Isle of Wight self catering bungalow, England
Responsible travel: Isle of Wight self catering bungalow, England
Built by family and local craftsmen, the house uses ‘green’ technology to heat geothermally, and firewood from the farm is used in the woodburner. The house processes its own waste water .It is lit by ‘sunpipe’ and low energy bulbs, and uses low energy and efficient electrical appliances. Environmentally friendly cleaning products are used; linen is line dried where ever possible. Recycled paper products are bought from the Multiple Sclerosis charity. Most marketing is via the internet, with e mail communication except by request, so paper is kept to a minimum. Visitors are encouraged to join us in the local recycling schemes and use the compost bin we provide. The accommodation is built on farmland on which 16,000 native trees have been planted to create wildlife corridors for red squirrels and dormice, and on which permissive ways have been created to allow countryside access. Some fields are seeded with wild bird mix, some with ‘pollen mix’ to encourage butterflies and insects.
We won the Green Accommodation of the Year from the Green Island Tourism Project which aims to maximise beneficial influences on the Island’s environment, and minimise harmful effects, raising the public’s awareness. The house and grounds are looked after and maintained by local people and family members.
Branches of our family have lived here for over 300 years, farming, producing food and working locally. Three generations have served on parish councils, listening to local opinion, responding to concerns, working voluntarily to improve life in the area. Wellow Green was bought and established by efforts of a family member serving as councillor and raising money through local initiatives and in response to local demand. Likewise a playing field at Bouldnor was bought for people of Shalfleet parish, and long term upkeep was arranged. Efforts to resurrect the village institute were supported and its events supported throughout the year. We draw visitors' attention to the Institute's programme and some have been able to participate in village life and enjoy taking part in some of the activities. We use local trades people and encourage local businesses, supporting community members. Our family takes part in local traditions such as carnivals and celebrations.
We take pride in buying food locally. Our website lists local independent food shops and producers, gives contact details and photos. A list of local food producers is supplied in the house, together with details of local restaurants and cafes. We grow and supply fruit and vegetables which we supply to local restaurants and delicatessen. We encourage our visitors to visit them. We offer samples of our potatoes, fruit in season and always encourage visitors to shop locally. Having a close working relationship with other tourism providers we let visitors know about local attractions and offer plenty of leaflets about tourism in our area.
Our farm and its holiday cottages are located in traditional countryside, with small irregularly shaped pasture fields enclosed by long established hedgerows, narrow winding lanes, numerous small copses and small scattered farmsteads. We are only a short distance away from the Island’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, designated in 1963 in recognition of the Island's landscape. The Hamstead Heritage Coast is only a short walk from Orchard Lee, picking up footpaths which run nearby. The Heritage Coast includes Newtown National Nature reserve ( a five minute drive away)which is owned by the National Trust, and Bouldnor Forest which is owned by the Forestry Commission. We provide leaflets about the Island's ANOBs and have prepared maps of walks from Orchard Lee which explore the very special landscape around us.The house is well supplied with information to encourage the enjoyment of local countryside and coast, and appreciate and respect the wildlife and environment of this privileged location.
We have been part of the ‘Jigsaw’ project, planting 40’000 indigenous trees to link small areas of woodland to create woodland corridors in the landscape for the benefit of dormice and red squirrels. We have planted 85 different varieties of fruit trees around the farm, including heritage varieties. As members of Natural England’s farm stewardship programme we have coppiced and restored ancient hedgerow, while clearing and restoring traditional farm ditches to recharge working farm ponds.
Leaflets and books interpreting the local area are kept up to date and available. We are pleased to take time to discuss the area and answer questions, offering local knowledge gained over 6 generations of living in the parish. We have been pleased to help visitors from Canada and Australia, as well as the U.K. research their family history and Island connections.
We are especially pleased to encourage children to explore and learn to respect this environment. We believe we are ambassadors for the farming community and take care to explain field work to give visitors a greater understanding of food production, how farmers care for the environment and the role of farming in contributing to the landscape character of the Island.
The story of the provider of Isle of Wight self catering bungalow, England
Orchard Lee was built by family and local labour to provide environmentally holiday accommodation in the beautiful countryside of the West Wight where countryside meets the coast, and history surrounds us.
'Coast and Country' is our family business which has grown out of our farm diversification at Lee Farm for over 60 years. Our family has been farming on the Island for many generations. Having led farm visits for many years, we feel that the countryside should be accessible to all.
Our aim is to share our appreciation of this outstanding area with visitors who come to enjoy the peace, quality of life and excellent local produce.
As 2 generations of our family work together whilst another grows up, we ensure that we maintain a high standard of welcome and accommodation.