The Blencathra Field Study Centre has agreed in principle to have a Micro anaerobic digester (AD) to process their waste food. This follows a feasibility study initiated by Sustainable Keswick into the use of Micro AD systems to process the commercial waste food produced in Keswick and adjoining parishes, thereby reducing our carbon footprint. It is hoped that other organisations at suitable sites identified in the feasibility study will, in future, follow the lead of the Centre. Most waste food ends up in land fill sites where it decomposes producing methane, a very potent greenhouse gas which contributes strongly to global warming. A Micro AD allows the methane to be collected and used as an energy source for heating or cooking etc. Hence the use of a Micro AD reduces the carbon footprint of any organisation which uses one. In addition the digestion process produces a mulch which makes an excellent fertiliser.

The feasibility study was funded by a grant awarded to Sustainable Keswick who appointed the Rural Cumbria Connects consortium of consultants. The lead consultancy, Reiver Renewables, visited local businesses and other organisations to determine the extent of food waste and how it is disposed of, and to survey sites around the area for possible locations for a Micro AD. Reiver Renewables was assisted in this by Communities by Design based in London who have a working Micro AD installation.

Chris Knowles, Secretary of Sustainable Keswick said, “A number of potential sites have been identified for locating a Micro AD system in both community owned and commercial locations. The business case is weakened in the Derwent 7 area in comparison to the current operation in London due to much lower waste collection costs. However, because of their unique situation and commitment to sustainability, the Blencathra Field Study Centre have agreed in principle to go ahead with a Micro AD installation, which will provide an excellent reference site to encourage other potential users who currently have questions about the operation of a Micro AD installation.”

Chairman of Sustainable Keswick Elizabeth Barraclough said, “the feasibility study has raised awareness of the benefits of anaerobic digestion, and has laid the groundwork for future opportunities for enhancing sustainability in the Derwent 7 area. “

The full report and associated appendices providing detailed information on the findings of the study are available on the Sustainable Keswick website at and on our Facebook page.


For a copy of the Report click HERE.

For the Appendices click HERE