What Can I Do

This project will look at ways to increase energy efficiency and self sufficiency in all areas of village life - water, waste, transport and food. Here's how:


One of the aims of the Chale Community Project is to reduce water use in Chale by 15%.

In May, Leah Rumble of the Footprint Trust will be giving a talk on water (and money!) saving tips at the Project HQ near the Green.

Did you know?

    • Chale used to have its own supply of water but nowadays it would not pass the quality tests required by current water regulations.
    • Chale is the source of the Medina river (Source: The IW Catchment Abstraction Management Strategy 2004)
    • 25% of the island’s water is piped across from the mainland (In 2003, someone put an anchor through the pipe!)
    • Brand new pipes were put in Gurnard in 2008/9 (Gurnard), they take about 8-9 megalitres a day
    • 30-40 megalitres of water are used every day on the Isle of Wight (June 2009 figures)
    • The South East of England has less water available per person than Sudan and Syria. (Source: Waterwise)

Why do we need to care?

The average person on the Isle of Wight uses 125 litres of water a day. This takes into account cooking, cleaning, washing and flushing. This has been rising by 1% a year since 1930. This consumption level is not sustainable in the long-term.

The anticipated impacts of population increases, more intensive demands on water supplies and climate change mean the UK will face increased water stress in the future.

People can’t stop using water, but we can stop wasting water. The key to water efficiency is reducing waste, not restricting use. About one third of the water each person uses on a daily basis is wasted – it runs straight down the plughole or down the toilet without being used. It is this wastage we want to cut down.

Saving water will not only help the environment, but if you are on a water meter it will save you money on your water bill, and it will save you money on your energy bill if you reduce your hot water consumption.

Often the easiest route to efficiency is making things work right in the first place. Here are some tips about how not to waste water – with thanks to Waterwise:

Inside your Home:

Drop a hippo in your cistern: About a quarter of all the clean, drinkable water we use in our homes is flushed down a toilet. If you're in the market for a new loo, consider buying a water efficient toilet or one with a dual flush. If your loo is still as good as new, put a hippo or other displacement device into the cistern to save some water. Give your water company a ring; they can give you one of these devices for free.

Healthy teeth, healthy rivers: Remember to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth - a running tap wastes over 6 litres per minute. If the entire adult population of England and Wales remembered to do this, we could save 180 mega litres a day-enough to supply nearly 500,000 homes.

Stop those drips: A dripping tap wastes at least 5,500 litres of water a year: that's enough water wasted to fill a paddling pool every week for the whole summer. Mending your dripping tap washer could save you over £18 a year.

Fill up those dishwashers: Hand-washing dishes typically uses about 63 litres per session; if those dishes are rinsed off under a running tap the total water used averages 150 litres-in comparison, a modern dishwasher can use as little as 15 litres of water per cycle. But make sure you fill the dishwasher or you'll be wasting even more than if you were to wash up by hand. And if you're in the market for a new dishwasher, have a look at our rankings to help you buy a water efficient model.

Bathers beware: A bath typically uses around 80 litres, while a short shower can use as little as a third of that amount. But beware since many power-showers may actually use more than a bath. You can minimise your water use byreusing your bathwater to water your houseplants or garden.

Short, sharp, showers save water: By using a shower timer you can increase your awareness of the amount of time you spend in the shower. Try taking shorter showers to reduce the amount of water you use.

Wishy-washy machines: Before starting your washing machine, wait for a full load - a full load uses less water than two half loads; so, you'll be able to save money on energy and water. If you are looking to buy a new washing machines we've helped you make your choice by ranking all machines available on the UK market by water efficiency.

Frigid water: Fill a jug with tap water and leave it to cool in your fridge. This way you don't have to run the tap for ages just to get a cold drink.

Burst pipe preparedness: Check out where your main stop valve is and make sure that you can turn it on and off. If ever a pipe bursts, you'll know how to cut off the flow.

Sparkling asparagus: By washing your fruits and veg in a bowl rather than under a running tap, you could cut down on water waste effortlessly. And as an added bonus, you can use the leftover water to feed your houseplants.

Rubbish for rubbish bins: Try to avoid flushing away cotton balls, make-up tissues, and those pesky spiders-throwing them in the bin will cut down on the amount of water that is wasted by every flush.

Outside your home:

Be sprinkler savvy: We all love our gardens, but sprinklers can use as much as 1,000 litres of water per hour - that's more than a family of four can use in a whole day. Using your sprinkler early in the morning or late in the evening will mean less water will evaporate from your garden and more will get to the roots, where you actually want it to go.

