Helpful Holidays launch Green Cottages Scheme
By Bideford_ppl | Thursday, March 22, 2012, 21:55
In order to qualify, each cottage is assessed by Helpful Holidays against 69 aspects which help them make a lesser impact on the environment. Particular regard is given to energy, pollution and water as well as the environmental effect on local wildlife and landscapes. Beneficial features such as solar and wind power, a natural spring or borehole water supply and electric vehicle charging points will be highly rated.
Commenting on the scheme Moray Bowater, General Manager, Helpful Holidays said; "Our offices are in the heart of the West Country in the beautiful Dartmoor National Park; we love our region and being environmentally aware is second nature to us. We recognise the unpredictable consequences of climate change and want to reduce the contribution running our business may make, as well as encourage our home owners and holiday makers to think more sustainably."
The list of criteria also includes insulation levels, heating and hot water timers, appliance ratings, detergents and recycling facilities. In addition the agency looks at whether the cottage owners have provided information on public transport, bike hire, walking routes and farmers' markets as well as suggestions for car-free days out and will provide practical advice to holiday home owners to improve their sustainability.
Among the holiday homes qualifying for the Green Cottage scheme are two cottages sleeping four near Honiton in East Devon. Converted from barns, Whitcombe Cottage (ref G77) and Swallows Cottage (G78) are set on a 135 acre working farm with horses, chickens, Devon cattle and sheep. Heating and hot water are piped to the cottages and farmhouse from solar panels and a log boiler, which is fed with coppiced wood from the sustainably managed farm woodland; there is also spring water. Prices start from £309 per week, pets welcome.
In far west Cornwall near Germoe, on a 15 acre smallholding deep in ancient flower-filled lanes, is Mazeys Cottage (ref T11), a single-storey holiday home with high ceilings and exposed beams. Solar panels, a small wind turbine and modern insulation make this cottage very comfortable and ecologically friendly; there are also lovely walks from the door. Prices start from £376 per week, pets welcome.
Great for local wildlife watching are two little detached thatched cottages sleeping three converted from old barns near Crowan, also on Cornwall's Lizard peninsula. East Barn (ref T6) and West Barn (ref T5) are set in 10 acres of grounds and bluebell copse; at dusk guests can watch the barn owls hunt from their nearby roost. Prices start from £246 per week, pets welcome.
For larger families or groups of friends The Hay Loft (ref G40), which sleeps 12, is on a five acre organic small holding near Kentisbeare, East Devon. Lots of fresh vegetables for guests to enjoy plus spring water and solar panels to help with energy provision. Prices start from £1,026 per week, pets welcome.
For a copy of Helpful Holidays Green Cottages guide and their main brochure call 01647 434063 or visit www.helpfulholidays.com. Their full portfolio currently includes over 600 special places to stay sleeping 2 - 48 guests in a variety of scenic locations throughout Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset