Green light for green future at museum
Visitors to a Norfolk museum could be given the chance to quite literally help fertilise farmland as part of its green credentials. Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse has been picked to be the lead museum in the Rural Museums East partnership looking at sustainability.
Visitors to a Norfolk museum could be given the chance to quite literally help fertilise farmland as part of its green credentials.
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse has been picked to be the lead museum in the Rural Museums East partnership looking at sustainability.
Plans for the museum include new outdoor classrooms, a straw bale ticketing hut and composting toilets for the public, if it gets funding.
What is more, visitors would be able to see the fruits of their waste on farmland at the 50-acre site farmed using traditional farming techniques.
And to make sure the skills needed to carry out that farming do not die out, a new apprenticeship scheme is to be launched to train up people with techniques like heavy horse handling
Robin Hanley, area museums officer for Norfolk County Council, said: 'The buildings will be there for practical things but they will be built using sustainable building techniques such as straw bale.
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'Environmental sustainability is going to be part of what Gressenhall is about.'
This includes making sure unique skills, particularly traditional skills like working heavy horses, are passed on to future generations, he said.
'We are very reliant on a couple of individuals who have that knowledge and we want to think about planning for the future,' he said. 'At the moment we have a placement with us funded by the Shaw Trust.
'But there is a potential to develop a relationship with centres like Easton College to offer specialist apprenticeship opportunities particularly around traditional skills as well as interpretation, being able to explain skills to visitors.'
This weekend families were enjoying museum's Centenary Woodland.
It was planted to commemorate the centenary of Norfolk County Council and has only recently been open to the public because the trees have finally matured.
It is one of the sites picked for outdoor classrooms where school groups can shelter while working there.
Other green projects at the museum include four new panels around the site linking sustainability to areas including the orchard, Centenary Woods, Gressenhall Farm and the farmhouse gardens.
A sustainability and carbon reduction theme is to run throughout the museum at all events instead of holding specific events.
Waste free lunches are to be promoted, a wildflower meadow is to be created and reed bed water filtration systems are being looked at.
There is also a improvement with UEA and the John Innes Centre looking at changing attitudes to crops and the land and a 'produced in Norfolk' shop on event days, offering local farm and craft products.
The museum will have its usual range of events this year, starting from Sunday when it re-opens.
There will be the Easter Fair on April 13, Food Fair on May 4, History Fair on May 14, Days to Remember for over 55s on July 3 and September 18, and Village at War on August 30 and 31.
There will also be Apple Day on October 25, a Christmas Event on December 6 and activities throughout all the school holidays.
For more information contact 01362 860563.