SUSTAINABLE ECO-CONSCIOUS HOLIDAYS
LEADING IN SUSTAINABLE & ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES IN TOURISM
We firmly believe in striving to improve the environment and reduce our contribution to global warming. We have, where possible and practical to use technologies that support these principles. We also run the business and the grounds at Puddleduck Valley so that we can improve the habitat for both flora and fauna. Here you can find out about the technologies and methods we have put in place (and plan to) to meet our aspirations.
We are close to achieving carbon neutral status. 100% of our heat and electricity comes from green sources. We plant new native plants & trees on site every year and enrich our own land with practices to improve suitability for local wildlife. For our efforts so far, we’ve won a gold award from Green Tourism – Not easy! We’ve explained more in the sections below and the downloadable environment policy & action plan.
Clean, renewable energy
All our electricity is generated from wind, solar & hydro electric sources. Good Energy is a British company that supplies energy that only comes from renewable energy sources. We use good energy on the basis that we don’t want our energy to come from power stations that belch CO2 and other pollutants. Take a look at their website here if you would like to know more.
Carbon neutral heating
We have installed a biomass (log) boiler that produces all our hot water and heating. Although producing CO2, biomass as a fuel is regarded as zero carbon technology as the trees that we use absorb the CO2 beforehand. Ours runs at between 95% and 98% efficiency and produces a tiny amount of ash. We use willow, hazel and other species of wood from our site that are carefully managed to provide an ongoing supply.
For plug in and 100% electric vehicles
A Polar 7Kw electric vehicle charging point has been installed at Puddleduck Valley. If you use an electric or plug in hybrid electric car to get to us and to tour the area, you can plug in and charge. Fees for charges are calculated using ZapMap’s home charging calculator here. Please note that you will need to bring your own leads. The car charger is located in our top car park.
LED& PIR Lighting
95% LED & growing
We have spent many years slowly converting from traditional to LED lighting throughout our accommodation and our own home. The next step is to convert the switches to passive infra-red to ensure that lights are only on when required.
Growing our own heating
Over the years we have planted more than 800 willow saplings to use as short rotation coppice. This willow is very fast growing and is cropped every 3 years to provide a proportion of the wood we need for the biomass boiler. Did you know that coppiced trees form some of the oldest known trees in the world?
Pigs as Ground Clearance
When we first bought Cookbury Court a lot of the grazing on the slope was heavy tangle of bramble and nettles. To clear the land, we used the ancient method of letting pigs do the work for us. The pigs spent around six months on the paddock and by rooting up all the tough weeds (and fertilising as they went) they created a fantastic medium for us to grow our new pasture grass.
Standing deadwood and log piles
Supporting the biosphere
Following advice from Devon Wildlife Trust and the National trust we now leave a proportion of dead trees standing as deadwood and some piles of old logs. This provides valuable habitat for a wide range of invertebrates, fungi and lichens that is often missing in our tidy parklands.
Verdant verges and native planting
Supporting pollinators & birds
As members of Plantlife and the Butterfly Conservation organisations we now leave our roadside verges onsite to grow until August before cutting back and removing vegetative growth. This, and the sowing of yellow rattle, reduces the fertility of the grass the soil of the verges promoting the growth of wildflowers, allowing them to set seed before being cut back.
We set up Puddleduck Valley so that we could prove that it was possible to provide great holiday accommodation that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. Please click through to see our environmental policy. Let us know if you have any questions.
Our green action plan
Please browse our green action plan to see all the work we have already put in place and all the things we’re planning for the future.