a call from the jolly seasonal guest.

The site which recycles a range of household items including furniture, wood, garden waste, old clothes, paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and electrical items, has been inundated with customers since it opened in August.

A spokesman fro Derbyshire County Council which runs the two-acre tip said: “Around 3,000 residents have visited the site bringing all types of household waste that they no longer want ranging from furniture to old bicycles to cardboard and garden waste.

“Over 750 tonnes have been brought to the site with over 550 tonnes of that being recycled or reused.

“Seventy-three per cent of everything brought to the site has been recycled or reused.”

The site is open every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years day from 8.30am to 6pm and will accept Christmas trees.

Father Christmas said: “It’s not long until Christmas Eve, but I was keen to take time out of my hectic festive schedule to visit some of the exciting green projects and businesses that have been launched in the Derbyshire Dales over the past year or two.

“Between them, these inspiring initiatives are offering a wide range of environmental solutions that are good for the planet and for people’s quality of life too. They are making it easier for people in the Dales to buy local food, to invest in renewable energy, to reduce landfill through recycling, and to benefit from education and training.”

For tips on how to have a green Christmas go to Matlock eco group Little Green Space’s annual festive campaign website www.savethenorthpole.org.uk.