The Old Kennels Environmental Policy

It is our aim to create as little detrimental impact on our environment as possible.

We appreciate public transport is limited and walking or cycling here is possibly beyond the realms of practicality for most, but if you are coming to a class with friends, please try and car share.

When you stay or take a class here, you will see that we are proudly zero waste, we compost, reuse and recycle keenly and send nothing to landfill, we use natural cleaning products, and do our best to shop ethically and locally. We embrace organic principles with our animals and on our land.

Our large glass roofed garden room works well to passively heat our house, teamed with wood fuel & solar thermal panels to heat our well water. Our wood boiler heats the house, studio and loft.

We have a 4kw photovoltaic solar array and all additional energy is purchased is from renewable sources. There is also an electric car charging point here for use by arrangement.

Rain water is saved for garden use and dirty water is treated (without the use of chemicals) and returned to a nearby water course as clean water.

Our printing is all on recycled paper or chlorine free paper made from pulp from sustainable forests. All inks and toners used are made from vegetable based oils or recycled.

We home-grow our fruit and vegetables and buy what we can’t grow locally & organically wherever possible. The Blackdown Hills have many excellent farm shops, box schemes and farm outlets nearby.

Green Action Plan – The Old Kennels 2015/16

We have achieved much in recent years, but there is always room for improvement and we set our selves new goals constantly. Targets for the next twelve months are below:

Swap the last six MR16 light bulb holders in the house to GU10 LED (as studio, rest of house and B&B)

Refurbish B&B adding a super insulated hand built kitchen with low flow tap, A+ fridge, triple glazed windows etc.

Add an outdoor covered seating area for all weather outdoor classes

Look at the possibility of offering camping onsite

Investigate the possibility of small scale hydro-electric via the old ram

(Ok, might not all happen this year, but if it isn’t on a list it will never get done!)

Of course we save roof water keenly for the garden already, but we often debate the merits of harvesting our rainwater for flushing toilets, but have been put off by the need to use more electricity to pump it back to the house. Our conclusion is that for many reasons we are not taking this step at present. What we aim to do is to catch rainwater off our highest roof, making a platform on the bank high up behind the house for the tank so it does not need to be pumped. Then we will use it to flush the toilets, so it will all be gravity fed. This is a medium term plan and might be rejigged if we have a better plan in the meantime!

We are proud to be rated as gold standard by the Green Tourism Business Scheme