Conversion of the 18th Century Barns to Sustainable Holiday Cottages
From the initial business plan, it was our intention to create a sustainable business that would not rely on fossil fuels and last beyond our years, for future generations. That is why in 2007 we employed an environmental architect firm to specify a building structure to maximise energy efficiency but also the entire mechanical and electrical scheme employed in the barns. This was repeated again for the second phase of renovation in 2018 for additional accommodation and small venue facilities.
We have sourced labour locally and re-used materials from the farm to convert the farm buildings, eg the cobblestones in the exterior pathways were all hand-picked from under a concrete floor in the Haybarn! Also, all the brickwork is from old bricks kept on the farm. The dove nesting holes were dismantled and rebuilt within the new buildings. The original roof structure has been saved and used in the Dovecote. The original ceiling and trusses were kept in the Long Hall and Grand Barn and all sand blasted and fire proofed and the wood used for the bar was sourced from wood lying around the farm buildings. It was fantastic to save and bring the old 18th century farm buildings back to life in a sustainable way!
Biodiversity on the Farm
Over 80 species of birds have been identified on the farm, 54 of them alone during a 12 hour RSPB survey carried out in 2005. 10 of them on the BTO red list.
Wildflower margins encourage the bees and butterflies and bugs, and owl and kestrels are making good use of the nesting boxes put up near the farmyard.
The wood beside the farm plays host to wild deer which are frequently seen around the farm. We have encouraged bat nesting by placing bat nesting boxes around the farm and accommodation buildings. Approximately 7% of the farms area is specifically managed for the benefit of wildlife.
Richard holds the current chair (2021/22) of the Environment Forum for the NFU (National Farms Union). He practices what he preaches, and does everything within his means to create opportunity to engage regarding climate change and the race to get to Net Zero.
Energy and Water Use
We have gone to great lengths to maximise energy efficiency.
A highly efficient biomass boiler, running on renewable fuel, provides for all the domestic hot water and heating requirements. The hot water system also is used for the specialist bathroom heated towel rails, enabling warm towels to be provided even during the summer months when the heating system could be switched off or set at a low temperature.
A bank of photo voltaic panels capture solar rays and convert into electricity which is fed into the barn complex. Electricity which is produced, this is fed back into the grid. Monitoring of electricity production is carried out via a control panel. For additional electricity requirements, we use Green Energy UK, a company which uses only 100% renewable souces as an energy source. All domestic appliances have been sourced to carry an EU ‘A’ rating for energy efficiency.
Restrictors and thermostats control the flow and temperature of the water system.
Heating and Lighting
Both heat and light are driven via renewable energy (details above). LED bulbs lighting is installed throughout.
Throughout the barns in the toilets, bathrooms, kitchens and laundry, you will find environmentally friendly products (eg Method) used.
An ‘eco laundry’ is provided to guests using hot water heated by the biomass boiler and is equipped with environmentally friendly cleaning products. This laundry also acts as a ‘drying room’ as the racks for hanging clothes can make use of the ‘heat dump’ radiator feeding off the biomass boiler.
Guests are encouraged to only put used towels and linen out for laundering.
Recycling and composting facilities are provided within each unit. Recycling bags are to be found in the sink unit. Compost bins can be emptied into the composting bin, located on the far side of the hedge located at the owners car park near the farmhouse. Recycling and other waste bins are located in the main bin store behind the Grand Barn.
We work with a local catering suppliers to offer you homemade fresh meals/sharing platters or home chef from suppliers who use only locally sourced produce for their cooking. These are currently based in the village and neighbouring village.
Locally Sourced Produce
We provide a Yorkshire welcome basket on arrival. We use local produce where possible for your welcome basket including homemade bread, local eggs, Yorkshire Butter, Yorkshire Cheese, Yorkshire Bracken Hill jams, Yorkshire Tea, etc
Decoration – Artwork
The majority of the artwork found on the walls is work produced by the Bramley family. Alison Bramley is an artist who specialises in quilt art. Rosie Bramley is an art teacher and specialises in landscape oil paintings. Jo Bramley specialises in mixed media artwork.
All three artist’s details are to be found in your information folder. Their work is for sale or they also take commission requests.
The curtains and blinds are all handmade here or locally.
Minimising Car Use / Electric Car Charging
The unpacking of a supermarket home delivery upon arrival service is offered.
Details of walking and cycling routes are provided.
Please find the bus timetables for the direct bus route between Selby and York city centre (No. 42) as well as the ‘Park and Ride’ timetables in the information provided in your barn.
We have electric car charging on-site, please bring a cable with you. We only ask for the rate we are charged per Kw hour to be covered.
How you can help us achieve our sustainability goals in attempting to reduce your impact on the environment.
Please DO NOT adjust the ‘Heatmiser’ digital control panel, rather, use the thermostat control dials found in each of the rooms. These are simple knob controls to decrease (turn anticlockwise) or increase (clockwise) the temperature of that room. The temperature of each bedroom and corresponding en-suite is linked.
Please do not leave external doors open.
Please turn off electrical appliances when not in use to conserve energy.
Of course it is entirely your choice, but we encourage you to conserve water and use a shower, rather than a bath, during your stay.
We have provided ample crockery and cutlery in your barn to allow you to wait until the dishwasher is full before putting it through a cycle. This will help us to conserve water and energy.
Although we have an ‘eco-laundry’, we try to reduce the amount of washing we do by asking you to put dirty towels on the bathroom floor for laundering. Please leave all clean towels ‘in situ’ for re-use. This does not apply to kitchen tea towels and hand towels.
Please turn off lights when not in use in all rooms.
In the kitchen area you will find recycling and composting facilities.
There is a small compost bin which can be emptied when full into the larger green compost bin found behind the hedge adjacent to the owner’s car parking area.
There are large recycling bins found in the bin compound. They are Paper/Card Only and Mixed Recycling (non paper/card). There is also a food waste (non composting)/general waste bin located there.
Applying restraint when using the car
Having read all this you won’t be surprised that we would like you to apply restraint when using your car! We know there are lots of places to visit and lots of things to do and you will need the car, but we also ask you to consider activities that are accessible by bus, or go cycling or walking. Information on walking and cycling routes are to be found in your information file.