You can with a watering can: Your hosepipe can spew as much as 18 litres of water a minute. By using a watering can in your garden you can significantly reduce the amount of water wasted; or consider fitting it with a trigger gun to control the flow (although during a hosepipe ban you will need to use a watering can).

Invest in a butt: Your roof collects about 85,000 litres of rain each year which then just runs straight into the sewers. This could fill 450 water butts with free water: you could water your garden, your houseplants, or wash your car for free! To get a butt, call your local water company.

The bucket and sponge approach: Rather than washing your car with a running hosepipe, try using a bucket and sponge instead. (Better still: fill the bucket up with water from the water butt). Just 30 minutes with a hosepipe will use more water than the average family uses in a day. And, using a bucket will give your car a much more precise wash

Magnificent mulch: Mulching is one of the greatest things you can do for your garden. Mulches such as pebbles, gravel, cocoa shell, chipped bark, and grass clippings should be applied as a five to eight centimetre layer; but do avoid mulching too close to plant stems as this can lead to rotting in winter. Mulching will not only keep away water-loving weeds, but it will also keep the soil cool, decrease evaporation, and reduce soil compaction

Soak, don't sprinkle: Giving your plants' roots a good soaking once or twice a week in dry weather is much better than lightly watering them every day because most of that water just evaporates away. Do remember, though, that new plantlings do need regular watering until they are established.

Current water supply situation on Isle of Wight:

There are not enough indigenous resources on the Island to supply everyone during a drought and so we transfer water from the mainland, under the Solent and to the Island. This water is used to rest the indigenous sources on the Island during the winter and also to assist with the peak summer demands, some of which arises from tourism.

Although many options have been considered for the development of resources on the Island, the current strategy stills makes use of the existing transfer mains which were recently replaced and upgraded. The way the island’s water supply is managed is:

      • 50% comes from ground water aquifers (aquifer: an underground bed or layer of permeable rock, sediment, or soil that yields water)
      • 25% comes from surface water e.g. Eastern Yar
      • 25% comes from the mainland

Every summer flows in the Eastern Yar fall below the minimum residual flow conditions. When this happens Southern Water augments the river flows by pumping groundwater into the river. By doing this the flows in the river increase and we are able to continue to abstract water from the river. To manage water resources and mitigate any potential problems with the supply of surface water, Southern Water will continue to utilise the transfer mains so that more water is pumped from the mainland to maintain supplies.

Current water supply situation in Hampshire South:

On other side of the Solent, the Environment Agency has recently completed a review of the River Itchen Habitat and concludes that this important chalk river needed extra protection, particularly during times of low flows. Therefore they are proposing to make changes to a number of abstraction licences along the river (for more information on the importance of England’s chalkstreams, see the WWF’s Rivers on the Edge. Click here

The proposed plan will ensure that by 2015-20, the Environment Agency will introduce a “hands-off” flow, so when water gets down to a certain level, Southern Water will no longer be able to abstract water from the river Itchen this will have a massive impact on the availability of water both in Hants and the Isle of Wight. So Southern Water is now looking at different ways in which they can maintain supply. Read more about the work that Southern Water is doing on the Isle of Wight to secure the island’s water supply for future generations: Click here

In addition to this...

Population growth on the Isle of Wight is set to increase – 10,000 more new homes are expected between 2008 – 2026

PUSH – the Partnership for Urban Southampton (an area between Soton & Portsmouth) is anticipating that 80,000 new homes will be built by 2026.

Eastern Yar will probably dry up more quickly depending on what rainfalls are like in the future – a short intense rainfall in winter may not recharge ground water in the same way.


Chale is lucky enough to have its own recycling centre at Chale Green Stores but here’s some more information about what happens to your waste after it is collected by Island Waste and information about how to recycle as much of it as possible.

Thankfully a lot of people in Chale already do their bit to reduce litter to a minimum but the Chale Community Project is organizing a dedicated ‘Stop the Drop’ day in August. If you’d like to be involved, watch out for more information on the News section of this site or email: chale@chalecommunityproject.org



Refuse and Recycling Information http://www.iwight.com/council/departments/waste/refuse_and_recycling/default.asp

What happens to my waste?



Current news: http://www.iwight.com/council/departments/waste/current_news/default.asp

For more ideas and advices on recycling, check out www.recyclenow.com


How much waste is produced on the Isle of Wight?

