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Tourists are the life-blood of Cornwall – but we care about preserving the environment too. We help and encourage the use of local transport services. We make sure all of our guests know that it's easy to use public transport to get around in this part of Cornwall and often it can be more fun. Each guest room has an up-to-date bus and train timetable and we're happy to help plan days out for guests who don't have cars or want to use them. We offer generous discounts to guests arriving on foot, by bike or public transport. We're members of the South West Coast Path Association. For walkers we provide a pick up/drop off service if bus timetables don't quite match theirs, or if public transport doesn't exist. We'll also transport their luggage for them to their next destination.
We provide facilities for all our guests to join in North Cornwall's recycling project. Every room has a jute bag supplied by CoaST which is for guests to dispose of their recyclable refuse. The bags are emptied every day and we put the recyclable materials into our own fortnightly collections. The council provides us with bags to separate the recyclable material and we mainly put out plastics, foil, tins, paper and cardboard. We always make sure bottles are taken to our nearest “bank” for disposal. We have solar panels on our roof to help with heating hot water and in the garden we have installed two large water butts so we can water the plants with rain water, which is better for the plants and saves on the use of mains water. We have erected two bird boxes on the house and this year a family of blue tits made use of one. We encourage a wide variety of birds to the garden by putting out nuts in feeders and we've built a new bird table.
We make full use of environmentally friendly and biodegradable products. All our cleaning products are sourced from a locally-based environmentally-friendly company and we source shower gel and hand soap for guest rooms from the same place. Laundry is washed with Ecover laundry liquid and we are proud to be customers of Cornwall's first “green” laundry, Ocean Breeze. Our food is sourced locally. Ninety per cent of our breakfast menu is produced in Cornwall, much of it by suppliers no more than a few miles away. We buy organic products where we can and ensure the meat used for our bacon and sausage has been produced locally and travelled only short distances for slaughter. For a short period each year we are even able to offer sausages made from meat from our own pig, which is raised on an organic farm a few miles away.
Boscastle is fortunate in still having a thriving community with local shops, a filling station and a post office. But the village's population numbers not much over 800 people, so it's vital that all these outlets should be supported, particularly by visitors. We encourage all of them to use our local facilities, as we do ourselves in sourcing much of the food and other goods. But it's not just shops which are important – other local businesses need support to. Over the past 15 months we've made many changes to the property and all of the work has been carried out by Cornish companies or workmen. We've installed the latest energy efficient water and heating systems. For the future we're improving insulation, ventilation and installing the latest solar panels.
As well as belonging to a number of charitable organisations, we also do volunteer work at Boscastle's Visitor Centre on one afternoon a week. The Visitor Centre is maintained by North Cornwall Council, but staffing levels are low and the manager needs a squad of volunteers in order to be able to open seven days a week, year round. Through this work we are able to meet even more of Cornwall's visitors and help more tourists to enjoy what the county has to offer. We encourage our guests to donate to the RNLI and have a charity box in the guests' sitting room.