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It is difficult being a Centre for Alternative Technology when most of the technologies you pioneered have entered the main stream.

Many of the exhibits give the impression that they were once somebody's pride and joy, but that person has moved on, and only the most basic of maintenance has been carried out since then.

No doubt the recent financial difficulties haven't helped, and the fact that it was tipping it down with rain when I was there, did nothing to enhance the scene.

The exhibits themselves are a diverse collection: some, such as the Mole Hole are aimed squarely at the kids; others, on ecologically sound building methods and green lifestyles, less so.

There is quite a lot of fascinating stuff on the early days of the centre, and an exhibition of the work of the architecture students at the on-site Graduate School of the Environment

The latter, together with the wind power exhibit, set me thinking; the biggest debate over wind farms is not about their ecological desirability (which most people who haven't been either brain washed or bribed by the oil companies, accept), it's over their atheistics.

Perhaps the centre should concentrate on showing that alternative technology can be beautiful as well as worthy. It could do with it.

For details of opening times, admission prices, etc. please see the official site detailed below.