In 2009, Ian and Sarah visited the CAT centre (Centre for Alternative Technology) in North Wales and were totally inspired by what we saw. As well as massive, industrial size projects, there were also plenty of ideas of what you could achieve at home. We came away with all sorts of big plans about what we could set up on the farm as well as a new way of thinking and doing everyday things.
Some are still pie-in-the-sky ideas, some future plans and some we’ve managed to achieve. Have a read through some of our thoughts and feel free to contact us with other ideas or if you want to know more.
What we’ve done:
- We’ve built our first barn from wood, the base is recycled crushed concrete from a local farm
- We use water from a home-made well to feed the goats
- We recycle any farm plastic
- We try to grow our own veg (and meat!)
- The campsite is a low impact site with no roadways or concrete shower blocks.
- Grass pitches, as we’re lucky enough to be a dry site
- We have installed PV solar panels (fitted by this fantastic company Solar sense) on the south facing roof of our barn to provide electricity for the farm and campsite (during daylight hours) with the excess feeding into the national grid via Good Energy
- Planted 2.5 acres of native woodland trees (approx. 1600 trees). We received a grant from the Woodlands Trust to plant three areas of woodland.
- There are now 3 bins on each camping pitch to make it easier for us and campers to re-cycle. 1 for all the recycling, 1 for landfill and a small brown bin for food waste.
- We’ve built compost loos for the campsite, the ‘compost’ gets added to our goat manure heap, composts for up to 2 years and is then spread on the fields to help the grass grow. The grass then feeds the goats and sheep, who then produce milk and meat for us to eat. And so the cycle begins again..
- Installed an electric car charging point (2013)
- We use a company called ‘London Bio-packaging for our cheese pots and smoothie bottles. Everything they supply is either made from recycled material or can be recycled.
- We’ve created a wildlife pond which is filled by water via a pipe from the roofs of our buildings
What we hope to do:
- Make a solar shower for the campsite
- Reuse greywater from home for our veggies and handwash water from compost loos for surrounding shrubs
- Harvest rainwater from the barn roof for the animals
- Be self sufficient!
- Share distribution deliveries with others to reduce carbon emissions
- Straw bale building…
- Create a wildflower meadow
- Create some interesting tunnels and dens from living willow
- We have been lucky enough to get planning permission for a farm house. So we hope to super energy efficient house (possibly down the Passivhaus route) with as much re-cycled materials as possible (like beams, floor joists, floor boards, roof tiles, bricks and stone).
4 thoughts on “Sustainability”
It’s the Good Life!
Have you got Margo living next door?
I absolutely love what you’re doing with your farm!
My Daughter and I will be camping with you in one of our teardrop trailers (Bernard) next week and can’t wait to visit.
I’m completely with you on the sustainability/self-sufficiency front. I am at the very beginning of my goal to off-grid living. At the moment my Daughter and I are living in a 2 bed flat in Clevedon, but our goal is to become part of the growing Tiny House Movement, on our own plot of land. I have begun the process of shedding things we no longer need/love. It’s incredibly liberating to start stripping everything back and it’s been a revelation to realise just how little you actually need to live. Over time we will be ready to ‘launch’. I have recently developed a fascination for cob buildings and plan to build my own cob house one day. Minimal environmental impact, simple living, close to nature…bliss! A friend and I are going on a cob oven building course to Devon in June to be initiated in cob. The thought of creating something really useful/beautiful with natural materials is very exciting!
We very much look forward to camping with you next week and learning more about the sustainable projects you have put in place so far!
I can’t wait to come and stay next weekend. Sounds like such a lovely place and can’t wait to see some goats and maybe a dash in and out of the stream!
Never understood why all campsites don’t have solar showers, seeing as people go camping in the summer…when the sun shines. Also campsites have lots of space for thermal stores and solar thermal arrays. Home made panels are cheap and dead easy to make and could run workshops to get campers to make them!! Indeed do it through the Low Impact Living Initiative and you could probably charge campers for the workshop!!
Also great to see you having composting loos. Used em before and there’s nowt wrong with them. Like your sustainability approach…we’ll book!
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