Peak District self catering cottages, England
How Peak District self catering cottages, England makes a difference
We are an organic dairy farm in the heart of the Peak District National Park, we have initiated many local sustainable projects and believe passionately in the strength of our local community. We try to live by organic principles; using our own organic produce, buying local food, using local services, employing local people, reducing our environmental impact and that of our guests. We believe that it is up to us as farmers to be open about how farming works and why buying local helps everyone. We have a Peak District Environmental Quality Mark and a Gold Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme. We are very proud to have been awarded Highly Commended in the Virgin Holidays Responsible Awards in 2009 and 2012.
We nurture our great crested newts. We have hares on the farm. We feed birds
and have a huge charm of goldfinches that over winter with us, we also have linnets, fieldfares, winchats, owls, pied wagtails, wrens, wheat ears, skylarks and many more. We are business members of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. Overall we have planted about 1500 trees on the farm since 1984.
We look after and maintain our traditional stone listed buildings. We do most of our building work. We use eco friendly paints where possible. We have optimum insulation - some of it local sheep wool from a neighbour’s sheep and double glazed and shuttered windows. Recent building developments have used lime plaster with insulation incorporated which help maintain the character of the traditional buildings. The cottages both have energy monitors so you can see what you are using. We use only LED and low energy lighting (and wind up LED torches) and many of our outside lights are solar powered and all are on PIRs- because we want you to appreciate the real darkness and beauty of the stars.
We and our guests separate and recycle glass, cans, paper, cooked food waste, cardboard, food packaging, tetra packs, batteries and light bulbs and we compost vegetable waste. We only print when necessary and then use recycled paper and we recycle our print cartridges. All paper goods are recycled, loo rolls, kitchen rolls, tissues, printer paper etc. All our table mats are made from recycled tetra packs.
Our kitchen compost goes into our vegetable garden and helps produce much of our own food and we give surpluses to guests. We use eco-friendly cleaning products, dishwasher powder and washing powder and a new eco product 'fill and shake' cleaner (Against Shipping Water campaign). We buy everything possible in bulk.
Rain water is collected, half goes into a storage tank for use, and half feeds a pond with great crested newts. In the Cottage by the Pond the toilets flush with rain water and most of our toilets are dual flush, we are engaged on a programme of changing the remaining three to dual flush also. We have restored a traditional stone hay barn and use rain water for toilets there. The waste water from the farm is partially cleaned by a small plantation of goat willows.
The Pilot Light Renewable Energy Project
In 2009 and 2011 a large investment project took place on the farm, taking out 2 old oil boilers, 5 emersion heater and several night storage radiators, replacing them with a 120kW wood pellet boiler and mini district main. We added a large array of innovative solar panels (flexible solar film instead of heavy glass). This reduced our carbon footprint from 41 tonnes to 14 tonnes. The biomass system now provides hot water and heating for all the accommodation at the farm including under floor heating for the restored Haybarn which hosts ten Eco weddings every year.
The only remaining oil user is the Farmhouse Rayburn. This has been altered to enable savings of around 25% in its oil use. It is used to cook the farmhouse breakfasts, provide heating and hot water for the family accommodation and a unique pressing system.
For our self catering guests, we supply local foods and local ready-meals from local environmentally friendly farming- you can walk across the fields - then eat the food produced there! Breakfasts are served on big platters so you can take as much or as little as you want, reducing wastage. We use cloth napkins to reduce paper waste and have interviewed several laundries to find the most eco friendly one. We use long life beautiful orchids or local or garden flowers, no imported cut flowers.
We will try and pick you up from the nearest bus station in Ashbourne. We have safe storage for your bikes with lots of information about cycle friendly routes as well as information about lots of local attractions and walks. We also have our own self guided farm trail so you can get as passionate about our place as we are!
We play an active part in our community. Terry is the Chairman of the Parish Council and Sue started the village Art Club which went on to produce a magnificent 18m long folk art painting of the history of Ilam! We keep the marquees used for many jolly village events and always supply our big brazier to light up the evenings.
Almost all the food we serve is locally produced, or if not then FairTrade or at least English! One example is our Juice, we didn't want to offer tetra packs of anonymous orange juice so after investigation we now offer delicious English Apple Juice from Orchard Pig in Somerset, not so local but the nearest. Our fruit trees now supply almost all the fruit we offer for breakfast- fantastic Damson, plum or rhubarb compote, to go with our home produced organic yoghurt and organic porridge.
We display the work of local artists, indeed Sue's Swedish style folk art is inspired by the landscape around the farm.
We support several charities, Friends of the Peak District, the local First Responders and Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Register, our guests can choose if they would like to help us donate.
We support Practical Action, (practical solutions to poverty in the developing world) and again our guests can chose to contribute.
We work very closely with brilliant networks of similarly responsible businesses to offer the real Peak District experiences. We are part of the Peak District Electric Bicycle Network- a wonderful way to get to see and know the local countryside over the walls! We are also planning an electric car charging facility.
We employ local people and work hard to be flexible to accommodate their family commitments. We organise training courses and look after our staff because they and our community are all part of our family too.
Peak District self catering cottages, England