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Technology Helping Nature

Shorne Woods Country Park is a flagship example of the public sector using innovative technology to reduce carbon emissions and cut costs. The site’s considerable ecological and archeologically importance draws in 315,000 visitors yearly. Sustainable technology has preserved the sensitivity of the site (as an Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) whilst dazzling and educating 20% more visitors than the previous centre. Technologies can be easy to implement with few extra costs.

Shorne makes use of:

-Greywater systems which recycle dirty water by using enzymes.
-A Wind Turbine to generate electricity for its kitchen.
-Solar panels to shade internal space and generate electricity.
Did you know?
-A single 750kW turbine can offset 5000 tonnes of CO2.
-5000 tonnes of CO2 would need 500 acres of trees to absorb it.
-In Britain one day could solar power 244800 light bulbs (100W) for 24 hours.

In addition, the centre is mostly made from locally sourced chestnut from coppice woodland. Currently only 10% of sweet chestnut coppice is harvested for use and Shorne hopes provide itself as a practical example to the construction industry.

Shorne Woods County Park is not only innovative in its design but also in the activities it provides visitors. Geocaching uses contemporary technology for team-building games.

"Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment". - www.geocaching.com
“In a nutshell, there are about 800,000 caches hidden around the world, and anyone with a GPS handset can look for these! At last count, we had 47 caches hidden across all our parks in Kent, and these are all available for the public to search for at any time. We have put in around another 6 caches at Shorne Woods which are not accessible to the public, and we use these to carry out one of a range of corporate activities at the park. We only did this about 3 months ago, and already we've had several bookings for companies to come to the park, to have a meeting and lunch in our meeting room and then go geocaching in the afternoon as a team-building activity.”
- A
manda Dunk, Country Parks Area Manager - North & West Kent Teams.

For more information about Shorne Country Park and geocaching please visit the Kent County Council website.

- Claire Matthews.
-With thanks to Shorne Country Park and Amanda Dunk, County Parks Area Manger.

(Picture top left: Shorne Country Park's centre with a view of the solar panels and wind turbine)

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