Tree Planting

What are we doing?

We are working with several local landowners to undertake tree and hedgerow planting activities.

The work is being coordinated through Barningham Net Zero with assistance from Trees for Teesdale.

Why are we doing it?

Trees and hedgerow are important for supporting wildlife and enhancing biodiversity.

About 30% of Teesdale tree cover has been lost over the past 50 years. Consequently, a substantial planting programme is needed to restore dale woodland habitat.

When is this happening?

We are currently planning activities that will be undertaken during the 2023 / 2024 winter season.  Planting when trees are dormant provides them with the best opportunity for thriving.

In the past three winters we have planted around 900 trees and more than 440 metres of new hedgerow at several sites in Barningham and Newsham. 

How can you help?

Landowners can offer space for trees, new hedgerows or allow repairs to existing hedgerow.  This is no charge for the work.

Volunteers are needed to help with planting and stock fencing.  Work sessions are typically 2 hours duration and scheduled to suit volunteer availability.   Training, equipment and materials will be provided.

Anyone can donate trees, tree guards or fencing materials.

Contact Martha (07984 756080;

Want more information?

Lightbulb Initiative

What did we do?

We offered free lighting audits and free LED bulbs to help Barningham residents reduce their electricity usage and costs. 

The free lightbulbs were funded by a grant from the Neighbourhood Budgets of our local Councillors George Richardson and James Rowlandson.    

Why did we do it?

Lighting accounts for 10-20% of average household electricity demand according to the Energy Savings Trust.  Although this sounds like a small amount, with rapidly rising energy costs and risk of power outages in the coming winter, it’s a good time to replace inefficient bulbs. 

LED bulbs are the most cost-effective type, with lower running costs and significantly longer life.  They are also easy to recycle as they do not contain toxic chemicals. 

Replacing inefficient bulbs with LEDs will not only reduce your electricity costs but will also reduce your carbon emissions, a simple step to reduce your contribution to harmful climate change emissions.

When did this happen?

Our initiative was launched in November 2022 and was completed in Spring 2023.

During this time, residents had the choice of a free lighting audit with light bulb replacement or a Do-it-Yourself option with free LED bulbs to fit themselves.

How did you help?

Nineteen households participated in the scheme and over 400 bulbs were replaced with LEDs.

Barningham Energy

What did we do?

We have investigated the potential for a community‑owned renewable electricity scheme for Barningham.  Associated with this work, we have also evaluated sustainable options for heating buildings and provided energy efficiency information to residents.

Why did we do it?

We remain concerned about the rapidly developing climate emergency and want to take action in our own community to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

We also had the intention to reduce energy costs for the village and provide a source of income for energy efficiency improvements.  However a community‑owned energy generation scheme making this possible is not financially viable at this time.

When did this happen?

A £38,400 contract between Tees Valley Combined Authority and Barningham Net Zero Community Interest Company to undertake a Stage 1 Feasibility Study was signed on 6 August 2020.

A presentation showing the outcomes of the Feasibility Study is available in the News section.

The Study was completed in April 2021.

How did you help?

The collaboration of residents and businesses in Barningham in the completion of the voluntary survey of energy use was very much appreciated.

An opportunity was given for the community to see and hear the outcomes of the Feasibility Study, and ask any questions on the scheme or the next steps, via a Zoom virtual meeting on 12th  May (see the “News” section).

Feedback is always welcomed.  For this or if you have any questions in the meantime please e-mail us (

Next steps?

The team will keep the potential for renewable electricity generation under review as climate change regulation and legislation develops and will:

  • Monitor developing technology, financial and regulatory changes using our bespoke financial model

  • Continue to work on the study recommendations and our goal of reducing our net carbon emissions to zero

  • Lobby government in support of the Local Electricity Bill and necessary regulatory change

  • Once plans are more developed we will engage with the community for your views and, hopefully, support

Want more information?

Surplus Produce

What did we do?

Local gardeners were invited to donate surplus fruit and vegetables, which was available to villagers in exchange for a donation.

In 2020, we raised £160 which was donated to the Barnard Castle Food Bank and the TCR Hub.  Surplus fresh produce was also taken to either the Food Bank or Wetheriggs Animal Rescue.

In 2021, we raised £120 which was donated to Wetheriggs Animal Rescue.

Why did we do it?

Gardeners often end up with a glut of good fruit or vegetables which they are unable to use or store.   We don’t like seeing good food wasted, especially when there are others locally who are struggling to afford food.

By sharing what we have within our community, we can enjoy freshly picked produce and help raise money for worthwhile local causes.

When did this happen?

We ran the initiative in the summers of 2020 and 2021.  The initiative was terminated due to limited take up.