The Parish Council of Ashton Hayes in Cheshire voted in November 2005 to try to become England’s first carbon neutral village. This grass roots project has grown rapidly in its first year and has engaged a large proportion of village residents.The project has produced a number of impacts on the community and the wider region and these are being evaluated in terms of their environmental, economic andsocial dimensions. This paper describes the process of project development and implementation and draws some general conclusions from this experience before going on to consider some of the findings of the initial evaluation of the project. We conclude by suggesting that Ashton Hayes provides an interesting case study of a community-led attempt to bring sustainable development into the mainstream and that the challenge remains, as with many community-led initiatives, of how to translate the considerable early momentum of the project into sustainable forms of participation and behaviour.
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