The Isle of Wight Council is responsible for the collection, recycling, and disposal of waste from over 67,000 domestic properties on the Island. There are also 60 mini recycling sites and three household waste recycling centres for use by local residents.

Residents are provided with a weekly rubbish collection. They also have access to a fortnightly recycling collection, and a weekly food waste collection

Isle of Wight Council works in close partnership with Island Waste Services to provide these services as part of the Integrated Waste Management Contract.


Sign up to CPRE President Bill Bryson’s Stop the Drop campaign which is tackling the litter and fly-tipping problem that is spoiling our beautiful countryside. http://www.cpre.org.uk/support/make-a-difference/litter-e-newsletter

Chale has a rich farming heritage and there are still many working farms around Chale each with their own speciality:
  • The Chale Farm Shop sells delicious ice-creams, jams and chutneys.
  • Staple Brothers specialize in cauliflowers
  • The Colson Family are livestock farmers – cattle and pigs
  • Mew Brothers are vegetable growers
  • There are also lots of goats in Chale!!
  • Chale Green Stores make a point of stocking local produce when they can.
Years ago, the Isle of Wight was know as the Market Isle and it still produces some amazing food which can be bought directly from the local producers or at the local farmers markets.
Other local Island producers include:
From the farm Hamiltons Fine Foods, Brownrigg Poultry From the dairy Isle of Wight Cheese Company LINK to HYPERLINK "http://www.isleofwightcheese.co.uk" www.isleofwightcheese.co.uk, Coppid Hall Dairy From the larder Island Mustards From the bakery Island Biscuits, Calbourne Classics From the vine Rosemary Vineyard, Rossiters Vineyard From the earth DJ Hunt supplying fresh produce from island producers including Isle of Wight tomatoes, Isle of Wight garlic, Freshwater Fruit Farm, Ben Brown’s asparagus and sweetcorn and WStallard’s various seasonal vegetables From the freezer Minghella ice cream From the barrel Goddards Brewery To quench the thirst Osel Enterprises mineral water, Sharon Orchard apple juice www.realislandfood.co.uk is an online shop for local, seasonal food
Farmers’ Markets on the Isle of Wight
Public appreciation of fresh, local produce has been steadily growing and people are starting to care much more about where their food comes from. If you want to purchase quality produce that has been grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked or otherwise processed by the local stallholder, Island Farmers’ Markets are the places to go. You can find out the exact origins of the foods and ask direct questions to the farmers and producers. Island Farmers’ Markets make shopping a more sociable and enjoyable experience and foster a sense of community. With more than 20 members, the Island Farmers’ Markets are helping to rejuvenate Isle of Wight town centres and make fresh food more accessible to local customers. The biggest farmers’ markets which happen weekly are: Weekly market, St Thomas’ Square, Newport, Fridays 9am – 2pm
Meet the farmers and producers at our regular Friday market in St Thomas’ Square, Newport. Good, fresh produce ‘from a field near you’. We are there – rain or shine! Weekly market – Ryde Town Square, Ryde, Saturdays 8.30 – 12.30
Meet the Farmers and Producers every week at our regular market in Anglesea Street, outside Somerfields in the Town Square in Ryde. purchase quality seasonal produce, to assist the environment by reducing food miles and to help the island economy.
So what are the benefits of local produce?
The impacts of local food are produced as a bundle of benefits when local food is consumed. Measuring the multiple benefits of local food is particularly difficult, so the effects can be split into four categories, some key measured impacts include:
Economic impacts:
Perception: The economic impacts of local food is “small scale, diffuse and scattered” by nature (A review of the local food sector in Scotland, HEBS, 2003) Reality: For every £10 spent on an organic box scheme, £24 is generated in the local economy; and by comparison, every £10 spent in a supermarket generates £12 for the local food economy (Plugging the Leaks, New Economic Foundation 2001) a switch of 1% of consumer spending on food in Cornwall to purchasing from local produces rather than supermarkets has increased local business income by £52M (The Money trail – measuring your impact on the local economy using LM3, New Economics Foundation, 2002) 28% of local food sector businesses in UK created new jobs in 2003, compared to just 1% of national food companies (The development of the local food sector 2000 to 2003 and its contribution to sustainable development, F3, 2003) diversification into processing and retailing of food from the farm is rated by farmers who attend farmers markets, as top survival strategy for their business (Farmers Market Business survey, National Farmers Union, 2000)
Health impacts:
Perception: “just as food shortages have been largely conquered in industrialised countries, so diets have become a major public health cost. On average, people now consume more food calories than they burn, and consume types of food constituents that are making them ill.” (Green Exercise: complementary roles of nature, exercise and diet in physical and emotional well being and implications for public health policy, J Pretty et al, University of Essex, 2003) Reality: community allotments and other growing projects have been shown to lead to lasting change in the intake of fruit and vegetables among participants (Great oaks from little acorns grow, D Carlisle, Health Development Today, 4, 2003) Community food initiatives deliver healthy food, increase awareness of a better diet and build self-confidence to choose a better diet (ibid.) over 60% of local food businesses believe that they have increased their community’s access to fresh produce (The development of the local food sector 200 to 2003 and its contribution to sustainable development, F3, 2003) fresh, local, organic vegetables are 40 times less likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues than conventional, supermarket vegetables (The benefits of developing local food links, Soil Association, 2003)
Community and social impacts:
Perception: “Local food is not seen to have a major role in meeting social need, principally because of the value- adding/ premium seeking approach of the food industry” (A review of the local food sector in Scotland, HEBS, 2003) Reality: Over 20% of CSAs in the US provide specifically for low income members through using sliding scales of income-based share pricing, and providing free produce for local food schemes (A share in the harvest – an action manual, G Pilley, 2003) only 1 in 10 or less community food initiatives are linked to fresh food suppliers from their local area (Growing Interest – community food growing conference report, Scottish Community Diet Project, 2003) the majority of community food initiatives use a combination of volunteers, lay staff and professional staff to deliver services (ibid.) local food businesses are twice as likely to be involved in collaborative or co-operative ventures with other businesses as national food businesses (Relocalising the food chain: the role of creative public procurement, Cardiff University, 2003)
Environmental impacts:
Perception: “300 times less CO2 is emitted in the production and distribution of spring onions by a UK box scheme operator, than by having them grown in Mexico, flown to the UK, trucked to a supermarket and bought on a car-borne shopping trip” (Local Food – a snapshot of the sector, DEFRA, 2003) Reality: for every kilogram of produce purchased at a farmers market, 187 grams of CO2 is emitted; for the equivalent produce purchased at a nearby supermarket the one kilogram will generate 431 grams of CO2 (Some benefits and drawbacks of local food systems, University of Essex, 2002) SW England farms selling direct to their customers sell on average 48% of their produce within 15 miles of their farm, whilst those selling via wholesalers sell only 4% of their farm produce within 15 miles of their farm (Local Food and Farming briefing, Devon County Council, 2002) farms supplying directly to local consumers are 6 times more likely to use organic production techniques as those selling to wholesalers (The development of the local food sector 2000 to 2003 and its contribution to sustainable development, F3, 2003) farms supplying directly to local consumers are 4 times more likely to use waste reduction techniques as those selling to wholesalers (ibid.)

The Government have recently announced plans to launch a “grow your own” revolution by encouraging people to set up temporary allotments or community gardens on land awaiting development or other permanent use.

Chale has an active Horticultural Society who play an important role in the running of the annual Chale Show and can offer discounts on seeds to Chale residents

To find out more about the Chale Horticultural Society, call Bob Pritchard on 01983 551205

A site for a community garden is being sought in Chale but there are a number of benefits from growing your own produce which include:

  • It tastes better – if you grow organically in soil which is of the right quality and eat it as soon as you can after harvesting you will get a fuller flavour.
  • You can avoid all the food additives and preservatives that you get in commercially produced food.
  • Its healthy work – you can get fit digging an allotment.
  • Reduced carbon miles in the food production ( from the allotment to your table ).
  • It’s a social activity – you meet lots of people managing an allotment who share your passion for local produce.
  • You can grow lots of the things that you like the best.
  • You can swap things with your friends and neighbours.
  • If you produce enough of it you can even create a mini community produce market ... where other people can benefit from your wares.
  • You can maintain an all year round growing season delivering produce most of the year.
  • As a general rule the closer the relationship between your food and the original source ( i.e. the sun ) the more goodness there is in it for you … so your home grown produce can actually help to make you healthier.

We are very lucky that local bus company Southern Vectis are very keen to support this project and have kindly offered an amazing deal for people who are prepared to get out of their cars and on to the buses. They are providing return bus travel from anywhere in Chale between the Church and Star corner to anywhere on the Island including any changes of bus that might require for just £2. The initial deal is available to anyone and will run for 6-months when there will be a review so please use them as much as you can!

Because Chale is such an out of the way place it is difficult not to use the car sometimes but if you would like to reduce the amount you drive, whether in order to save energy, save money or get in shape, here are some ideas you may find useful.

With thanks to the Energy Saving Trust:

Using the car less

Planning your journey

Car Sharing

Check out this new car sharing scheme for the Isle of Wight


The goal of the Chale Community Project is to find ways in which to reduce energy use and fuel costs in a range of houses in the Chale community. We aim to do this by providing information on how people can save energy in their homes whilst providing a range of new technologies to improve energy efficiency.

The first part of the project will involve the retrofit of 67 homes in Spanners Close with renewable technologies.

Spanners Close was built in the 1970s and is typical of the sort of housing stock you can find all over the UK.

Chale is a community off-gas and the houses and flats are currently heated with night storage heaters.


The technologies that are going into place on Spanners Close are:

1. Air to Water Heat Pump

This is a type of air source heat pump. Air source heat pumps absorb heat from the outside air. This heat can then be used to warm water for radiators or underfloor heating systems, or to warm the air in your home.

There are two main types:

An air-to-water system uses the heat to warm water. Heat pumps heat water to a lower temperature than a standard boiler system would, so they are more suitable for underfloor heating systems than radiator systems.

An air-to-air system produces warm air which is circulated by fans to heat your home.

How do air source heat pumps work?

An air source heat pump extracts heat from the outside air in the same way that a fridge extracts heat from its inside. It can extract heat from the air even when the outside temperature is as low as minus 15° C.

The efficiency of air source heat pump systems is measured by a coefficient of performance (CoP) - the amount of heat they produce compared to the amount of electricity needed to run them. A typical CoP for an air source heat pump is around 2.5.

The benefits of air source heat pumps

Reduce fuel bills: air source heat pumps run on electricity, so there's no need to pay for gas, oil or solid fuels to heat your home.

Cut down on wasted electricity: heating your home with an air source heat pump is much more efficient than using electric radiators.

Save space: an air source heat pump system is compact, and requires no storage space for fuel.

2. The air to water heat pumps will be linked to a new water filled radiator system (the number of radiators is dependent on the type of house you are in) which will be thermostatically controlled in each room. These radiators are a special enlarged version designed for wet air source systems.

3. There will be a new hot water cylinder that can take the feed from the Air to Water Heat Pump and also provide the basis for the hot water system. This will be backed up by an immersion heater*. The hot water and heating system will be available 24 hours a day.

Immersion heater: An immersion heater is an electric element which screws into the hot water tank. This element is wired to the mains electrical supply via an isolating switch, a thermostat to control the temperature, and sometimes a timer which enables you set the times you wish to have the water heated. Using a timer, together with a well insulated tank, it is possible to heat the water when electricity rates are at their cheapest (Economy 7 between 12 midnight and 7 am), and use it during the day. It is worth remembering that the hot water from an immersion heater is always drawn from the top of the cylinder, where it has risen over the cold water underneath (convection current). The cold water, fed to the tank from underneath, gives the hot water the pressure it needs to leave the cylinder, from the top, when required by the taps. Some tanks can contain two elements, giving you a choice as to how much water you want to heat up at any one time. It is quite rare nowadays for the immersion heater to be the only method of domestic water heating in a home and the immersion is generally used as a back up to one, or both, of the following two methods. 

4. New double glazed windows will be fitted to most houses which will help to improve the thermal efficiency of these homes.

5. Loft insulation will be inspected and increased in the houses where it is felt necessary to reduce heat loss through the roof.

6. Photovoltaic Solar Panels (also known as “Solar PVs”) will be fitted to roofs which will generate electricity and work on ambient light (not just direct sunlight) so that they will work even on cloudy days although their output will be reduced. The electricity they generate will be provided to homes and will be FREE to us – helping to reduce electricity bills.

7. Some water efficiency measures will be introduced along with information on how to save water that will help to reduce water bills.

Overall the new heating systems that are being installed in Spanners Close will enable residents to have a more even, controllable heat in their homes which will be much more efficient than the night storage systems that are currently in place.

The Solar PV on the roofs will mean that when there is enough daylight residents will be able to benefit from the FREE electricity generated from the panels.

The survey that was conducted by ECD Architects to work out the best form of heating for the properties in Spanners Close indicates that this will enable residents to have more comfortable, warmer homes while at the same time reducing their fuel bills.