• Children enjoying playing in the stream on their Devon family holiday
  • Lush ferns down in the wooded valley
  • Families resting on a log on the woods
  • Pictures inside and out of Snuggledown the holiday yurt.

Green Credentials

We strongly believe in doing our bit to improve the environment and reduce our contribution to global warming. We have strived where possible and practical to use technologies that support these principles. We also aim to run the business and the grounds at Puddleduck Valley so that we can improve the habitat for both flora and fauna. This page describes the technologies and methods we employed (and will employ) to meet our aspirations.

We are close to achieving carbon neutral status with all of our heating and electricity coming from green sources. We are targeting waste and our transport next. We also plant new trees every year.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY


We purchased Cookbury Court in 2012 to set up Puddleduck Valley so that we could provide a place where families can enjoy a great holiday; promote outdoor play for children and spark an interest in learning about the environment.  

We selected the site for its natural beauty, a great location for our business, and the site’s potential for environmental improvement.
It is our belief that we can provide great holidays at a low environmental cost and get children playing outdoors as we did in our childhood. We believe that it’s the responsibility of every individual to make an effort to improve.
We have already put lots of measures and technologies in place to reduce environmental impact and to improve biodiversity. Indeed we also have a suite of plans for future changes to further improve and to carefully manage the local environment for which we have become stewards.
While setting up the business we have used reclaimed and salvaged materials where possible including recycled concrete for the car parks, second hand furniture and even re-purposed  old air compressors as fire pits! We have installed a biomass boiler to create all of the heating and hot water for the site, planted over 800 willow saplings to provide future fuel and ensured our reliance on fossil fuels is minimised by only using 100% renewable electricity.
Recycling and composting facilities are provided for our guests and there are a range of activities onsite to engage children (and adults) in outdoor play and to discover more about the natural world that surrounds us. Not many guests leave without learning something new!
We are developing partnerships with other organisations to learn more about how to manage areas of neglected woodland, encourage native flora and to provide an improved habitat for a wider range of species. We aim to balance land use to create varied habitats suitable for grazing, short rotation coppice, wildlife, woodland regeneration,  guest accommodation and activities. Plans for implementing a program of willow spiling will ensure a reduction in river bank erosion while rotation cropping of existing hazel stools will allow sunlight to the forest floor to encourage an understory of other species.
We have implemented a compost toilet on site to reduce water usage and green technology such as solar path lighting to reduce energy usage.
We endeavour to use local suppliers, contractors and materials where we can we also commonly purchase second hand furniture and other items for renovation and use by us and guests.
Lastly we have implemented a change in our promotion plans use only recycled stationary for our promotional material.
We fully accept that we cannot be perfect so we commit to an ongoing program of monitoring and improvement.

 

 

Our Green Action Plan

The list below identifies the actions that we plan to put in place to ensure that we are as sustainable and as environmentally friendly as possible.

We're starting with the low cost easy to do stuff first:

Action Description
Visitor payback schemes We have set up a VPS with an optional £1 charge on direct bookings on our new payment engine.. Guests have the option to donate to Railway Children and/or British Butterfly Conservation schemes to further their work.
Monitor travel Start keeping a mileage diary for both cars for business use.
Water flow through taps We will investigate all tap flow rates on site and add flow restriction and aeration devices where required
Water flow through showers

We will investigate all tap flow rates on site and add flow restriction and aeration devices where required. All our showers now have shower heads that aerate and reduce flow.

We have introduced the use of 'Shower Bobs'. These are in-shower egg timers that allow guests to check how well they do against the suggested 4 minute timer.

Chlorine free cleaners We have replaced all of our chlorine based cleaners with environmentally friendly cleaners
Natural based surface cleaners We have replaced all of current surface cleaners with environmentally friendly cleaners
Kitchen waste composting We will start a policy of separating kitchen waste for composting rather than landfill,
Compactor We have set up a compactor for us and guests to use to increase the weight/volume ratio of recyclables.
Phosphate free soaps and detergents We have replaced all soaps and detergents with phosphate free and implement bulk dispensers in guest bathrooms to ensure 'green' soaps and washing liquids are always available
Performance Information We have started monitoring of:
Water
Electricity usage
Energy Generation
Bag it and bin it We will implement a bag it and bin it policy and signage in each of our holiday lets to encourage guest not to flush nasties such as fabrics, sanitary pads and cleaning cloths.
Information on public transport We will include details of public transport to and from us on our website and in house guest information booklet
Monitor waste & Recycling Start Monitoring of:
Waste
Recycling
Green laundry practice (set up our own green laundry) We have set up our own laundry.
The laundry uses recommended A+ machines or above, the grey water is recycled and the laundry will be insulated to achieve higher temperatures for drying.
Bug Hotels When coppicing the woodland we now always set up a pile of logs to encourage invertebrate life.
Insulation survey We have undertaken a survey of the main house with recommendations to insulate under the floor! We will be implementing this in the winter of 2016/2017
Fat Traps We have added a fat trap to every kitchen on site and encourage guests to tip waste oils and fat into it instead of the drainage. This way we can improve our sewerage and septic tank and feed the birds.
Business Stationary & Marketing Materials All stationary is now 100% recycled product
Toilet Roll All the toilet roll used on site is from 100% recycled paper.
Education on sustainability We will add a section on sustainability into the guest information booklet and start two small sustainability linked activities for guests
Community work on local environment We now take part in a regular beach clean at the beaches between Bude and Duckpool. The latest beach clean on Sept 11th 2016 collected over 4 tonnes of plastics!
Use of GTBS brand in on-site promotion We have added the GTBS logo and branding to our website and facebook page as soon as we get our classification.
Use of GTBS brand in off-site promotion We will add the GTBS logo and branding to our business stationary and physical promotion literature as soon as we get our classification.
Rainwater and greywater-harvesting We now use grey water havesting for crops. We investigated rainwater havesting for livestock but found that the risks of introducing pathogens from wild birds to our stock is too high.
Dog waste eco-treatment

