Powering Parks is a project led by Possible, Scene and Hackney Council with the aim of utilising the underground ambient heat in parks to heat nearby homes via heat pumps. This will help to tackle climate change by reducing the amount of unsustainable energy needed to heat buildings. Whilst heat pumps still require electricity, the heat output is much greater than the energy required to run them. The second benefit of this project is that the money made from powering local buildings could be reinvested locally by the council, keeping our much-loved parks well maintained.
The pilots took place across parks in the Hackney's borough, including Abney Park. From this experience, Powering Parks have developed a toolkit which aims to help local authorities and park managers with the search for opportunities, with shortlisting of potential sites, and with first-stage assessment of costs and benefits for park heat projects. Whilst it is not a replacement for rigorous professional advice, the toolkit will help councils decide the feasibility of an opportunity and whether or not to commit time and resources to develop it further. If you think it would be a good opportunity in your area, tell your local council.