A Maryport company has been named as a “green hero” by TV presenter Kevin McCloud in recognition of its energy-saving products.

Chimney Sheep, based on the Solway Industrial Estate, uses the wool of Herdwick sheep to make draught excluders for chimneys.

The company was one of 10 exhibitors hand-picked by the presenter to take centre stage at a Grand Designs exhibition in Birmingham, which was visited by thousands of people last week.

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Company boss Sally Phillips, 45, of Horsman Street, Cockermouth, said: “There were tens of thousands of people through the exhibition over its four days. We had hundreds of expressions of interest. It has certainly raised our profile.”

She came up with her excluder idea when she was a volunteer bat worker for Natural England and often called to houses where people had bats in the chimney.

She realised that energy was being lost through draughty old chimney spaces.

Mr McCloud, who presents Channel 4 series Grand Designs, said four per cent of household energy was lost through chimneys. He said using wool as a draught excluder was a perfect solution.