WEST DORSET: Eighteen residents in west Dorset will be opening their eco-friendly homes to the public.

They aim to share information about how they have made their homes energy efficient.

The homes will be open between September 12 and 14 as part of an Open Ecohomes weekend.

The event has been organised by Transition Town Bridport and Turn Lyme Green, in collaboration with Dorset Architectural Heritage Week. Open Ecohomes is part of the Communities Living Sustainably in Dorset (CLS) project, which is supported by the Big Lottery Fund. Visitors will get the chance to see a whole range of measures, some very straightforward and inexpensive, others surprising and innovative.

They can talk to people who have used traditional building materials such as lime and hemp, straw-bale constructions, as well as solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and wind turbines.

Three of the properties are totally off-grid using only the electricity they generate onsite. Sam Wilberforce, below, from Transition Town Bridport, said: “We are delighted to welcome visitors to these properties and really appreciate the hosts opening their homes. “Last year we had over 800 visits, and hope to welcome as many again this year.”

Emily Bullock, from CLS added: “We hope this weekend will inspire visitors to make changes in their own homes and lifestyles. “There is nothing like learning from someone who has first-hand experience and can tell you what they would do differently next time.

“Some of the hosts were on a tight budget and salvaged building materials from other projects or even the tip.

“Even if you are not in a position to do something to your home, there will be plenty of tips on simple no cost ways of saving energy and water, or how to make your garden productive”.

The event is free to attend, but some properties need to be booked in advance.

Further details can be found on the Transition Town Bridport website transitiontownbridport.co.uk