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November 19, 2008

Perthshire village goes for green

Not so long ago the development trust in Comrie was attracting headlines for leading a successful community buy out of the former army camp – Cultybraggan. Now they are about to break new ground by reducing their community’s carbon footprint by implementing a whole range of innovative measures. A £300,000 award from the Government’s Climate Challenge Fund will boost their efforts

BBC News

Several projects are being set up in Comrie, such as the development of allotments and tree planting at the old Cultybraggan prisoner of war camp.

A street-by-street home insulation project is planned and a local transport scheme is being developed.

Villagers are also urged to think about their energy use and shopping habits.

It is estimated that £300,000 of savings could be made by the village in one year by becoming more energy efficient and it will reduce CO2 emissions by 1,350 tonnes.

The Comrie Development Trust has received almost £300,000 from the Climate Challenge Fund, which is backed by the Scottish Government and the Green Party.

Alan Caldwell, from the Comrie Development Trust, is sure local people will get behind the projects.

He said: “The various ideas – from community composting, and wormeries, and car sharing, and shopping locally, have all come from within our community, either individuals, or businesses, or through the community meetings and now our job is to see how much people will actually commit to making these things happen.

“The particularly exciting bit of the Comrie Carbon Challenge is this house-by-house energy insulation programme. So we’re, over the next however many months, going to organise audits in every single house that wants one in Comrie and then organise a village-wide insulation and energy efficiency programme.

“So hopefully that will dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of the village as a whole.”

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead has been visiting the village.

“This project is enormously wide-ranging and there is much for the people of Comrie to be proud of,” he said. “Such a radical move represents commendable action and there is much to be learned from their innovation. The street-by-street home insulation plan is particularly striking, cutting carbon emissions and helping residents make significant savings on their heating bills.”