South Downs yurts in Hampshire, England

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
The fly fishing syndicate is another community initiative which was set up to ensure the river at Adhurst was maintained for the native brown trout. We donít stock the river because this would disrupt our breeding programme. All fishing here is catch and release. Our syndicated team regularly undertake river management and often we have additional volunteers who get invovlved.

We have decided to focus our charitable spending on ecological charities and mainly support the Wild Trout Trust with a free stay valued at over £500 for their annual auction. It includes a bit of fly fishing during their yurt stay!

Without our ancient woodland we wouldnít be viable so we are hugely involved in environmental issues. We are off-grid and there is no electricity for our guests. We do provide solar lights and guests quickly learn how to make their wood burners and their solar power last. We are hoping to have an electric car point by August 2021. We collect rain water in the farmís reservoir which holds over one million gallons. Our plan is to place an island in the reservoir for nesting wild birds. We donít have wasteful flush toilets at the yurt site - instead there are long-drop compost privies. Guests bring their own towels, drying up cloths and sleeping bags for the children. We do have fully made up beds with 100% cotton linen and wool blankets. We use a local laundry service to change the bed linen after each stay but our domestic linen is washed with a laundry egg and is hang-dryed as we donít own a tumble dryer. We find that by hanging linen on the domestic pulley or outside, the creases fall out and so we donít ever fire up the iron either!

We are currently rewilding a one acre field for our outdoor cookery school and basketry workshop. In 2021 we commence planting it all with perennials and grasses for a seasonal six-month display of fabulous colour which then fades to black and white for the winter half of the year. So soon weíll be supplying seasonal floristy to local customers. And weíve just planted a willow plantation by the riverside so we can start making willow coffins on the farm. These are of course compostible and natural and involve no transport miles as they will be supplied to a local funeral director. Their production also provides employment for locals with disabilities.

Weíre big on recycling and provide bins for glass paper and tins at each yurt or cabin. We discourage guests from bringing single-use plastic and inform them that we canít dispose of it and they must take it away with them. We find this encourages them to fill their water bottles from the tap. We also refill our Ecover washing up bottles at each yurt (itís a bit fiddly but worth doing!) and this means that they really donít need to bring plastic here. We provide fire bowls, crockery, cutlery and cast-iron cookware so they already have whatever they need for their camping trip and this cuts down on silly waste like throw-away bbqs and tents. At home we are paperless and we also work from home so have no unnecessary travel. And on the farm we regularly use wheel barrows to deliver chopped wood and breakfast hampers. Weíve just bought an electric quad bike
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

We are very engaged with the local community. We also have an allotments association and a flyfishing syndicate. Has been running for nearly 10 years now and provides a haven for many people in the local community. It is not run by the council which means that members can apply for funding and also keep their running costs down when they need water butts or tracks surfaced or other infrastructure. Rather than relying on council services they can group together as a community to make things happen. We engage with the allotments association in many ways but the best is by providing our glamping guests with produce for their self-catering stays.

We are highly engaged with the local village and Petersfield community in that all our yurt wardens are locals and nearly all our suppliers are too. Our coppicers produce all our own firewood and live locally, as does our tree surgeon, our village joiner who makes and repairs all our safari kitchens and decks by hand, our yurt maker who repairs and also makes our yurt canvas. Not to mention as well all our instructors who visit to teach guests outdoor skills and bushcraft, or bird watching or basket making or coppice work. Even our web designer and accountants sign makers are local. So, one way or another, we provide a lot of income for local people and businesses.

Most of the businesses we deal with are micro-businesses and we believe these small businesses collectively are very powerful to sustaining our countryís economy.

Weíre always recommending to our guests the local pubs and attractions as they plan their holiday with us - and the information is regularly updated on our website.

Our aim is to create a hub within the South Downs National Park where numerous local businesses can be accessed via our website and location. We encourage guests to take the train which is only six minutes away - and we offer a £30 discount for guests who donít bring a car.

Climate

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