Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a living and breathing showcase of sustainable living, aimed at showing visitors how to live and work in a sustainable way.
Set in Powys, mid-Wales overlooking the Snowdonia National Park, CAT is akin to a museum of sustainable living. It is where you will find hands-on displays and gardens, which show people how sustainable practices can be incorporated in to their daily lives.
The centre, which stretches over 7 acres, features wind turbines, solar panels, self-builds, organic gardens and a water-balanced cliff railway, utilising water supplied by a lake at the top of the cliff as its power source.
Designed for kids and adults alike, an on-site quarry trail takes visitors through a moorland heath, a wildflower meadow, a reservoir, and a willow and hazel coppice, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about woodland management and the importance of protecting diverse habitats.
As well as boasting stunning views into an old slate quarry and panoramic sights over the Snowdonia National Park, woodpeckers, tawny owls and dormice can be spotted along the way.
CAT say: “Along with a range of interactive displays, there are working examples of environmentally responsible buildings, renewable energy generation, sustainability in the home, organic growing, composting and waste management, each demonstrating what we can do to reduce our impact on the planet.
“At a time when news about the environment can be gloomy and pessimistic, we aim to put forward a positive solutions-based approach to looking after our planet. These displays are not just for show; they are part of a thriving, sustainable organisation run on renewable energy generated on site.”
Other places of interest at CAT include the Whole Home, which demonstrates simple ways to make a household more sustainable – for instance by installing insulation, managing waste, reducing car use, buying local organic food, saving water and switching to a green energy tariff. And a suburban garden, outside the home, has been designed to fulfill many different purposes: a lawn for recreation, natural habitats for birds and animals, composting and rainwater harvesting facilities, and space for growing food.
The centre also offers a variety of short residential courses covering a range of sustainability issues including renewable energy, environmentally friendly building techniques, and water and sanitation solutions.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer who specialises in sustainable lifestyle and living, wellbeing, and entertainments. Rosa also works as a psychic, counsellor, intuitive reader and spiritual life coach helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com