Online meeting is first in a number of North York Moors Association events - here's how to get involved

2022 marks the 70th year since the North York Moors National Park was created, and NYMA – the North York Moors 'friends' society – is marking the anniversary with a number of events.

By Duncan Atkins
Monday, 24th January 2022, 11:24 am

The first is a talk on making traditional buildings more energy efficient, to be held online on Tuesday January 25.

Seven decades ago, many homes in the deeply rural areas covered by the national park still had no electricity and were heated by wood and coal, while understanding of the impact of fossil fuels and carbon release on the Earth’s atmosphere was in its infancy.

Nowadays it is recognised that much of the older housing and farm building stock of the Moors, Dales and other rural areas of Yorkshire is poorly insulated and expensive to heat, both in terms of expenditure and environmental impact.

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Castleton in the North York Moors National Park. picture: Stuart Bell.

Yet there is a conundrum: tradition and aesthetics are high on the agenda in national parks, with planning guidelines for housing centred on preserving the built heritage.

This can lead to frustration and apparent anomalies, for example when householders are not permitted to replace ageing windows with double-glazing - let alone triple-glazing – even when carefully designed to suit the appearance of the building, and despite government guidance on improving insulation.

There is no desire at any level to replace the beautiful stone cottages which characterise many North Yorkshire villages and which form such an important part of our history.

Instead, a solution can come through making the buildings more thermally efficient.

This is the topic that the North York Moors Association (NYMA) will address in its talk, The Responsible Retrofit of Traditional Buildings.

A joint event with the Friends of the Dales, the talk is led by Nigel Griffiths, a sustainability and energy efficiency expert in the built environment.

Nigel has more than 25 years’ experience as project manager, practitioner and consultant, and has authored several books including the Haynes Eco-House Manual, and is currently policy advisor at the Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance (STBA).

The event is the brainchild of NYMA’s new Chair, Adrian Leaman, who has a background in sustainable buildings.

Adrian took over the helm of NYMA at the end of last year, after long-standing Chair Tom Chadwick decided it was time to stand down.

The talk will be held online on Tuesday January 25, 7pm start, and is free to attend; there will be opportunities to ask Nigel questions.

To express your interest in attending, email NYMA’s Executive Secretary, Janet Cochrane, on [email protected] or phone 07570 112010 for further details.