Friday, 14 March 2014

Green Holiday Homes in the West Country

The beauty of the West Country comes from nature: the countryside, the blue seas, early morning songbirds and surfers splashing about at sunset. We know it is imperative to protect what we have and we are happy to note our visitors are getting more discerning about our green credentials.

We have created a Green Cottages label to identify holiday homes with features that help them make a lesser impact on the environment. Our green checklist runs from low energy bulbs to clear instructions for recycling, from phosphate-free detergent to providing a seven-day itinerary of things for holidaymakers to do with minimal use of their car.

By encouraging our owners to think sustainably, we eliminate that horrible feeling that all your hard work being green at home has gone out the window when you are away. We ask owners to keep homes warm and comfortable - we’re not into a ‘hair shirt’ approach - but make sure they are not wasteful when it comes to energy. We look at the impact on the environment of each cottage with regard to energy, pollution, information, water supply, wildlife and landscape, and promote beneficial features, such as solar and wind power or a spring or borehole water supply.

We assess each cottage in detail, looking at things like energy providers, insulation, heating and hot water timers, appliances, recycling, and the provision of information about local facilities and car-free days out, and give practical advice to holiday homeowners on how to make improvements. To see our complete list of criteria, click here.

All these measures are designed to help you appreciate our beautiful West Country environment even more, and to protect it for generations to come. Take a look at this, the newest of our Green Cottages, at Mardon in Dunsford. It is one of two granite-walled barn conversions next to the owner’s farmhouse. If you had any doubt that a green holiday could be glamorous, how about a stay in this fitting-yet-contemporary barn conversion in North Bovey.

Calstock has a green retreat for two, perfect for wildlife enthusiasts as it is surrounded by five acres of mature garden and meadow, close to nature walks and is reputedly where Joseph Turner found inspiration for his painting ‘Sunshine on the Tamar’. Dart View Cottage in Staverton is perfect for a bigger getaway of family or friends, who can extend their low-carbon holiday to riverside walks and trips to the sea.

For more information go to the eco and ethical page on Helpful Holidays website, where you can see details of all our Green Cottages, or call 01647 433593, and speak to our staff members who have visited our cottages personally.