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Gusty Spinfield

River Cottage installs temporary wind turbine to promote renewable energy, in partnership with Octopus Energy
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Gusty Spinfield, the temporary turbine at River Cottage HQ

This article first appeared in our Earth Day issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 22 April 2024. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

River Cottage, a name synonymous with sustainable and ethical food practices, has announced a new partnership with Octopus Energy, a leading provider of renewable energy and the UK’s most awarded energy supplier.

The collaboration to promote renewable energy is a significant step towards achieving a shared goal of a more sustainable future for both people and the planet.

The power of wind

As part of the partnership, throughout February 2024 River Cottage hosted a temporary wind turbine on its farm on the Devon/Dorset border.

This installation, which was facilitated by Octopus Energy Generation, is part of a broader campaign to promote wind energy right across England.

The turbine, affectionately named ‘Gusty Spinfield’, is a temporary structure, in line with the National Planning Permissions Framework.

It has provided clean, green power to River Cottage during its time on the farm, and has also generated enough energy to power four electric car chargers.

The eye-catching pink wind turbine serves as a visual reminder of the potential of renewable energy. The goal is to spark conversations around the future of wind energy in the area, and to inspire visitors and the wider community to consider the benefits of renewable energy and its impact on the environment, economy and local communities.

‘I’m personally delighted to be collaborating with Octopus Energy to shout about the incredible potential of community wind power to support local economies and
reduce electricity bills. I’m convinced it’s the best way to bring the cheapest, cleanest, greenest form of energy to more and more people across the UK. That’s why I’m so proud to welcome Gusty, the portable wind turbine, to River Cottage, to boost our energy throughout the month of Feb.’

River Cottage

Climate education

River Cottage was able to offer four free electric vehicle (EV) charging points on site for the month of February – and EV drivers were welcomed to enjoy a free tea or coffee in the River Cottage Kitchen & Store café while they charged up.

River Cottage and Octopus Energy extended their combined commitment to sustainable education and reached out to local schools to offer free educational visits focused on renewable energy and sustainable farming.

Both parties believe in the power of education to effect change and were excited to share their knowledge and passion for sustainability with the next generation.

The family-focused programming included a Sip and Paint event hosted at the River Cottage Kitchen & Store. This evening of creativity and carbon-free conversation was hosted by local watercolour artist Harriet de Winton, wielding a glass of organic prosecco in one hand and a paintbrush in the other.

Green power for 28 days

While River Cottage would love to host Gusty for longer, the National Planning Permissions Framework stipulates that the turbine can only remain in place for 28 days.

This could change in the future; if it does, both parties would welcome the chance to discuss the ways in which wind turbine projects could benefit the local area and beyond.

Even in its 28-day operation the turbine was able to spin a lot of power – in just one day it could generate enough energy to make 33,000 cups of tea!

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