Kaddy Lee-Preston's official blog

Archive for the ‘Environmental’ Category

Please come and say hello!

If you’re wondering what I’m up to these days then why not come along and say hello as I travel the length and breadth of the South East over the next few months?  I am at various events/gatherings/charity do’s and it would be a pleasure to meet as many of you as possible.  Also, why not send in a snap of us together and I can show the best (and the funniest!) on my website?

Curry supremo Paul Babra tells me off for finding his Super Hot Fiery sauce too hot at the Blean Wildlife Festival!

Here’s an overview of what/where/when I’ll be!

Upcoming events

19th July – Daytime:  The 128th Minster Show!  A wonderful chance to sample local food, join in games and competitions, drink ale, buy crafts and plants, and have a fabulous day in Thanet.  So come along and bring the family and support this hugely successful show.

19th July – Evening:  Summer Gala Charity Ball, Ashford International Hotel.  7pm – 1230am.  Tickets £60 to include Pimms reception, sumptuous 3 course meal with wine, live music and fantastic prizes.  For tickets or more info email Charlotte Webb at enquiries@ecosanservices.co.uk  Bring your friends and family, and have a ball!

2/3rd August – Brands Hatch Caterham racing – I am a spectator but come along and cheer for the cute little speedy Caterhams!

4th August –  Step short Charity event, The Leas Folkestone.  Apparently Prince Harry will be there…details to follow!

11-13th August – Watch me on the BBC Weather at BBC South East Today, 630pm and 1025pm. Also on BBC Radio Kent and BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex

16th/17th August – Kent Wildlife Trust Weekend, Sevenoaks – ‘Festival of Wildlife’.  A range of outdoor activities, hands on fun in the sun for all the family spanning an entire weekend, 10am-4pm each day.   A chance to learn about nature, bugs, birds and woodland crafts –  a great day out for all the family.  I shall be there joining in the crafts, learning about wildlife, and kidding myself I’m the female version of Ray Mears… More details to follow.

More events below the piggy!

24th August – The Great British Seaside Festival – Ramsgate

24th August – Active Ramsgate, Skyride!  http://www.thanetgazette.co.uk/Kaddy-Lee-Preston-m-getting-active-Ramsgate/story-21328430-detail/story.html

25th August – Summer BBQ and Beer Festival at The Bowl Inn, Hastingleigh.  Near Ashford.

25th August – 29th August: Watch me on the BBC Weather at BBC South East Today, 630pm and 1025pm.  Also on BBC Radio Kent and BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex

Previous events:

26th May – Bank Holiday Monday.  Surrey County Show, near Guildford.  We filmed for a new TV Channel Living Surrey (Sky Channel 192 from June 13th).  One of the things we filmed was the ‘Pig with the Grumpiest Face’ competition – hilarious!  For more information click here

Watch the trail for the show and a few clips from the Surrey Show

Or fancy seeing me handling a huge pig and winning a prize?!


11th June – GOLF for women.  If you missed this event – there is another one on September 17th!  Come along and join in an informal ladies introduction to Golf, have a go on the course with me followed by a delicious lunch.  Details to follow.

14th June – Launch of ‘It’s a Knock Out’ competition!  Find out the information here and get a team together for the 5th October in Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells…  I will be taking part in October so why not challenge my team?

15th June – ‘Secret Garden’ event 2-5pm.  Charity Garden Party for tea, cake and merriment.   Live music from an exquisite vocal and ukulele trio ‘ArteMiss’ and it is set to be a wonderful and jolly day out whilst having a nosy around someone else’s garden!  Donations of £5 on the door to help raise vital funds for EllenorLions hospices and ChYps Children’s Hospice at Home.

Take a look at the article from the event here www.courier.co.uk/Kaddy-Lee-Preston-star-attraction-Courier-editor/story-21242860-detail/story.html

20th June – Living Surrey video 2 http://www.livingsurrey.co.uk/ep2.html

30th June –  Elite Hair Academy Show – Hair styling, drummers, dancers and retail stands.  Bannatynes Hotel Hastings, in the Montgomery Suite 7-11pm.  Here’s a video from the night with a brief clip of me getting my hair done live on stage (scroll to 1min 57 seconds!)!  https://www.dropbox.com/s/xhzak3u4ebzm8e4/EHA%20Music-Web%20HD720p.mov

 4th July – Launch of the Kent Wildlife Weekend.  ‘Festival of Wildlife’.

