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Green Policy

THE DOVECOTE BARNS

GREEN POLICY AND RESPONSIBLE VISITOR CHARTER

Building Exterior and landscape

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.

Over 80 species of birds have been identified on the farm, 54 of them alone during a 12 hour RSPB survey carried out in 2004. 10 of them on the BTO red list. Try to spot them! We’ll provide the list. 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 commercial farm buildings. Approximately 7% of the farms area is specifically managed for the benefit of wildlife.

The farm is part of the Entry Level Stewardship scheme that monitors good farm environmental management. We are also a member of LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) which encourages the public to learn more about farming practice. Each year farms open their doors to the public to host the national ‘Open Farm Sunday’ event. In addition, we regularly host farm walks to view the environmental work that goes on on the farm to University students, other farmers and of course the general public with ‘Open Farm Sunday’.

Energy and Water Use

We have gone to great lengths to maximise energy efficiency. Not only is the building structure itself with high levels of insulation, argon gas filled windows, etc but also in the entire mechanical and electrical scheme employed in the barns.

A biomass boiler, running on renewable fuel (currently recycled wood pellets), 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. If any additional electricity 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 renewable fuels as an energy source. All domestic appliances have been sourced to carry an EU ‘A’ rating for energy efficiency.

A unique solar panel system is employed and provides a solar thermal heat source for the pre-heating of domestic hot water. Plumbing provision has been made for rainwater harvesting for feeding the toilet cisterns.

Within the control room, provision to isolate and shut off different elements of the system, like electricity, hot water etc allows the usage to be measured. Means of shutting off electricity and water to each property individually is also catered for.

Restrictors and thermostats control the flow and temperature of the water system.

Heating

Thermostats located in each room allow the temperature to be regulated. The heating system is zoned within each barn. There are 4 time of day temperature settings. If you feel either too warm or too cold, we ask that you let us know and we will adjust the temperature settings for you.

In order to minimise heat loss, all windows are argon gas filled and all doors draught proofed.

Lighting

We have used energy saving light bulbs throughout the complex, both internally and externally. Where possible, we have maximised natural light advantage via roof lights.

Cleanliness

Throughout the barns in the toilets, bathrooms, kitchens and laundry, you will find environmentally friendly products on offer. In addition, we supply you with micro fibre cloths that reduce the amount of cleaning liquid that is required.

Laundering

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

Recycling and composting facilities are provided within each unit. Recycling bags are to be found in the sink unit. Please empty these into the appropriate recycling bins in the bin store near the entrance. Compost bins can be emptied into either composting bin, located on the far side of the hedge located at the owners car park near the farm house.

Locally Sourced Produce

We use local produce where possible for your welcome basket. For such items as tea and coffee, we ensure it is FairTrade.

We attempt to re-use packaging where possible, eg. Welcome basket coffee, sugar, 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 quilting and runs workshops and gives talks around the country. Rosie Bramley is an art teacher and specialises in landscape oil paintings. Jo Bramley is also an art university graduate and specialises in mixed media printing, mainly in black and white.

All three artist’s details are to be found in your information folder. Their work is for sale or they also take commission requests.

Soft Furnishings

The curtains and blinds are all handmade. A couple of lovely local ladies (Shirley Atkins and Jo Scourfield) have helped to give that special personal touch.

Minimising Car Use

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.

Responsible Visitor Charter

How you can help us achieve our sustainability goals in attempting to reducce your impact on the environment.

Heating

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. Apart from heat loss, we have some cats that would be very interested in coming to visit you!

Electrical Appliances

Please turn off electrical appliances when not in use to conserve energy.

Bathing

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.

Dishwasher

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.

Laundering

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 applies to kitchen tea towels and hand towels also.

Lighting

Please be aware that when initially switched, these bulbs need a minute to reach their full output. Please turn off lights when not in use.

Recycling

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 separate ‘glass’, ‘plastic’ and ‘paper’ recycling bags to be found in the kitchen sink unit. These can be kept outside if required. When full, the contents can be transferred into the larger recycling bins found in the bin compound.

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.