Snowdonia country farmhouse B&B in Wales
How Snowdonia country farmhouse B&B in Wales makes a difference
We believe in providing high standards of guest accommodation whilst actively working to reduce our carbon footprint and environmental impact. In a recent in depth survey of our sustainability by Bangor university we scored 92%.
We have our own 5KWh wind turbine which produces electricity for the house with the excess exported to the national grid. This was fitted in late 2005. All of our light fittings are either energy efficient fittings or have energy efficient bulbs. Hallways are lit by 3watt ‘moonlights’ at night. All of our appliances are A or A* rated for energy. Wherever possible laundry is air dried on washing lines otherwise on pulley airers indoors. Appliances are switched off when not in use. Our electricity consumption from the national grid has reduced by nearly 4,000Kwh per year since taking these steps in 2005. This being despite a cold summer last year and higher guest numbers. In addition we have insulated under the floors and in the loft and replaced the windows with double glazing fitted with ‘E’ glass.
Our chimneys have been lined and wood burning stoves fitted which provide most of the household heating. These burn waste wood from a local joinery yard that previously went to landfill. We also burn windfall wood and have planted 4,500 saplings of native deciduous trees for long term coppicing for firewood and habitat in order to ensure renewable supplies for the future.
All bathrooms have showers and all but the antique toilets have a half flush system. Our water is from a private bore hole. This is filtered and treated only with ultra violet so contains no harmful chemicals or additives. This is similar to bottled still water. Our drainage is to an historic reed bed system. The waste water is returned clean to the local water system. To save fuel and water towels and bedding are freshly supplied for each guest then during their stay changed only on request. Cleaning products are eco friendly wherever possible.
Virtually all meat served in the Hall is from our own rare breed livestock including saddleback pigs, Welsh black cattle and Black welsh mountain sheep. These are naturally reared and whilst we are not registered with the soil association we farm using organic principles. All livestock go to a local private abattoir where they are unstressed and treated with respect. Fish served in the hall is locally caught with rod and line, eggs are from our own hens, and in season fruit and vegetables come from our own gardens. In winter when we have no crops (being 400m above sea level) we use local suppliers.
Wildlife is encouraged in the grounds. We have an on going programme of improvement to encourage rare birds particularly the black grouse. This has involved recreating areas of marshy wetland, scrapes and low scrub. Non native spruce trees have been cleared and native species planted to re-establish areas of natural heather moorland, bog and woodland. We have polecats nesting in the garden. The local otter trust have created areas of otter friendly habitat as we have otters nesting on our land. We have had the rare and exciting pleasure of spotting a pine marten. Brash from the trees is piled to create habitat. We have bird, owl and bat boxes. When insulating special care was taken to ensure that the bat colony in our lofts was protected and able to enter and exit the roofspace. An expert 24 hour survey noted 56 different species of birds on or near our land including such rare ones as black grouse, hen harriers and grasshopper warblers. We have three wildlife ponds, wetlands and streams. Our land is rich in wild flowers, invertebrates and other wildlife. We have also rescued various different animals and wildlife.
We recycle when we can. Much of this on our land. For example, our and guest newspapers are shredded for animal bedding which is then, after fouling, composted. Much of our furniture is reclaimed antique or old, but very comfortable and smart nonetheless. Our metal work (fireirons, benches, bed, grates etc) is all made by a local blacksmith from reclaimed metal. Glass is taken to a local recycling centre when passing that way. Guests are encouraged to leave rubbish for recycling.
We support local conservation projects including Green Snowdonia environmental schemes and schemes in Hiraethog to maintain wildlife. We use recycled paper in our office and avoid the use of paper where we can. As old pens are discarded they are replaced with pens made from recycled paper. We avoid excess journeys wherever possible by having the postman take post for example and combining trips.
We are strongly involved with the local community funding, publishing and editing a booklet of local information and events to circulate through local businesses. In addition we are involved with local walking festivals, promoting local craft markets and fundraising.
We actively seek to promote environmental awareness by showing guests our own land and animals and by publicising when we can. We have had several articles published by NFU Countryside, the AA and Visit Wales to name a few.
We always employ local people. When we first opened we employed a lady full time and built a log cabin for her on our land as she had nowhere to live. She has now achieved her ambition to become a veterinary assistant and has built a new life for herself. All our staff are within 10 miles.
Snowdonia country farmhouse B&B in Wales