We have aimed to trade both fairly and sustainably from the absolute outset. What has now become a buzzword for so many businesses was always an integral part of our ethos.
The last decade has seen an astonishing change in many people’s spending habits; the green pound’s dislike of giant supermarket practices versus the huge growth of small organic meat & veg box schemes is one case in point.
There is an increasing awareness that simply by holidaying in the UK the British consumer is reducing their impact on the wider community and contributing more to their local ones. After more than 10 years trading we feel proud to still be at the forefront of the green revolution rather than just jumping onto an increasingly cumbersome bandwagon.
Like many businesses started round the kitchen table we were short on capital investment but big on ideas and commitment – a commitment that extended beyond our own immediate area into the global community and environment.
We’ve always believed that our personal philosophy of do as you would be done by should extend into everything we do – be it sourcing fair trade cotton for our company T-shirts to using recycled materials to house our new office, to our pricing structure with regard to people with children, single parents etc. to a strict policy of decent pay and conditions for our staff, regardless of age, gender or any other factor used to discriminate against people in the workplace. For a full list of all ethical/sustainable practice please see below.
So from the beginning we deliberately took an old fashioned, more organic approach. This meant working with the community and environment rather than against them, building slowly from a small base, learning how sustainability and best business practice could work together. We attempted to shape future plans to produce as low a carbon footprint as possible, as this was not only ethically sound but eminently practicable for a fledgling green business.
Like you, we make decisions every day with our principles in mind – something we hope will be reinforced by your experience with us from your first interaction via phone or email through to your holiday on our very special site.
It is our firm policy to buy locally as much as possible to minimise travel miles of whatever sort, so we use local firms rather than sourcing more economical alternatives that involve more travel.
We attempt not to buy from certain companies/regimes that have a poor human rights record.
We try to source fair trade/recycled/organic/environmentally friendly products wherever possible and will demand sight of suppliers’ commitment to ethical trading standards if necessary.
We have a stringent policy of not providing the usual tourist outlet commercial pack, complete with glossy, highly coloured brochures to so called attractions that many people will simply put straight in the bin, but instead we positively direct clients to local amenities/activities/suppliers & producers except where a longer haul attraction in the County has an educational element.
We never direct our clients anywhere for any form whatsoever of additional profit and will only direct them in our own material once we have personal experience of the supplier – if their standard falls, they are removed from our list. We are involved with various local community groups such as the local primary school, Port Isaac Brownie group, local church groups for retreat & mediation, fund raising for church & village hall etc. Charitable giving at both local & national level, both in the form of cash & donations of holidays for prizes for charitable events.
Our site is not the most obvious destination for anybody with strong special needs or major disabilities; having said that we have very successfully accommodated wheelchair users and others with more extreme requirements in the past and being a small family company are always delighted to see how we can adapt our existing systems to produce a memorable holiday for those who want to come to us. From our pricing structure to our publicity material we try to anticipate the needs of our clients as much as possible, effectively attempting to be as fair as possible to families with several children, as well as recognising the different requirements of single parents. We are committed to good pay & conditions for all staff, regardless of any factor that other employers might use as a discriminatory tool, ie age, gender, nationality or orientation. This policy extends to a commitment to assist our staff with associated problems such as housing/transport/loans etc and hopes to give them chance to learn and grow whilst with us, as we can grow and learn from them.
There is no mains power on site saving a vast amount of energy.
12v power system and battery banks (Warden’s cottage & big barn) run on renewable technologies.
Wood burners (Warden’s cottage & big barn) run off brash and wood waste from site.
We have a strict vehicle use policy for staff & clients (restricted use of site vehicles, car pooling for group visits, alternatives eg rail/bicycle etc, all clients to leave vehicle in central car park & walk except for unloading on arrival & loading on departure).
Standpipes for water ensure that as people have to fetch & carry their own water they become extremely economical about their family’s water use, eg wash veg, then recycle water for
No hot water at basins (intended for handwashing only) clients must heat own as required.
Hot running water available only in showers.
Low flushing capacity lavatories.
Rain water collection butts (Warden’s garden).
Composting lavatory (1 only at present).
Renewable energy technologies:
Solar panels (eco-build/shower blocks/Warden’s cottage).
Solar lights (some pathways & shower/loo blocks).
Waste reduction & recycling:
We try very hard to reduce waste in terms of where we source products and suppliers, eg buying already recycled products wherever possible such as North African lanterns from tin & glass on secondary use.
We have been actively campaigning to get our Local Authority and their contractors to adopt a system where small businesses such as ourselves can recycle our own and our clients waste. Unfortunately we are currently deemed “commercial & industrial” in terms of waste, for which there is no recycling available. This is obviously an absurd anomaly, but not one we have yet been able to change. This is highly frustrating for us as many of our clients cannot understand why we have no facilities for this on site – all we can do is direct them to the nearest recycling locations. We very much hope this will change in the near future.
Our office actively pursues paper recycling, sourcing of recycled paper/veg ink products/limits on email printing etc.
Composting loos have long been on our agenda and our first one was installed at the end of the 2007 season.
Green waste from the site composted when practical.
Wood waste used in burners & path maintenance in poor weather.
Requests with confirmation literature to clients that they use eco friendly soap,
detergent & toiletries.