We understand our need to protect the environment, reduce consumption and reduce our waste and carbon emissions.
Museums Northumberland has an active Green Team made up of staff from across the organisation. It meets once a month to discuss environmental ideas, activities and future opportunities.
With a steer from our Green Team we all work towards minimising the impact our day-to-day work has on the natural environment.
We consider sustainability in everything we do.
Our Museums took part in the Make Carbon History Project, an initiative of 15 regional museums collectively working together to share information, advice and best practice with the aim of achieving a 12% reduction in carbon emissions over 2 years.
This target was exceeded, and as a group, we made a carbon saving of 234.4 tonnes, equivalent to an 18% reduction, or an operating cost drop of over £56,000 a year.
We are members of the Green Tourism Business Scheme. We hold the Gold award at Woodhorn and the Silver award at Hexham Old Gaol.
Key Green initiatives include:
- Our staff Green Team meet monthly to share ideas and information on initiatives to reduce our impact on the environment. From installing bird feeders and monitoring red squirrels to composting food waste and monitoring energy use, the Green Team encourages all of us to work together to do our bit.
- At Woodhorn Museum our toilets use a rainwater harvesting system and are low flush to use less water.
- We actively encourage staff, volunteers and visitors to recycle glass, cardboard, plastic bottles, tins, batteries, lightbulbs, paper and pens.
- We take part in a local scheme to compost food waste from staff rooms and café.
- We take part in the free drinking water initiative ‘Refill’ www.refill.org.uk
- We collect food for the local foodbank to distribute.
- All paper used is sourced responsibly, and we recycle what we use, including our confidential waste that goes away for shredding.
- Our shops offer re-usable cotton or recycled paper bags instead of plastic alternatives, and we also sell takeaway re-usable coffee cups in our shop and cafe, and our disposable cups are recyclable and compostable.
- We use local suppliers, crafts people and artists, contributing to the sustainability of the local economy and reducing carbon footprint from supply chain deliveries.
- Our café is ‘Produced in Northumberland’ certified, using suppliers who source ingredients locally.
- We encourage staff car-sharing and the use of public transport. On our big community event days we operate a free shuttle bus from the town centre in Ashington to encourage locals to leave their cars at home.
- We support environmental sustainability through our annual public programme, including exhibitions using natural materials and events like our Coal and Ice climate-themed ice sculptures.
Woodhorn Museum is situated in the Queen Elizabeth II Country Park and we proudly look after our local wildlife, which includes birds, deer, foxes, and red squirrels.
We work closely with red squirrel organisations including Red Squirrels North East to ensure the museum grounds provide a safe and encouraging environment for the red population to grow.