Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Our new Green Cottages Scheme…

Do you ‘think green’ when booking a holiday? Being environmentally aware is second nature to us at Helpful Holidays. We want to reduce the contribution running our business may make to global warming and to provide information for our customers who are looking to holiday in a more environmentally sensitive way.

That’s why we’re delighted to introduce our new Green Cottages Scheme to promote sustainability. We’ve identified a number of our holiday homes as having features which help them reduce their impact on the environment – without compromising your comfort (we’re not into a ‘hair shirt’ approach).

In order to qualify, we assess each cottage against a list of 69 criteria. 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 are highly rated. In addition, we look at whether the cottage owners have provided information on public transport, bike hire, walking routes, farmers’ markets and car-free days out.

Among the holiday homes qualifying for the Green Cottages Scheme are two cottages sleeping four near Honiton in east Devon. Converted from barns, Whitcombe Cottage and Swallows Cottage 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.

In far west Cornwall near Germoe, on a 15 acre smallholding deep in ancient flower-filled lanes, is Mazeys Cottage, 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.

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 and West Barn are set in 10 acres of grounds and bluebell copse; at dusk guests can watch the barn owls hunt from their nearby roost.

Eleven cottages currently carry our green tree symbol with more joining the initiative in the near future, so look out for this symbol in our 2013 brochure and on our website.

Call us on 01647 433593 to chat with our team or download our Green Cottages guide to find out more.