We have considered three options and require feedback on the best method.
1. We can set up our own dog waste compost site away from guests.
2. We can continue binning dog waste but use compostable bags
3. We could install an access point to 'flush' dog waste in compostable bags into our septic tank.

We will be welcoming guests with dogs from March 2017 so will be implementing dog waste bins and a dog waste solution in winter 2016/2017.

Local Craft Products We now promote local handicrafts and kits in our mini shop.
Nature Diary

We will set up a nature diary blackboard for us and guests to record the species of flora & fauna they seen on site. The results will be reported to our local wildlife group

Joint Marketing with other GTBS members Investigate the location of other GTBS members and see if there is some form of cross promotion we can do.
Grey water irrigation systems We have implemented a grey water system for our veggie plot by utilising grey water from the new laundry.
Solar hot water heating Going forward we will implement solar hot water panels for the future barn conversion to a B&B. This has been investigated and found to be uneconomic at present due to the direction our roofs face, We will re-visit this in coming years.
Drying Rails Rather than using tumble driers for drying in the laundry we also use two electric drying racks to dry laundry. This is much more energy efficent.
SSSI imrovement plan - Forestry Commission & National Trust We are working closely with the Forestry Commission & National Trust who jointly manage the Dunsland Park SSSI. We are investigating the feasibility of a plan to use our goat herd to remove the underbrush from the SSSI to improve airflow to the lichens in the uper storey of the tree canopy. We are awaiting a decision by the Forestry Commission ecologists for go-ahead.
Plant & Tree Labelling During the winter of 2016/2017 we will be implementing labelling of trees shrubs and perennial plants. We hope this will further enhance guest visits and knowledge of the local flora. To do this we are recutilising old roof slates.
River bank Spiling Following advice from ecologists we have cancelled our plans for river bank spiling. We have been advised that the spiling could cause unintended bank erosion in other areas and increase water velocity resulting in a change of habitat.
Bats - Do not disturb! One of our guest uints has an external (insulated) hut that houses an immersion tank. We have found that this has become a haven for solitary bats. To protect against intrusion we now lock this hut so that guests don't inadvertently disturb the bats.
Plants for polliinators We have planted a bee and butterfly garden in our privae garden with plants that cover the full flowering season so as to provide an ongoig source of nectar. In addition we now sepecifically select wildflower and poillantor friendly perennial and annual flowers for guest acommodations gardens.
Grow your own A small gesture but we have planted 6 fruit trees to grow our own apples and pears. Just a small reduction in the miles from farm to fork.
Alternatives to driving We've worked with the National Trust to set up a path allowing guests pedestrian access to N.T. Dunsland. This means that guests can now walk to the local pub & restaurant rather than taking the car.
Buying Recycled A great discovery - We recently discovered Solway Recycling, a company that makes livestock field shelters from recycled plastic. We bought one and are over the moon. It's sturdy, resilient, weather proof and more than up to the job of housing two string boy goats.
Improvements to the wood stores After much effort we've finally finished two shiny new wood stores. These stores allow us to dry wood more effectively than our old method make it more efficient when the wood is burned to create hot water in the biomass boiler.

Green Credentials

We strongly believe in doing our bit to improve the environment and reduce our contribution to global warming. We have strived where possible and practical to use technologies that support these principles. We also aim to run the business and the grounds at Puddleduck Valley so that we can improve the habitat for both flora and fauna. This page describes the technologies and methods we employed (and will employ) to meet our aspirations.

We are close to achieving carbon neutral status with all of our heating and electricity coming from green sources. We are targeting waste and our transport next. We also plant new trees every year.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY


We purchased Cookbury Court in 2012 to set up Puddleduck Valley so that we could provide a place where families can enjoy a great holiday; promote outdoor play for children and spark an interest in learning about the environment.  

