Down Hatherley CC: Leading the charge against climate change

Down Hatherley Cricket Club (DHCC), nestled in the picturesque Gloucestershire countryside, is a standout example of a club leading the charge against climate change by taking steps toward sustainability and environmental responsibility.

This case study highlights how DHCC, in collaboration with the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation (GCF), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Unitary Engineering Services (UES) and the Woodland Trust, is taking significant action to combat climate change and inspire others in the cricketing community to follow suit.


A Climate Conscious Transformation

Down Hatherley CC have embarked on a mission to integrate ecologically aware practices into their club’s operations, setting a powerful example for cricket clubs nationwide.

Close up of Down Hatherley Solar Panels © Jake Hitchcock at UES

Solar PV Installation

The club were awarded a grant of £9,784 by the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation who receive an annual allocation of the funding from the ECB through their County Grant Fund scheme.  Topped up by £1,087 of their own funds, the club worked with GCF partners UES to deliver the transformative project.

UES, known for their excellence in renewable energy solutions, designed a system that would generate an impressive 2,636 kWh of clean energy annually.  This installation not only reduces the club’s carbon footprint but also represents a significant step towards a sustainable future.  With UES’s system, DHCC is poised to save hundreds of pounds on their annual electricity bills, thereby reducing their reliance on fossil fuels and mitigating climate change impacts.

“Our partnership with Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation has seen us help clubs in the region achieve energy savings that they may previously have felt were unattainable. It’s a fantastic feeling because you know you’ve played a part in future-proofing the club for years to come. In this case, we are delighted to have helped Down Hatherley with a solar PV system to meet their requirements, and we wish the club the best for the future.”

UES Logo Blue
Saplings growing at Down Hatherley CC

Hedgerow Regeneration

The club’s commitment to combating climate change extends beyond energy conservation and has seen them undertake an ambitious project in collaboration with the Woodland Trust and their ‘Free trees for schools and communities‘ initiative.  So far the club has planted over 100 hedge saplings, with plans for 100 more in the upcoming autumn and another 100 in the spring.

These hedgerows are not just greenery; they are a crucial part of their strategy to sequester carbon, enhance biodiversity, and mitigate the impacts of climate change. They provide sustenance, nesting places, and habitats for a diverse range of birds, mammals, and insects, contributing to a healthier, more resilient ecosystem.

Down Hatherley CC pavilion with new Solar Panels

Recyclable Packaging and Eco-Friendly Choices

The club has also committed to reducing plastic waste by using products with recyclable packaging wherever possible, separating all waste and recycling it appropriately.  Furthermore, they’ve opted for drinks sold in glass bottles or aluminium cans, all of which are easily recyclable.  These choices reduce the carbon footprint associated with packaging and waste disposal, thus further contributing to the fight to make greener choices.
Close up of Down Hatherley Solar Panels © Jake Hitchcock at UES

Inspiring others to start their own journey

Down Hatherley CC’s proactive approach to addressing climate change is a shining example of what can be achieved when sports clubs take climate action seriously.  Their dedication to embracing climate-conscious practices, the partnerships forged and investments made, which promise both environmental impact and financial benefits, is commendable.

The Foundation’s Club Development Manager, Scott Tremain said…

“Down Hatherley Cricket Club’s remarkable journey and commitment to climate change is truly inspiring.  We are immensely proud to have awarded the club with a grant towards their solar project through the ECB’s County Grant Fund.  Like many clubs, there was an immediate need to reduce energy bills, but it was especially pleasing to help knowing the club is making a conscious effort to reduce its impact on the environment.  This exemplifies how cricket clubs can be catalysts for positive change in their communities and champions of greener, more sustainable methods.”

DHCC Chair Michelle Tilling said…

Environmental conservation plays a major role in how we operate at DHCC. We are blessed with beautiful surroundings in a rural area and we want to protect that. Our management board are always looking for ways to improve on the club’s carbon footprint.

There’s a huge opportunity for most other clubs to do this, too. Many grounds have some spare space where trees could be planted or a wildflower area added. It was a no-brainer for us to plant hedge saplings around our boundary. When looking online, we discovered that the Woodland Trust were offering clubs, schools and charities the opportunity to apply for free trees, so we did this and were successful in our application. Not only will the hedgerows eventually provide valuable habitats for wildlife, but they will also aid in nitrogen fixation and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere.

Their multifaceted approach to addressing climate change, from solar panels to carbon capturing hedgerows and sustainable choices, sets a transformative standard for cricket clubs.  The Club and Foundation hope that this example of what can be done, will inspire other cricket clubs to join the critical journey and take steps of their own.