Cumbria Green Build & Sustainable Living Festival brings you the ideas, inspiration and skills to green up your home, business or even your community.

It’s the region’s biggest annual celebration of low-energy homes and sustainable living.

The festival is an inspiring and non-salesy way for people to gain the know-how to reduce the energy they use in their homes or other buildings – especially from heating and electricity. Our wide range of events showcase the latest in renewable energy technologies and sustainable building materials and methods, and other ways to green up your lifestyle.

From energy-saving home improvements and low-energy new-builds, to upcycling and growing food, there’s something for everyone.

The festival includes a bumper programme of events in September and a rolling programme throughout the year, run by Cumbria Action for Sustainability. The 2020 festival will be our 15th year.

National Trust Footprint Building

Perfect for:

  • Self-builders

  • DIYers

  • Building professionals

  • Community groups

  • Businesses

  • Anyone interested in a greener way of life!

Programme of events

Here's our programme from the 2019 festival, to give you an idea of the huge range of inspirational events we offered.

Open home visits

Straw bale new-build home with clever technologies Mon 2 Sep Brampton (Carlisle)
Tesla Powerwall, off-grid power system, solar & electric car Thu 5 Sep Endmoor (Kendal)
Victorian house retrofitted to Passivhaus standard  Sat 7 Sep Lancaster
New-build home with Passivhaus ideas on a budget Sat 7 Sep Whasset (Milnthorpe)
Renovated farmhouse with renewables, lime & water-saving measures Thu 12 Sep Allonby (Maryport)
Certified Passivhaus home with ultra-low energy use Sat 14 Sep Kendal
Solar PV with battery system on a modern semi Sun 15 Sep Barrow-in-Furness
Victorian industrial building being converted to low-energy home Sun 15 Sep Halton (Lancaster)
New-build with Sthapatya Veda design, sustainable materials & renewables Thu 19 Sep Ambleside
Flood-resilient terraced home with lime floor & insulation (Heritage Open Day) Sat 21 Sep Appleby
Sustainable smallholding renovation with renewables & food growing Sun 22 Sep Roadhead (Carlisle)
New-build Passivhaus with solar electric heating Sat 28 Sep Gretna
Tesla Powerwall, off-grid power system, solar & electric car Wed 25 Sep Endmoor (Kendal)
Off-grid, deep retrofit of traditional upland farmhouse
11.30am
Sun 29 Sep Askham (Penrith)
Straw bale insulation in new-build home Brampton - outside view

Green building courses, talks & tours

Learning lime skills on CAfS Green Build Festival course

Bus tours

Low Carbon South Lakes Tour
Homesteading, green building, upcycling and repairing were all on the itinerary
Tue 3 Sep South Lakeland
Lancaster Co-housing Tour
Find out what it’s like to create and live in a co-housing development, with low-energy homes, renewables & communal spaces.
Fri 20 Sep Penrith to Lancaster
A Cumbria Green Build Festival visitor at Sprint Mill

Sustainable living

Food

Foraging for wild food – practical workshop  Sat 7 Sep Alston
Learn about ‘no dig’ vegetable growing – site visit and tour  Sun 8 Sep Glassonby Beck (Penrith)
Low-carbon menu, hydro power & sustainability in the outdoors  Mon 9 Sep Great Langdale (Ambleside)
Celebrate the official opening of @155 Food Hub Sat 14 Sep Kendal
Grow your own food – training course  Sat 21 Sep Alston
Grow your own food – training course Sun 22 Sep Crosby Ravensworth (Shap)
Sustainable & low-carbon food: what does the future hold
(For food businesses & hospitality venues only)
Mon 23 Sep Great Langdale (Ambleside)
Foraging workshop - in the woods

Upcycling & repairing

Pop-up repair workshop for clothes & gadgets Tue 3 Sep Kendal
Appleby Repair Café Sat 7 Sep Appleby
Carlisle Repair Zone & Free Stall Sat 7 Sep Carlisle
Making pallet projects – practical workshop Sat 14 Sep Hoff (Appleby)
Penrith Repair Café and Eco-Hub Sat 14 Sep Penrith
Alston Moor Repair Café & Nenthead Big Breakfast Sun 29 Sep Nenthead (Alston)
A repair being carried out on a sewing machine while two women watch, at Alston Moor Repair Cafe

Lifestyle

Flower power! Sustainable flower farm talk & tour Wed 11 Sep Long Marton (Appleby)
Design a sustainable lifestyle at Danaway Permaculture Homestead Sun 15 Sep Eaglesfield (Cockermouth)
A Different Kind of Hope – Film screening & discussion Wed 18 Sep Cockermouth
Your carbon footprint & how to cut it: Talk by Mike Berners-Lee Wed 25 Sep Penrith
Design a sustainable lifestyle at Danaway Permaculture Homestead Sun 29 Sep Eaglesfield (Cockermouth)
Visitors tour the flower beds at Fellside Flower Company

Headline sponsor 2019

Electricity North West logo

Our 2019 festival was sponsored by Electricity North West.

If you’re interested in sponsoring our 2020 festival, or supporting our events in any way, please do get in touch: office@cafs.org.uk or 01768 210276.