Our mission is to demonstrate quality of life in a sustainable community

Cosy homes

When we purchased Trelay 10 years ago, the old stone buildings were uninsulated and unheated. Over the years we have improved and extended the homes and we are continuing to do so.


During 2015 we invested £36,000 in a ground source heat pump project, funded by private loans.

During 2016 20KW of solar panels were installed.

During 2018 we installed two lithium ion Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries, with a total storage capacity of 27 KW, at a cost of circa £14,000.

During 2019 we installed a further 4.6kw of solar panels, at a cost of circa £10,000

During 2019 we invested in the building of a haystore to support our ability to keep high standards of welfare for cows and ponies.

During 2020 we will be investing £30,000 into an upgrade of our onsite sewerage system.

We are exploring the possibility of a small wind turbine and the development of a private wire system linked to battery storage; and a sustainable water system with a borehole and rainwater collection. We would like to demonstrate a pioneering wind fence.

Business development

Our company (SWESE (Trelay) Ltd) is a not-for-profit company which does not undertake business activities, but seeks to provide the facilities for members of the Trelay Cohousing Community to do so.

During 2016, a holiday cabin business was started by a company called Tamarisk Ltd, which is run by Trelay people. The first cabin was built in 2016, funded by a private loan. A second was built in 2018, and a third in 2019. Further funds will secure the building of the 4th cabin in the future.

Members are currently setting up two more businesses: a camping business and a micro greens business.

Risk analysis

We have undertaken a risk analysis to consider the way forward if Members leave and if mortgage interest rates go up. If people leave, either their equity will be sold on to new people, or the Company will be able to rent out the empty houses to raise money to pay the mortgage and bills. If interest rates go up, our investment in infrastructure to reduce our costs will make us robust and our infrastructure to enable new businesses will increase our income.

The new projects planned which require capital will only be started after the capital has been raised.

We conclude that there is a low financial risk to our development plan.