We live here in a beautiful place in the Peak District National Park, an area recognised by the nation as an exceptionally valuable landscape. We have the opportunity to try and live in this beautiful place in a way that improves our environment, uses our resources efficiently and creates as little waste as possible. We are certainly not perfect but are on a journey towards improving what we do and how we do it.
- Our local community in lots of different ways: We have created http://www.ilam.org.uk/ a community website for our village and its businesses- please visit and see if you can use any of the services offered
- Wetton and Alstonefield First Responders, local people trained by the ambulance service to respond immediately in emergencies. We collect funds to help them buy essential equipment
- Practical Action - technology challenging poverty- a charity finding practical solutions for ordinary people living in difficult conditions
- Friends of the Peak District - an independent charity whose vision is of a living, working Peak District that changes with the time but remains beautiful forever.
How do we monitor what we do?
- We enter competitions to test ourselves and make sure we are going in the right direction.
- We are proud to have achieved The Peak District Environmental Quality Mark, they monitor our progress every year
- We are delighted to have achieved a Gold Award for the Green Tourism Business Scheme, they monitor our progress every two years. We try to improve our practises to improve our awards
- We are very excited to have been twice highly commended in the Virgin Holidays Responsible Travel Awards- an international award. There were 2000 global nominations!
- We are delighted to have won GOLD in 2013 Visit England Awards for Excellence.
- We are very proud to have won GOLD in sustainability in the Enjoy Staffs Awards 2018.
Here at Beechenhill we try to live as sustainably as we can. We have won national and international awards and most recently we won Gold in Sustainability in the 2018 Enjoy Staffs Awards. We do lots to look after our environment and lower our impact. Some of the things we are doing:
- In 2018 we carried out an audit on what we use and how would could change.
- Provide reusable plastic containers instead of single use plastic bags for food orders.
- Reusable cotton bread bag.
- Loose tea leaves and infuser teapot instead of teabags containing plastic.
- Our laundry now returns bedding in reusable cotton bags instead of plastic wrap.
- Making ‘ecobricks’ with some of the plastic we do use.
- Reduce waste
- Up-cycled (dyed towels, painted furniture etc)
- Reused (given to staff, village, free cycle, Encore furniture)
- Recycled (paper, plastic, glass, metal, card, electrical)
- Composted (food waste)
Energy & Heat
- A wood pellet boiler has replaced oil central heating and hot water.
- Our Rayburn has a new burner that uses 60% less oil. We have replaced some of the Rayburn function with an induction hob and wood pellet boiler, and turn it off during hot weather so gradually it is being used less and less.
- Use waste wood, locally coppiced wood and recycled wood briquettes to heat log fires, sauna and hot tub.
- We have two 4 kw solar photovoltaic arrays on a cowshed roof providing about half of our electricity.
- The ceilings of the accommodation have thick sheep's wool insulation to help retain the heat.
- Eco towels use 40% less energy to wash and dry.
- If we can walk, walk
- If we can cycle, cycle
- If we can use public transport, do so
- If we can share lifts, share lifts (pick up guests from public transport)
- Minimum use of cars, always multipurpose trips
- Energy efficient vehicles
- We have 2 electric car charging points, 1 x Tesla and 1 x standard 7Kw
- The way we farm the land organically protects wildlife. Instead of weed-killer, sheep are used to keep ragwort down, dock beetles eat the dock plants and thistles are manually removed. Nitrogen fixing clover is used rather than fertilizer.
- We keep part of the garden as wild flower meadow, which is a great habitat for insects. No pesticides or fertilizer used in garden. We plant bee friendly flowers & use the ‘Great British Bee Count’ app to report when we see bees and encourage others to do so.
- Moved a fallen tree to a corner of a field for a home for insects like beetles.
- Maintain the farm’s original dew pond that is home to great crested newts.
- We have installed bird feeders, owl boxes, insect houses and bat boxes.
- New for 2018 we have cleared out and replanted the neglected garden pond.
- Water meter fitted to mains supply.
- Toilets are flushed using rain water. The rain water is collected via the farm building guttering on the north roofs into a large tank. It is then pumped to the toilet cisterns.
- Rain water from the south facing roofs is collected in a pond that is the home to great crested newts.
- Waste water from the farm drains into lower fields is cleaned by a small plantation of goat willows.
- Waste water from the Swedish style hot-tub dilutes the farm waste water and is particularly important in hot dry weather.