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Rural businesses on the edge of Sheffield learned how to cut their carbon footprints by installing small-scale wind turbines, solar panels or ground source heat pumps.

They were invited to a green technology course organised by Sheffield Council’s village officer Sharon Batty and run by Green Directions, a farm-based eco-training centre at Stannington.

Sharon, whose work with rural communities is jointly supported by Sheffield’s Northern Community Assembly and the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “Over the past year it has become clear there is a lot of interest in small-scale renewable energy.

“People who attended ranged from farmers to architects, other rural businesses and householders and they covered not only renewable energy but insulation and rainwater recycling.”

Course leader Mark Woodward, of Green Directions, has installed many of the technologies himself at Townfield Head Farm, Stannington.

He said: “This was one of the most stimulating events Green Directions has run. Almost everyone there had experience of installing green technologies or designing and constructing buildings. ”