What makes Alde Garden so green?
Being considerate to the environment has for a long time been a way of life for us – the garden & it’s eco ethos simply reflect this.
When we set the site up we considered the environment every step of the way. With the help of LILI we learnt how to make and install a solar hot water system – which heats the water for the campsite showers, and the bath in Badger Cottage. We later had solar PV panels installed to create electricity.
We cultivated the garden with nature in mind, clearing only where we needed to and leaving patches of brambles & nettles for wildlife. We’ve planted native trees, shrubs and hedge plants, and added winding pathways through the garden so as to keep guests from trampling on wildlife areas.
Buildings were renovated using natural materials where possible, and we have purchased recycled furniture or made our own from reclaimed wood. The double bed and bedside tables in Badger Cottage are a fine example of this – having been handmade by a very good friend of ours from reclaimed wood. Insulation has been added to walls to retain heat and our entire heating system is run from a wood fired range cooker in the pub. This heating system also provides hot water in the winter, when the solar panels aren’t so productive. The pub’s old windows were removed and we had new double glazed ones handmade by local craftsmen to exactly match the old ones.
Wood is sourced locally and sustainably. In fact all of our goods – from toilet rolls to the pub’s range of drinks – are either locally made, from small independent stores, or from businesses with good ethical credentials. We always choose quality over quantity.
The garden has many energy saving devices and ideas for guests to try out. Friendly signs encourage guests to be mindful of the environment and we’re told these inspirational messages are carried home to become part of everyday life. In 2011 we were part of a local incentive for small businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. As a result we measured our footprint, assessed our policies and worked out ways of improving. As part of this we promised to reduce our carbon footprint by 10% in one year. At the end of that year we found that, with the help of our guests, we’d managed a whopping great 21% reduction! Once we opened the pub it became more tricky to ascertain which energy usage belonged to which business as they are both intertwined in many ways. We have therefore stopped measuring our carbon footprint but remain just as committed to finding new ways of improving energy usage.
See right for the many environmental awards we have won over the years since we opened.