Green Policy

Caring for the environment – our Commitment to Sustainability:

Since we arrived at Hale we have been committed to running our home and business in a way which has minimal impact on our environment and beautiful surroundings. We make every effort to make positive contributions to improve the diversity of habitat for local wildlife and enhance the manmade and natural landscape. We are continually looking for ways to reduce our energy consumption and pollution generation and have invested heavily in renewable energy technology on site to generate a quarter of the energy we use. We like to encourage our visitors to appreciate the creative potential of a holiday in this unspoilt part of the countryside by leaving a light carbon footprint.

Some of the measures we have introduced to achieve these aims are summarised below:


  • From March 2011 we have been generating our own electricity from 24 Sharp Solar PV panels with a capacity for generating 6 KW.
  • Our electricity is supplied by Scottish Power under their Green Energy Scheme.
  • Almost all our light bulbs are low energy LED which use 85% less energy than standard old style bulbs.
  • All our properties, three being new conversions within old stone walls, have new wiring and the most efficient boilers.
  • Our newest property – Orchard Barn – is heated by air source heat pump and has full under floor heating with zoned thermostatic controls and woodburner.
  • The four properties on site that have radiators all have thermostatic rad valves fitted.
  • Three holiday cottages and the pottery have Ventaxia heat recovery systems fitted which remove damp air from the building and bring in fresh warmed air to conserve heat.
  • Hot water cylinders and pipes are lagged and insulated in every property.
  • All appliances in all four cottages and farmhouse are A rated for energy efficiency where possible – including Siemens dishwashers, fridge freezers, washing machines, ovens, Britannia Range and Panasonic flat screen TV’s. Any replacement appliances we ensure are A rated.
  • We coppice our own trees for winter fuel for the four woodburning stoves on site.
  • All four oil boilers are serviced annually to optimise efficiency.
  • Each cottage is provided with a washing line for drying clothes in order to reduce the amount of energy used in machine drying.


  • All our buildings are designed to maximise energy efficiency.
  • Our architect was a director of the Cornwall Sustainable Buildings Trust.
  • All four stone barns and farmhouse being newly constructed within the old stone walls have new wiring and the highest levels of insulation.
  • All materials and labour for the renovation of the barns have been locally sourced eg Delabole slate, De Lank granite, reclaimed rag slate, local hedging stone from Trebarwith quarry, local builders and craftsmen, electricians, roofers, plumbers, carpenters and stone masons.
  • The Pottery and Orchard Barn have been designed to maximise Solar gain and both are constructed on a beam and block floor with underfloor cavity which is heated by air circulated from the roof space making them energy efficient to heat.


  • We recycle as much as we can and guests are encouraged to recycle when they are staying with us. The council takes glass, cardboard, plastic, cans and paper and each cottage is provided with clear information about how and where to recycle during their stay.
  • We compost all vegetable waste from our kitchen and garden and compost caddies are provided in each holiday cottage for our guests to use.
  • All compost is used in our garden and fruit and veg plot.
  • We are replacing PEFC printer paper stock with 100% recycled paper.
  • We have moved a number of our accounts to paperless billing to reduce paper use.
  • We recycle hazardous waste such as batteries and old electrical appliances through our local recycling centre and facilities for the safe disposal of batteries are provided in each cottage.


  • All toilets on site are dual flush to minimise waste of water.
  • We water the garden using well water or water from one of our five water butts.
  • We harvest rain water for garden use in five water butts attached to each property.
  • We are considering the installation of a borehole to create our own water supply and be independent of the mains.
  • We have a septic tank and natural drainage. Our guests are asked not to put anything down the toilet (other than toilet paper) that they have not eaten first.


  • We purchase Ecover cleaning products for cleaning the cottages and guests are supplied with Ecover cleaning products and liquid hand soap in order to minimise the amount of chemical impact on the environment.
  • We use refillable containers for cleaning products and handsoap and buy in bulk to reduce delivery miles.
  • Our holiday cottage agent – Classic Cottages is environmentally friendly and has a GTBS Gold Award for its environmental practices.
  • We use South West Laundry Services which operate an environmentally friendly policy.
  • We purchase recycled paper products including toilet tissue and printer paper – where we are moving towards 100% recycled paper and FSC products.
  • Clay for the pottery is from St Agnes and St Austell and glaze materials are sourced in the West Country.
  • On our welcome tray we provide organic cakes made by our local farm shop ‘St Kew Harvest’ which has won awards for its organic bread cooked in a woodfired oven and supplies locally sourced organic produce.
  • All the tea, coffee and sugar used on site and provided to guests is from ‘Fair Trade’ sources.
  • We purchase veg boxes from Riverford – organic producers and can order veg boxes for our cottage guests by request.
  • We offer a local farm turkey and meat ordering service for visitors staying with us over Christmas.
  • The work of local artists and craftspeople are promoted and displayed in the cottages and guests are encouraged to visit them in their workshops if they wish to make purchases.

