Eco Open Houses to open doors this weekend

Worthing mayor Cllr Sean McDonald cuts the ribbon. Photo by Derek Martin
Worthing mayor Cllr Sean McDonald cuts the ribbon. Photo by Derek Martin

Eleven households in Worthing and Lancing will open their doors to the public this weekend to show people how to reduce flood risks and save energy.

Eco Open Houses will take place across ten homes and Worthing Leisure Centre this Saturday (September 24) and Sunday (September 25).

Worthing Eco Open Houses co-organisers.  Photo by Derek Martin

Worthing Eco Open Houses co-organisers. Photo by Derek Martin

West Sussex County Council is sponsoring the event, through its Operation Watershed fund which was set up after floods in 2012 affected local communities.

This year’s theme is flood risk reduction and £500,000 has been put aside this year so residents’ associations, community groups and volunteer groups can bid to fund new flooding defence projects.

Sue Furlong, a representative from Operation Watershed said: “We want to help support community projects that can benefit the whole community like this.

“We want to show people that you don’t need to be well off and privileged to make sustainable and economical changes in the house.

Sue Furlong from Operation Watershed. Photo by Derek Martin

Sue Furlong from Operation Watershed. Photo by Derek Martin

“We are aiming to show that normal houses with a normal family routine can get on board with water conservation and energy usage.”

The events aim to show residents of the Adur and Worthing area simple ways to save water and reduce energy consumption.

The open houses will show a few simple and effective ways to conserve water and reduce water runoff.

Lydia Schilbach, principal community officer for Adur and Worthing council is also one of the ten home owners showing off her energy saving choices.

Worthing Eco Open Houses Stewards, Anthony Nicklen, Lindsey Green, Chris Green, Barbara Shaw and Maria Chapman. Photo by Derek Martin

Worthing Eco Open Houses Stewards, Anthony Nicklen, Lindsey Green, Chris Green, Barbara Shaw and Maria Chapman. Photo by Derek Martin

She added: “We want to show people how they can use heavy rainfall, conserve it and reuse it at a later time.

“Residents can see how to save water for the garden and use it to flush the toilet.

“We want to show residents that they can conserve the water that overflows from the drainpipes and into the road.

“They could have a rain garden installed which simply involves connecting a pipe to the drainpipes to take the water out to the main planting in the garden to be absorbed.

“This is a money-saving options that residents across the area can use.”

For the first time, this year’s trail will feature an open house at Worthing Leisure Centre in Shaftesbury Avenue.

The centre is home to a project involving water conservation in the form of aquaponics - a way of growing food based on closed loop eco-systems that recycle waste products from fish tanks into gravel beds in which plants are grown.

Anthony Nicklen, from home farm aquaponics said: “This is the first year that we will be involved with the trail and we are very excited.

We want to show people how they can live economically and also organically.

“Aquaponics is a step better than organic so hopefully we can show people the benefits.”

The 11 venues across Worthing and Lancing will open for the Eco Open Homes trail at various times over the weekend and tours and visits will be running at different times during both days.

Admission to each house is free to attend.

For more information regarding opening times and locations, please visit www.greenopenhomes.net

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