Why us, and why Puddleduck Valley?
Are your childhood memories full of playing outside until dusk and family holidays where you could climb trees, go rock pooling and fishing with your parents? As 40-somethings we remember these memories fondly and were worried that our children were missing out because of our perceived dangers of the modern world. Ten years ago Melanie & I had had enough. We spent many years searching all over Europe and the U.K. for the perfect spot. We finally found it in Devon. We then set out to create a place where families could holiday together; children could play in safety in woodlands and fields and Mum and Dad could relax or join in with simple but fun but educational nature and farm based activities.
We created Puddleduck Valley; a tiny family getaway nestled in a quiet corner of rural Devon with grand ideas about doing our bit for the environment that children and families would really love.
To live up to the high green standards we set ourselves, we took a leaf out of the book of The Eden Project and implemented green technology everywhere that was sensible. We now grow our own biomass fuel for our new carbon neutral log boiler that provides all of the hot water and heating for the main house and two holiday units. We only use electricity from renewable sources and have an electric car charger on site for like-minded guests. We have even used pigs and goats to clear land covered with brambles and nettles in preference to engine driven machinery (they did a better job too!). We have recently been audited by Green Tourism (THE gurus in all things sustainable) and we won a gold award. Apparently this is unheard of for a first audit! At Puddleduck Valley we have four accommodations, ‘Snuggledown’ and ‘Barley Top’ (our Mongolian yurts), ‘The Stables’ (a barn conversion with triple bunk beds fitted with a climbing wall ladder) and The Apple loft suite (the original hay and apple store in the old farmhouse dating back to the 1650s). We have animals galore from guinea pigs to goats and encourage children to pet and learn about the animals with fact sheets and hands on activities. We run nature based treasure hunts where the treasure is the wild flowers and plants in the grounds.
We would love to share our piece of heaven with others and perhaps provide a little education about the environment and farming too.