The Lanchester Environmental Group aims to improve the environment whilst conserving the character of the village and the surrounding countryside.

The Past

Over the last 9 years the partnership has focused on educational aspects of  climate change and the need to reduce our carbon footprint. The group has shown the film Age of Stupid which stimulated a great deal of discussion in the community.  As a result of our desire to reduce food miles the Margery Flatts Allotments and Community Orchard were established.

A very successful Energy Fair was held at the community Centre to challenge us all further to look into ways of cutting down energy use. This was followed by an informative evening about the fitting of Solar Panels and was not only attended by scores of residents but resulted in several solar panel installations around the village.

Throughout this time regular annual litter picks were held in the village to clear our hedge-ways and paths of discarded cans and bottles. And of recent years residents have engaged in Balsam Bashing, lead by the Lanchester Wild Life group, in an attempt to control the take over of this plant particularly in Dora’s Wood.

The Present

Regular Litter picking and balsam bashing continues in the village.

A new group affiliated both to the Partnership and to Surfers Against Sewage has been initiated to challenge the people of Lanchester to ditch their single-use plastics. With the growing swell of enthusiasm to reduce plastic use both in retailers and consumers alike we’re sure it won’t be long before Lanchester can claim Plastic Free Status. Already the Parish Council have pledged their support!!

The Future

The group intends to keep working with schools, businesses and community groups in the area to reduce their single use plastics. And to work with the council to try and improve the rates of recycling in our village.

Regular litter picks are planned to continue which not only improve the aesthetics of the village but help to prevent more plastic polluting the environment.

Turning to other environmental issues we hope to influence the community to provide nectar rich planting in their garden to increase the biodiversity in the area.


A large group of enthusiastic members are working on projects which aim to raise the awareness of climate change issues and reduce the carbon footprint of Lanchester.


One of this group’s aims is to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags handed out in village shops. To this end it has talked to the village shopkeepers (who are very supportive) and has produced some fabric shopping bags.


Thermal image of house with car outside

This group has been using thermal imaging to assist home owners in identifying areas of potential heat loss. The group held its first Energy Fair at Lanchester Community Centre 2 October 2010. It plans to run a similar event in 2012.
One of the group’s members delivered a presentation (6 October 2011) on solar panels to which there was a positive response, resulting in some people expressing interest in having them installed on their homes.


A community orchard that incorporates allotments has been designed and laid out. After months of planning and preparing the land, lots of fruit trees have been planted.

Planting trees in the community orchard – early Spring 2012


The group is making links with local schools.


Each month we suggest a way of saving energy.


Each Spring, since 2006, we have gathered around 100 people to pick up everything from conventional litter to shopping trolleys and dirty nappies.
The District Council is now picking up litter regularly and people seem to be dropping less. Everyone agrees that there has been a big improvement over the years – each year there is less litter than the one before – but we still manage to completely fill a very big skip.

The next one is scheduled for Saturday 23 March 2013.


This group, which consists of the Partnership in conjunction with the Durham Countryside Ranger and Groundwork Trust, helps Durham CC to improve bio-diversity on the Valley Walk.


Following the severe village floods of June 2003 we set up a group—ourselves, the Parish, District and County Councils, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water—to tackle the problem. The drains and sewers were inspected and many repairs and improvements were found to be needed. Since these were carried out the situation has markedly improved.

Flood prevention new drains being installed

Following significant flooding in June 2012 a flood action group was set up. This group has worked with other organisations (including the Environment Agency, DCC and the Parish Council) to help with measures such as flood barriers to protect shops and homes.