Recycling and Upcycling is close to our hearts; in fact, you'll struggle to find an element of UP^ which isn't upcycled! 18 years ago, the cabin was neglected and nobody would give us a mortgage - they said the building needed pulling down. Luckily, the Ecology Building Society came to our rescue and offered to lend us money. Over the years, we have up-cycled the property - someone's unwanted conservatory became the floor to ceiling windows in the master bedroom, old pallets became the bathroom wall, and scaffold planks became the kitchen surface. Plastics recycled in Senegal became the washing up bowl.
We also ask you to recycle while you are here and we leave composting bags for raw food as well as boxes for plastics, cardboard, tins and glass.
Admittedly, we are not off-grid or using solar panels or wind turbines but we do source our wood for the wood-burners locally (3 miles up the road in St Briavels) and our electricity is from Ecotricity as we love what they do - No fossil fuels, and no animal by-products. Just green electricity made from the wind, the sun and the sea, and green gas made from organic material. We also ask you to turn off lights and heating when you are not using it. We are really proud to be in an area of low light pollution and ask you to help us keep it that way by switching off lights when you don't need them.
Our starting point for all our products is Eco Friendly, UK made, re-usable or biodegradable packaging. Sadly we can't always get products made in the UK but we are getting there. We are also fans of an e-cloth and vinegar. Fancy chemicals don't make things any cleaner, they just save a bit of elbow grease!
We provide Faith In Nature Seaweed and Citrus body wash made using the highest quality, naturally derived, cruelty-free ingredients, with 100% natural fragrance. Towels and bedding are organic cotton, washed in eco friendly products and wherever possible, dried in the clean Wye Valley air.
Where possible, we stock the kitchen with local, organic produce. There will be a pint of milk in the fridge and this will be organic full fat milk in an old-fashioned recyclable glass milk bottle. There will be herbs on the herb shelf and in the garden for you to help yourselves to. Please feel free to ask us about what is growing locally for you to forage - April is a fantastic time for wild garlic! Items that aren't made locally will at least be bought from the local village shop, individual shops or market traders in Monmouth to help protect Rural England. Find out more here: www.cpre.org.uk
If you would like to arrive by public transport then we can usually arrange for you to be picked up at Chepstow Bus or train station, this is a free service we offer our guests to encourage Car Free Holidays. Also if you would like to leave your car once you are here then there is a local bus running between Chepstow and Monmouth click here for timetable. We are just over a mile from the nearest bus stop and just under a mile to the village shop. There will be an ordinance survey map for you to use, plus lots of advice and maps for walks from the property. If you would like to arrive by bike then you can store them in the shed but please ask ahead. If you have an electric car then there are a couple of great places to charge them - Chepstow Dive Centre where you can grab a coffee and take in the view over the quarry while your car charges or head to Hanleys Farm shop and buy some local produce while charging your car.
A stay with us is an ideal time to reconnect with nature. Light a fire and sit outside in the evening to watch the stars and listen for the owl. Check out the latest Wildlife Trust events - we are members of both Gloucester and Gwent Wildlife Trusts and have leaflets showing what's on locally. Sit in the garden and watch the birds, bees and butterflies - the gardens are planted to attract wildlife thanks to Sarah Jones ( http://sarahjonesgardens.com ). There are bird feeders hung in the trees and a journal to share your sightings. Enjoy a board game and hot chocolate beside the fire or in the garden. Watch out for our 'Plogging' team ( Scandenavian for picking up litter while jogging) who may be in the local area keeping the paths litter free for you to enjoy.
Our silver membership (and hopefully soon gold membership!) of the Green Tourism Award is a reflection of our commitment to the environment and our Green Policies and that we are taking practical steps to tackle issues such as energy efficiency, water saving and mindful waste reduction.