10th July – Prize giving and awards presentation at Rainham School for Girls.

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Earn money from Solar Power

Growing up in a compound in a Saudi Arabian desert, extracting water from a well when I lived in Cyprus and then studying Climate Change as part of my Meteorology degree have meant I have always been environmentally aware.  In fact, I think I’m rather annoying over it.  There’ll be no taps left on whilst teeth are brushed on my watch, and the only lights that might be allowed to stay on would be ultra-efficient low energy LED Christmas lights.  And even then only for Christmas.  Christmas Day. 😉

But to put my money where my mouth is and actually sign up for solar energy, well, that’s a big financial commitment and not something for the short term.

 Greenman Solar

I knew there were huge variations in the price and quality of solar panel components and the way that they’re installed so I was keen to use a reputable and established local company.  If you are toying with the idea of solar power you should take some time to check that the solar modules and inverter that are being proposed to you are of a high quality from a well-known manufacturer. European components are generally considered to be the best.

Fortunately finding the right company was relatively easy.  I compered at an Energy Fair in Ashford last year and met some fantastic Eco companies.  One of which was Greenman Solar, based in Kent, who have established themselves as THE solar company in the South East and have already fitted over 7000 solar panels in just 3 years and are renowned for not only their competitive pricing and high standards, but also their customer care in making the whole process as easy as pie, which is just what you want when you’re dealing with something as hi-tech as solar panels.

Although solar panels only seem to have sprung up all around us over the last couple of years, they have actually been used since around 1958.  Initially they were so rare and expensive that only spaceships and satellites were important enough to use them. If you have a calculator at home it probably has a little solar cell to power it, solar panels are just much larger versions of this bolted to your roof.

The way solar panels work is quite simple; the very thin silicon slices under the glass covering of the units capture some of the suns energy (photons) and convert that light into electricity (called a photovoltaic or PV process).

Solar PV can be considered as your own maintenance free, totally green power station which silently generates free, clean energy for your home year after year. There is another type of solar panel which is sometimes confused with Solar PV; this is known as a solar thermal system, which helps to heat the hot water system in your home.

Kaddy on a roof 3 small (3)

Once we’d decided to go solar the process was simple.  Greenman Solar came to our house and assessed how viable our home was.  Ideally it needs to have a roof that faces the sun for a large chunk of the day.  A north facing roof is a no no, but if your home stares lovingly towards the sun for at least a few hours a day you’re probably on to a winner.  Like many people in the SE I’m prone to a touch of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder –  which I think just basically means the winter grumps from lack of sunshine).  So I already knew our house pointed her toosh in a SSE’ly direction – perfect for lapping up those leccy generating rays.

Whilst I am obviously not qualified to install a solar array, I got stuck into selecting the panels, learning about the process and of course getting up on the scaffolding to take a good look.  Think about it – if you love sunshine now, imagine how it fills you with glee when it is earning you money AND giving you free electricity.  Each day when (or if?) the sun pokes her little face through the clouds and beams at you, your solar panels are stepping up into overdrive and you race around getting all your washing, dishwashering, and hair drying done whilst it’s all provided free.  It’s seriously cool.

The South East is best placed for a solar array too as we consistently receive more sunshine hours than anywhere else in the UK.  Even on a dull winters day, you will still be generating power.  Perhaps now those Christmas LED’s can stay on into the New Year too…

How does it make you money?

A typical 4KW (16 panel system) will cost around £6,900 (incl VAT and installation).  You are paid for all the energy you produce, whether you use it or not, so you will be paid about £675 cash per year by your electricity company, guaranteed for 20 years.  Plus of course, you will be not paying your electricity company for your daily use of electricity as your panels are providing that for free, which will save you hundreds of pounds per year too.  Kerrrrching!  Any electricity you don’t use (which you will have already been paid for) will go back into the National Grid and help to provide energy for the rest of the country.

A sun tracking system is even more efficient, as the panels actually follow the direction of greatest light in the sky and can generate up to 50% more energy than a standard, fixed roof installation.  It also makes quite a statement in your garden, looking like a big solar panel tree!

PV Solar tracker


Want to see my solar array’s electricity production graphs and stats yourself? Click here to see real data from my own array which is connected to the internet and updates every hour.

If you are interested in talking to Greenman Solar about the possibility of your own array, just fill in this form on my site for a no obligation chat with them and a special deal for mentioning me.

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