We selected the site for its natural beauty, a great location for our business, and the site’s potential for environmental improvement.
It is our belief that we can provide great holidays at a low environmental cost and get children playing outdoors as we did in our childhood. We believe that it’s the responsibility of every individual to make an effort to improve.
We have already put lots of measures and technologies in place to reduce environmental impact and to improve biodiversity. Indeed we also have a suite of plans for future changes to further improve and to carefully manage the local environment for which we have become stewards.
While setting up the business we have used reclaimed and salvaged materials where possible including recycled concrete for the car parks, second hand furniture and even re-purposed  old air compressors as fire pits! We have installed a biomass boiler to create all of the heating and hot water for the site, planted over 1000 willow saplings to provide future fuel and ensured our reliance on fossil fuels is minimised by only using 100% renewable electricity.
Recycling and composting facilities are provided for our guests and there are a range of activities onsite to engage children (and adults) in outdoor play and to discover more about the natural world that surrounds us. Not many guests leave without learning something new!
We are developing partnerships with other organisations to learn more about how to manage areas of neglected woodland, encourage native flora and to provide an improved habitat for a wider range of species. We aim to balance land use to create varied habitats suitable for grazing, short rotation coppice, wildlife, woodland regeneration,  guest accommodation and activities. Plans for implementing a program of willow spiling will ensure a reduction in river bank erosion while rotation cropping of existing hazel stools will allow sunlight to the forest floor to encourage an understory of other species.
We have implemented a compost toilet on site to reduce water usage and green technology such as solar path lighting to reduce energy usage.
We endeavour to use local suppliers, contractors and materials where we can we also commonly purchase second hand furniture and other items for renovation and use by us and guests.
Lastly we have implemented a change in our promotion plans use only recycled stationary for our promotional material.
We fully accept that we cannot be perfect so we commit to an ongoing program of monitoring and improvement.

 

 

Our Green Action Plan

The list below identifies the actions that we plan to put in place to ensure that we are as sustainable and as environmentally friendly as possible.

We're starting with the low cost easy to do stuff first:

Action Description
Visitor payback schemes We will set up a VPS with an optional 1% charge on direct bookings. Money raised will be donated to the Devon Wildlife Trust and British Butterfly Conservation schemes to further their work.
Monitor travel Start keeping a mileage diary for both cars for business use
Water flow through taps We will investigate all tap flow rates on site and add flow restriction and aeration devices where required
Water flow through showers We will investigate all tap flow rates on site and add flow restriction and aeration devices where required
Water flow through baths We will investigate all tap flow rates on site and add flow restriction and aeration devices where required
Chlorine free cleaners We will replace all of our chlorine based cleaners with environmentally friendly cleaners
Natural based surface cleaners We will replace all of current surface cleaners with environmentally friendly cleaners
Kitchen waste composting We will start a policy of separating kitchen waste for delivery to the local digestion unit in Holsworthy
Compactor We have already purchased and set up a compactor for us and guests to use to increase the weight/volume ratio of recyclables.
Phosphate free soaps and detergents We will replace all soaps and detergents with phosphate free and implement bulk dispensers in guest bathrooms to ensure 'green' soaps and washing liquids are always available
Performance Information Start Monitoring of:
Water
Electricity usage
Energy Generation
Bag it and bin it We will implement a bag it and bin it policy and signage in each of our holiday lets to encourage guest not to flush nasties such as fabrics, sanitary pads and cleaning cloths.
Information on public transport We will include details of public transport to and from us on our website and in house guest information booklet
Monitor waste & Recycling Start Monitoring of:
Waste
Recycling
Green laundry practice (set up our own green laundry) We propose to set up our own laundry.
The laundry will use recommended A+++ machines, the grey water will be recycled and the laundry will be insulated and have large windows to achieve higher temperatures for drying.
Insulation & Thermal survey We will engage a thermal imaging survey to identify areas of heat loss for all of the guest and domestic buildings. This will allow us to target where best to insulate
Fat Traps We will add a fat trap to every kitchen on site and encourage guests to tip waste oils and fat into it instead of the drainage. This way we can improve our sewerage and septic tank and feed the birds.
Business Stationary & Marketing Materials All future orders of stationary will be 100% recycled product
Education on sustainability We will add a section on sustainability into the guest information booklet and start two small sustainability linked activities for guests
Community work on local environment We are intending to give away two out of season breaks to local charities such as those in hospice care.
Use of GTBS brand in on-site promotion We will add the GTBS logo and branding to our website and facebook page as soon as we get our classification.
Use of GTBS brand in off-site promotion We will add the GTBS logo and branding to our business stationary and physical promotion literature as soon as we get our classification.
Rainwater and greywater-harvesting We will implement more rainwater harvesting for automated livestock watering.
Dog waste eco-treatment We have considered three options and require feedback on the best method.
1. We can set up our own dog waste compost site away from guests.
2. We can continue binning dog waste but use compostable bags
3. We could install an access point to 'flush' dog waste in compostable bags into our septic tank.
Local Craft Products We will start looking to promote local craft products in our mini shop
Nature Diary We will set up a nature diary blackboard for us and guests to record the species of flora & fauna they seen on site. The results will be reported to our local wildlife group
Joint Marketing with other GTBS members Investigate the location of other GTBS members and see if there is some form of cross promotion we can do.
Drip irrigation systems We will implement a drip irrigation system for our veggie plot by utilising grey water from the new laundry.
Solar hot water heating Going forward we will implement solar hot water panels for the future barn conversion to a B&B. Timescale around 2 years