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 2019 festival will be our 14th 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

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 EVENT FULL Sat 7 Sep Lancaster
New-build home with Passivhaus ideas on a budget
10.30am EVENT FULL
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 EVENT FULL
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 EVENT FULL
Homesteading, green building, upcycling and repairing are all on the itinerary this year.
Tue 3 Sep South Lakeland
OPTION: Make a full day of it! Stay on afterwards for two nearby evening events (see Renewables & community energy section)
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


Foraging for wild food – practical workshop EVENT FULL Sat 7 Sep Alston
Learn about ‘no dig’ vegetable growing – site visit and tour EVENT FULL Sun 8 Sep Glassonby Beck (Penrith)
Low-carbon menu, hydro power & sustainability in the outdoors Event cancelled Mon 9 Sep Great Langdale (Ambleside)
Celebrate the official opening of @155 Food Hub Sat 14 Sep Kendal
Grow your own food – training course EVENT FULL Sat 21 Sep Alston
Grow your own food – training course EVENT FULL 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 EVENT CANCELLED 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


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 EVENT FULL 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

Climate change

Carbon & Climate Literacy Training

EVENT FULL – But please do register for the waitlist as we’ll be running more courses and you’ll be first to hear dates.

Thu 12 Sep Kendal College
Carbon & Climate Literacy Training

EVENT FULL – But please do register for the waitlist as we’ll be running more courses and you’ll be first to hear dates.

Fri 13 Sep Carlisle College
Innovation for Clean and Sustainable Growth – Eco-I 2019 Conference Thu 19 – Fri 20 Sep Lancaster
Global Climate Strike Fri 20 – Fri 27 Sep Worldwide!
Zero Carbon Britain – Cumbria Climate Emergency Action Summit Sat 21 Sep Carlisle
Images from a Warming Planet (Ashley Cooper) Thu 26 Sep Carlisle
The Age of Stupid – Film screening & discussion Fri 27 Sep Keswick
Phil Davies CAfS speaks on community energy

Headline sponsor 2019

Electricity North West logo

We’re delighted to announce that the 2019 festival will be sponsored by Electricity North West.

Electricity North West has a hugely important role to play in helping our region to decarbonise and paving the way for the growth of renewable energy. Their new plan, Leading the North West to zero carbon, sets out how they are investing £63.5 million over the next four years, to drive down their own carbon emissions and help businesses, customers and colleagues to do the same.

Our grateful thanks to Electricity North West for supporting the 14th annual Cumbria Green Build & Sustainable Living Festival!