Applecross Climate Challenge Fund project held a successful community open day recently with over 50 people attending, a quarter of the local population. Local organiser Carolyn Peterson said “the event was a great success and a brilliant start to our carbon reduction project”.

Cakes played a significant part in the success. Free lunch and superior quality home-baking attracted many, I mean who could resist this…

So, how does this help insulation you ask?

Well, take a closer look at the cakestand, not the cakes. The stand is just over 270mm high. This is the Scottish Building Standards recommended depth for loft insulation. Changeworker Daniel Johns has developed what is now known as the ‘victoria sponge test’ and can be seen roaming the Highlands, cakestand* at the ready, checking the depth of every loft he can access. Daniel ('victoria sponge test' developer, pictured below right) is a bit of a gannet so after a number of visits there may be more stand than cakes.

*If you’re keen to try your creative hand at making gorgeous cakestands from old plates, candlesticks, cups and saucers, and – oh yes! – records, there are plenty of online tutorials to try: single tiermulti-tiervintage. (If you’re in Edinburgh, feel free to download our Charity Shop and Reuse Map to find plates, cups, vinyl and more.)   

 The Applecross project aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the local community. The project is looking at the feasibility of a community hydro power scheme. Changeworkers are assisting by carrying out home renewable visits. These free and impartial visits help households decide what renewable technologies may suit them best. The project has also discussed low carbon transport which is of particular relevance for the community as they own the local petrol station. For more information on the project visit their site.

Cake can make things happen. Tell us your stories of cake being put to similar good use. Any recipes for success also welcome.

- Alan