The Earth Centre was dreamt up by Jonathan Smales, a former director of Greenpeace
Mr Smales wanted to create an environmental centre that would stimulate the growing interest in the future health of the earth. The centre would be self-sustaining, both ecologically and financially. It would also demonstrate how modern technology and the latest architecture, landscape design and responsible farming could work together to revive a despoiled and redundant industrial landscape.
"We want the Earth Centre to be very much a part of Doncaster and not some exotic bloom," Mr Smales said. "
and they sure went to town with their funding.......
- 80% of building materials were either reclaimed or recycled
- Europe’s largest flat-foot solar installation.1,300m2 canopy containing 250 photovoltaic panels – generating 80,000 KW of electricity per year and
- Conference centre constructed largely from reclaimed materials including telegraph poles, crushed concrete, glass and radiators.
- A shop and café area
- "Living Machine" sewage treatment plant. A local water treatment system processing all waste water coming from Earth Centre toilets, basins and kitchens, operating entirely through biological reactions, using both bacteria and nutrient-demanding tropical plants in the warmth of a greenhouse.
- water management system that incorporates rainwater harvesting and the treatment, storage and recycling of water use in irrigation and water features and as a wildlife habitat.
- 100,000 new trees including 15 acres of willow as well as some ancient woodlands, two rivers and a variety of ecological grasslands and wetlands
- Demonstrations of organic gardening methods, fruit orchards, willow sculptures, forest and bog gardens, and other flower and sculptural gardens
All this and a pirate ship!
Children visited the earth centre as part of their education topic into growing things. Hundreds of local people used the forest gardens and allotments and the earth centre was a space enjoyed by all.