Environmentally Friendly bed and breakfast on Dartmoor....


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Trying hard to be an eco-friendly B&B we have tremendous respect for our environment, locally and globally, and we are concerned about our impact on it - negative and positive. We are also concerned about the impact that our guests, as visitors to Dartmoor, have when they visit us and go out and about. We are committed to the "Dartmoor Charter for Sustainable Tourism". This scheme, managed by the Dartmoor National Park Authority has now been replaced with "Dartmoor First", recognition for those businesses that not only work in a sustainable way but who always trade with other local businesses, especially farmers of course and to reduce waste, to learn about and promote the special qualities of Dartmoor, to encourage sustainable travel and help protect Dartmoor by following Moor Care guidelines.

By committing us and our business to putting Dartmoor First we believe we will be simply expanding and highlighting the natural attributes of our property and its location. Situated in the very heart of Dartmoor we want to show our customers all that the national park, and the region as a whole, have and give them first hand experiences of it. We also actively promote ourselves as being a part of our immediate environment, caring for it and working with and within it, as well as being aware of the more global issues that affect everyone.  
Green and sustainable bed and breakfast

Being awarded Dartmoor First we hope will demonstrate to our existing customers and potential guests that our goals and objectives are firmly linked to the local economy too. Not only by purchasing local produce but by setting up working partnerships with other local businesses as well, working with them to expand the season getting visitors to come to Dartmoor during the quieter months for other reasons such as learning activities and knowledge sharing.

This means we will continue to develop our business using environmentally friendly (green) methods in our work and encourage our guests to support us.

How our guests help us sustain tourism on Dartmoor:

  • Giving us recyclable rubbish – paper, cardboard, glass/plastic bottles.
  • Switch off lights and TVs when not needed.
  • Don’t use more water than necessary.
  • Observe the “Moor Care” guidelines.
  • Use towels more than once or twice

Some of the things we do now:

Refuse: We send for recycling everything that the local authority has the facilities to deal with, if you have rubbish that can be recycled give it to us and we’ll deal with it. Anything that is compostable goes onto our own composting area that will develop as time goes on and we start to make use of it in the vegetable garden and greenhouse. We are pleased to say that even when we were continuously full during the summer (10 to 12 people each night) we were only sending 2 or 3 three-quarter full black bags to landfill each week. We would still like to reduce this if possible.

Laundry: This is a difficult area of control for us but our adoption of the DEBI policy regarding towels helps enormously, please read the cards in each bedroom. One thing we would point out though is that slightly rough towels means we have dried them on the line in the lovely Dartmoor sunshine and wind or overnight in the kitchen by the Aga. Nice soft fluffy towels mean we have regrettably had to use the tumble dryer! If you really need soft and fluffy, please ask and we’ll tumble them especially for you.

Heating: We try to use the central heating only when really needed, only for as long as is necessary and supplement it with the wood burning stoves in the lounges and dining room. The wood we burn is all from fallen trees or cut from those that are dead, dying or dangerous or from sustainable sources. The radiators have thermostatic valves to shut them off when a room reaches the required temperature.

Electricity: Where appropriate we are changing, or have changed, light bulbs to energy saving bulbs. Guests are asked not leave TVs on standby and we don’t have lights on in rooms that are not being used except low wattage lamps for safety reasons near steps and walkways. We continually look at wind and solar power but as yet cannot make that commitment.

Cleaning: Our suppliers of cleaning products, M&A Environmental, have their head office in Christow on the edge of the moor. Not only are the products environmentally friendly but they don’t have many road miles to travel to get here! The paper products are all from recycled or renewable sources so we use their napkins and toilet rolls too.

Water is an important consideration here on the high moors. As we are higher than the reservoirs there is no mains water, we are on a private water supply, a well actually, and we have a septic tank for sewerage; please note the following:

The water comes from our very own well, right next to the house; you may occasionally hear the pump topping up the header tank. The water is delightfully pure and has no chemicals added to it whatsoever, it is ph balanced, filtered and then goes through a ultra-violet sterilisation tube. It is perfectly safe and lovely to drink.

However ........it is not unlimited, especially during the summer when the level in the well can be very low. Please use showers whenever possible rather than baths (If you are taking a bath, please let us know as we have limited stored hot water!) and please don’t leave taps running unnecessarily.


Sewerage goes to a septic tank and therefore please DO NOT put sanitary towels, tampons, contraceptives or such down the toilets. Please use the paper bags and bins provided in each bathroom.

Rainwater collection & storage: All the rain water down pipes on the house, 5 in all, have a 220 litre water butt on the end of them. The stables have two 1000 litre recycled fruit juice containers. When water was short during the dry summer, what had been collected in the smaller butts was pumped up to the larger two and we watered the greenhouse and vegetable garden from those. Ultimately we would like to use collected rainwater for flushing toilets.

This list is not exhaustive by any means, nor is it the sum total of all we can do and will do in the future. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on how we can be more environmentally effective, please tell us.

"In recent years there have been increasing pressures on Dartmoor. In the main, no one activity on its own may significantly affect Dartmoor, but the combined effects can be considerable."
The Take Moor Care initiative is one which we whole heartedly support. To find out more, go to the DNPA web site, www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk (external link, opens in a new window)
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What a great stay. We felt like we were staying with friends. Great food. Will come again.
- Pete & Shirley, Taunton
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