TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall wants to make his new Winchester restaurant more sustainable, he told the Hampshire Chronicle.

Plans to make River Cottage Canteen more eco-friendly may see the re-introduction of hydro-electric power.

The £1million revamp of the former Abbey Mill was completed at the start of last month.

Now the River Cottage owner said he would like to make the best of what the building has to offer.

“There’s one thing we still hope to do and that’s the hydro-electric project,” he said.

“But it’s not straightforward. The technology exists and the frame exists — this used to be a working mill — that we can get something up and running that would help us in our sustainability plan.

“It would be a lovely thing to do, but we’ve got to bear in mind that people want to come to eat and hear themselves talk and not just a loud whirring. It’s encouraging that we might be able to get that part of it going.”

The sustainable plans also extend to the restaurant’s food which may see fresh fish added to the menu.

Gill Meller, group head chef, is in talks with the Winchester head chef Mark Price and manager Phil Bendall about keeping wild trout in the mill’s waterway.

“It may be a bit of a pipe dream, but if there’s a way we can do it then we would like to,” added Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall.

River Cottage was formally opened at a wine and canapé evening last Tuesday.