Wildlife and Landscape:

  • We have planted in excess of 1000 trees of over 40 different species in the grounds since we moved here in 1996 with the advice of the Heritage Coast Service and the Forestry Commission. Many of these trees are now mature and are coppiced for firewood and used in our four woodburners.
  • We have tried to encourage birdlife with the installation of a number of bird boxes under the building eaves and in the woods.
  • We have landscaped the grounds to encourage wildlife and for visual interest and have planted a number of exotic plants in our garden borders. We are both plant lovers and members of the RHS and National Trust.
  • We have put up several bird feeders around the property and the bird life has increased significantly on site.
  • Wild areas edge the woods and garden borders where we have encouraged wild flowers to grow. This in turn has encouraged a huge variety of butterflies, bees and insects into the garden and grounds.
  • We have a small stream, the banks of which we are planting with primulas, giant marsh celandine and Gunnera and we are developing this area for our guests to appreciate.
  • We are developing a wildlife log for our guests to add to and have recently purchased a wildlife camera to make wildlife recordings which we will post on our website.
  • Guests are encouraged to use and enjoy the grounds and woodland walk and binoculars are available for our guests to use.
  • We have planted 1000’s of daffodils, native primroses, bluebells and snowdrops in the woods and are encouraging them to naturalise.
  • We use home made organic compost on the garden borders and fruit and veg patch.


  • We don’t live on a bus route so most of our visitors arrive by car. We do however, have plenty of space for cycle and boat storage and many visitors enjoy cycling or walking from our property as we are only 2 miles from the coast and four miles from the Camel Trail cycle route from Wenford Bridge to Padstow.
  • We include information on local cycle hire, nearby bus routes and details of local walks of special interest in our information pack for guests.
  • We encourage guests to stay local as there are many things to do within a 5 mile radius of us eg  surfing at Polzeath, cycling on the Camel Trail, swimming or windsurfing at Daymer Bay, canoeing at Port Quin, Golf at St Enodoc, walking on the South West Coast path or Bodmin Moor, horseriding at Benbole, fine dining in Rock and Padstow from Michelin starred chefs or nearby at the St Kew Inn, wildlife boat trips and sea fishing from Port Isaac or making a pot on the potter’s wheel in Jon’s Pottery Studio on site! All these activities are detailed in our information folder in each cottage.
  • We have installed four electric car charge points on site and our chargepoints are on the Zero Carbon network map.

Social, Environment and Communication:

  • We have recently developed a new website which we hope will evolve and change as we do and have begun a Facebook page in order to communicate more effectively with our visitors in time.
  • We are in the Classic Cottages Green Scheme and our cottages are promoted as being kinder to the environment and creating less of a carbon footprint.
  • We promote local cultural events, including local food and music festivals, such as Boscastle Food Festival and St Endellion classical series through our website and in our cottage information folders.
  • Guests are provided with an information folder in each cottage with full details of our aims to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as we can be and how they can support these aims during their stay.
  • Jon runs pottery and art classes during the day and has two evening classes for both local residents and holiday guests staying in our cottages.
  • Local and out of County school groups, Scout Groups and Young Farmers groups have attended the pottery for tuition on throwing on the potters wheel.  Jon has taught the complete age range of students from 3 to 93 and the complete ability range from beginner to degree level.
  • We are both qualified teachers and have devoted many years to teaching children and adults and contributing to a learning community.
  • Jon offers his advice and expertise freely to potters, professionals and novices alike. He is a co founder of the Cornwall Ceramics and Glass Group and his training with Michael Leach means that he is an expert in the Leach tradition, the Leach Wheel and the Leach Legacy and glaze technology. He has run many community Raku workshops at Sterts Art Centre and the Indian King Arts Centre in Camelford and has spent many years teaching adult evening classes in ceramics in both Leicestershire and Cornwall.
  • Jon’s teaching expertise and knowledge of ceramics and art history and the beautiful Green oak pottery studio, which has been running since 1998, is now a valuable and much loved and well used resource in the community.
  • We promote the work of local artists and crafts people by displaying their work in our cottages.
  • We are committed to paying our seasonal helpers a fair hourly rate of pay which is significantly greater than the Living wage rate.
  • Apart from our membership of the GTBS Scheme we are also members of the   COAST network – Cornwall Association for Sustainable Tourism, Cornish Buildings Group, WREN – Wadebridge renewable energy project, National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, RHS – Royal Horticultural Society, WPA – Westcountry Potters Association, CCGG – Cornwall Ceramics and Glass Group and the Truro Three Arts Society and through our membership of these groups we hope to make a difference.