Cafe visitors enjoy cream teas - powered by the sun

Just to the east of Neath town centre lies Gnoll Estate Country Park, 230 acres of woodland and open space that is an important site for locals and visitors alike.

Steeped in history and dating back to the 1600’s, the estate once homed the now demolished Gnoll House but the grottos, reservoir, duck ponds, formal garden, cascades and woodlands remain. The estate is now owned and managed by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and is host to a huge range of activities including lakeside and woodland walks, coarse fishery, adventure playground and visitor centre with a café.

In 2017, as a means of helping the Council deliver the aims and objectives of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, GB-Sol was invited to the park to design a solar carport. Our Product Director suggested that the visitor centre would be the ideal location for a larger solar canopy over the outside seating area of the cafe. Not only would the installation improve the energy efficiency of what is a high electricity consumption building, but it would also encourage visitors whatever the weather, to sit by the lake and admire the wildlife and views.

In January 2019 the free-standing transparent glass solar canopy was completed using GB-Sol’s award-winning Roof Integrated System. It is popular with visitors and locals and has become the meeting point for the weekly Park Run and friendship groups, who can drink their tea in the outdoors, come rain or shine.