Community fund case studies

There have been a number of ‘firsts’ for the recent grants awards made by the Sheringham Shoal Community Fund, details of which are contained in the following case studies.

Case study 1: North Walsham New Road Bowls and Snooker Club

A grant from the Sheringham Shoal Community fund has enabled the North Walsham New Road Bowls and Snooker Club to install a pop-up automated irrigation system which harvest rainwater to water the Club’s bowling green.

The eco-friendly system features a 10,000 litre rainwater storage tank, the contents of which are used to automatically water the bowling green during the early mornings of days when there has been less than 6mm of rainfall in the previous 24 hours.

Bowls Captain Bryan Sadler is delighted with the new system, saying:

"The Club has around 116 members and is run entirely by volunteers. As well as making the lives of us green keepers so much easier, particularly during periods of hot weather such as has been experienced recently, we are expecting this irrigation system to enable us to significantly reduce the Club’s mains water consumption."

The irrigation system in use

The irrigation system in use

Case study 2: Dilham Village Hall

Although the Sheringham Shoal Community Fund has provided grant support to a number of village halls and community centres across North Norfolk to help with the installation of solar photovoltaic panels, the grant to Dilham Village Hall is a ‘first’ because the 2.65kWh solar panel system includes a 6.4kWh battery storage capability.

An energy consultant’s report was commissioned as part of the research for this innovative system; this indicated that since over 63% of the Hall’s annual electricity usage is in the evenings, a system without battery storage would result in the hall drawing electricity from the National Grid for these periods.

Dilham Village Hall Trustee Tony Kirwan has high expectations of the new system, saying: "I am expecting 3 to 4 hours of sunlight we might get on a normal day to provide sufficient energy for two and a half evenings of village hall use, and I shall be collecting and analysing the performance data automatically collected."

The batteries have a forecast life of 10 years, and their replacement would cost around £4,000 at today’s prices. With estimated electricity savings of around £420 a year, while reducing annual carbon emissions by 1.2 tonnes, the Trustees believe they must use the renewable electricity generated and stored by the solar photovoltaic system to create additional income streams.

The irrigation system in use

Ross McMillan [2nd from right] from Sherjngham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm being shown the battery storage unit by Dilham Village Hall Trustees

Case study 3: First Norfolk outdoor eco-gym

With the assistance of a grant from the Sheringham Shoal Community Fund, Norfolk’s first outdoor eco-gym has opened in the Memorial Park in North Walsham.

With the support of North Walsham Town Council, it has been developed by the charity North Walsham Play [NWP], and is situated adjacent to the Memorial Park children’s play area which was also developed by NWP in 2018.

The eco-gym features thirteen pieces of equipment of which four exercise machines enable users to generate electricity to recharge their mobile devices through their pedalling.

Matthew Smith, the founder and a Trustee of North Walsham Play, is delighted with the eco-gym, saying:

"The exercise machines work just like a UK plug socket, so two to three hours of pedalling or pulling across any of the four items of equipment should be sufficient to fully charge a mobile phone."

He continued:

"The installation also features battery storage, so any surplus electricity generated by those using the eco-gym will be stored and used to help reduce the cost of the Memorial Park’s overall electricity consumption.

"In the coming months, NWP will publish the statistics relating to electricity generation by the exercise machines, and I think that will be very interesting data."

The outdoor eco-gym developed by North Walsham Play

The outdoor eco-gym developed by North Walsham Play
Image courtesy of North Walsham Play