Kent farmstay accommodation, Faversham, England
How Kent farmstay accommodation, Faversham, England makes a difference
We are committed to providing excellent quality hostel accommodation whilst minimising the environmental impact of our activities. A symbol of this commitment is our membership of the Green Tourism Business Scheme and our achievement of our Gold Award. This scheme provides accreditation and encouragement for tourism businesses to reduce the environmental impact of their activities. By encouraging sustainable practices it ensures the continued enjoyment of the environment of England for future generations.
We encourage all of our guests to recycle glass, metal, plastic and paper to make it easy we have small recycling bins in the kitchens.
We have used mostly low energy lighting, thermostatic radiators, where possible exceeded the insulation requirements, and recently installed more solar water heating and a second "clean burn" log burning stove to burn waste wood from the farm, and we had already been saving more than £1,000 per year in fuel bills. The new solar panels are designed to provide at least 80% of the hot water needs of our newly converted granary building. We have used an air source heat pump with under floor heating, our main objective was not to use either oil or gas in this new extension to the hostel.
Our fencing is made from locally coppiced chestnut and when it needs replacing the old fence can be burned on the wood burner to help heat the hostel. The planters around the patio are recycled cider barrels from a local supplier.
The accommodation is in old converted farm buildings on our farm in the Kent Downs. When we converted the buildings we saved and re-used much of the original building materials.
This is a working farm growing wheat, Christmas trees, pumpkins and some vegetables for local sale, we have our own fully free range chickens and when we can find them enjoy some wonderful eggs with bright orange yolks, all of these are available to our guests in season.
In the planning stages of our farm diversification we decided upon hostel accommodation, it seemed very appropriate to attract walkers and cyclists to our farm in the beautiful countryside of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Living in a small village we could see the threats that small local businesses faced and hostel accommodation would serve the purpose of attracting larger numbers of visitors to the area. The pub, our butchers and service station with a small shop were all keen to support our planning application. Having been successful in the award of a grant from the England Rural Development Plan for rural regeneration we now feel we have a commitment to continue to support these local businesses.
Our notice boards display up to date information about local business , where they are and what they sell, for example we have a list of all items regularly stocked by our village butcher. Whenever possible we display posters about special events in the village and further information is in bedroom folders and on our website www.palacefarm.com . We have printed a range of walking and cycling maps, our most walked map is titled “The Three Pubs Walk”, a popular cycling map takes our guests on a twelve mile circuit visiting a local farm shop and tea room.
Graham has been a member of our Parish Council for thirty years during which time he has been actively helping the community, in 1997 he jointly helped to instigate the start of our village appraisal and served actively on the committee until it was published, later he has been involved with many projects and training sessions with the Kent Downs AONB committee helping to promote Green Tourism.
Every year Palace Farm is the venue for our village Firework Display which is held on our campsite and surrounding fields, it is ideal with both toilets and electricity being available for the event. We are very actively involved in organising the display, our village auction and other fundraising ventures which raise much needed funds for our village hall, for example the Firework display in 2010 raised well over £3000.
Having lived and farmed in the area for over 30 years Graham & Liz both have a wealth of local knowledge to share with their guests. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the business and sometimes the day slips by far too quickly! We have really enjoyed creating new walks and cycle rides for our guests, and can hire out bikes. As a keen amateur photographer and bird watcher, Graham has many times given valuable information on the best sites to watch or photograph wildlife. We have a good population of brown hares on the farm and been successful in suggesting both time of year and locations for recording these lovely animals by both amateur and professional photographers. One of our walk maps was originally designed as a nature trail and somewhere easy to take the children with plenty of places they can both play and see a wide range of wildlife. Our library has books to enable guests to identify most animals, birds, trees and plants and have further information available to lend. Doddington is in a wonderful landscape area and we are very passionate about sharing it with our guests.
Kent farmstay accommodation, Faversham, England