The cottages are situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and we endeavour to have a small impact on the area as possible.
The cottages were ‘upcycled’ in 2003 from unused cow sheds. A majority of the existing cob walls were retained, the timbers from the floors were reused as were the slates from the roof. The ironmongery features were also kept. Waste material was used for levelling out the gardens. An existing bore hole was used for our water source. We have installed an eco-friendly sewage plant. We did a lot of the conversion work ourselves with specialist work being carried out by local tradesmen.
We are part of a gas buying group which has the benefit of being sourced from the Uk and also deliveries are on a bulk load and we are delivered to at the same time as our neighbours, therefore reducing CO2 emissions from transportation. The electricity company we use uses 100% renewable electricity. Inside the cottages we use low-energy lighting and request that TV’s are not left on standby and switches are turned off when not in use. We use thermostatically controlled radiators. Our external parking and pathway lighting is solar powered.
Our water is natural spring water. We use a water-butt to collect water to reuse for our watering and for filling up our watering cans for guests to use if their dogs urinate on the grass. Our eco-friendly sewage plant minimises waste water. We provide chilled water as part of our welcome pack in reusable bottles.
We have planted several trees and plants in our small orchard area. The trees in particular, help to combat global warming by absorbing CO2 and releasing O2. The planted areas have in turn increased the wildlife around the cottages. The grass that we cut is added to our compost.
We aim to use as many environmentally products as possible; recycled toilet roll, kitchen roll and tissues. We use refillable soap and showergel containers. We provide bio-degradable poo-bags. We use eco-friendly cleaning products. We reuse cleaning cloths after washing on an efficient setting using eco-friendly cleaning products. The packaging used for the milk and wine we supply in our welcome packs is recycled.
Guests are asked to separate their waste into our recycling bins and general waste bin. Our contract for waste disposal is with Biffa who have have gained a silver accreditation for their sustainability rating. Their sustainability statement entitled ‘Resourceful, Responsible’ supports their strategic growth plans and long-term vision, defining the important role Biffa can play in delivering more sustainable solutions to help combat the UK’s waste challenge.
Our laundry is laundered in bulk using a local launderette who use eco-friendly cleaning products and high efficiency driers.
Before guests arrive, we provide recommendations of local eating places. On our website we promote local attractions and amenities. We also provide guests we details of local farm shops and details of local food deliveries as an alternative to using mainstream supermarkets. We use local suppliers wherever possible and we offer a pre-order service for our own free-range eggs.
Reducing CO2 Emissions
As previously mentioned our gas is delivered on the same delivery as our surrounding neighbours. In order to reduce the amount of luggage guests bring with them – and as a result may need an extra car – we provide cots, highchairs and stairgates free of charge. We provide a variety of walks from the doors of the cottages and maps of the locality, to reduce the number of journeys guests make whilst staying.
We have a supply of pre-loved beach toys from buckets and spades to body-boards which guests are welcome to use. We encourage guests to leave them behind for the use of others rather than throw them away.