Sustainability and Green Policy.
At West Withy Farm (WWF), we have tried to develop and strive to maintain an environment in our cottages and our grounds that supports and enhances the qualities that make our local Exmoor environment so special.
Exmoor is a very natural and clean environment, timeless, diverse, unhurried, unpolluted and with abundant wildlife in the fields, moors and rivers. It is an area with low light pollution and the sounds of silence and running water.
Our efforts at West Withy Farm have focused on:
- Reducing the amount of energy and water we use by investing in new, efficient appliances.
- Reducing the things we throw away to landfill, by recycling everything possible.
- Planting greenery extensively to create an attractive environment for humans and animals, which as a secondary benefit, also generates oxygen / consumes carbon dioxide.
- Reducing our carbon footprint by generating our own electricity and producing our own food.
We ask you, our guests, to support Exmoor (and us) by adopting and sharing, suggesting and if desired enhancing, our efforts during your stay with us here at West Withy Farm. These are our guidelines which we will also cover at your welcome briefing to your cottage.
Dogs (and other pets)
WWF. is set up to accommodate canines (and other pets) as guests.
- Each cottage has a fully enclosed garden, allowing your dog freedom within the confines of this space.
- Outside your cottage garden, your dog should be kept on a lead, because there are many ‘doggy temptations’ here – rabbits, pheasants, a lake etc.
- This will allow all guests to collect dog faeces and to dispose of them in cottage dustbins.
- Please do not leave your dog in your cottage alone at any time.
- Please do not allow your dog in cottage bedrooms.
Another of the joys of Exmoor is its night sky. In 2011, Exmoor was created Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve – because of the low levels of light pollution here.
- West Withy Farm enjoys low levels of light pollution – local sources of light pollution like Taunton, Minehead and South Wales are ‘hidden’ from West Withy Farm.
- Many guests come here to view the stars and they / we would ask for your support. Please draw your curtains at night-time and switch off external lights.
- And do not be alarmed at people walking around with ‘red torches’ – stargazers find red light has least effect on human eyes.
We try to recycle and reuse as much as possible here at WWF. to minimise the amount of waste that we put to landfill. Guests are encouraged to separate waste into five categories:
- Glass, cardboard, plastic, metal that meets West Somerset Council recycling criteria. You will find recycling boxes outside your cottage and detailed instructions on display on the notice-board inside your cottage.
- Edible food waste (carbohydrates / waste vegetables) is collected as food for our pigs. There is a kitchen container and instructions on what our pigs will / will not eat.
- Compostable food waste is also collected in a container outside your door. This is for food waste that the pigs will not eat, like teabags, onion peel, citrus fruit peel etc. but which we can easily compost. Egg shells are also composted – they help break-up our very heavy clay soil.
- Other food waste (including meat / and anglers raw fish heads / guts). Please wrap in newspaper and we will dispose of these as food waste through West Somerset Council.
- All other waste should be disposed of in your cottage dustbin.
Having spent 30 years living in London, for Lorena and I, the joys of Exmoor are its ‘silence’ and its ‘clean air’.
- On Exmoor, noises are of birdsong and running water – (though a hedgerow of sparrows make quite a noise each evening as the day is discussed) – not traffic, pneumatic drills, loud music or shouting. Sometimes the loudest sound here is the sound of ‘silence’.
- And the air is clean – there is no smell here of petrol or fast food. For further proof, look at what grows on the trees on Exmoor – mosses and lichens will only thrive where the air is unpolluted.
- The clean air and silence of Exmoor are best experienced whilst walking, fishing, cycling, riding, watching nature and well – just chilling etc.
- We specialise in this sort of holiday at West Withy Farm, with additional facilities for:
- Cycling – bring your cycles – we have a barn to store. We also store canoes etc.
- Riding – bring your horse – we have turnout and a field shelter.
- Chilling – our cottages have extensive libraries – books, videos and puzzles – so chilling here is easy.
- Going to the local pub in the evening? – why not use the footpath through our farm.
Please do not smoke in your cottage.
Energy and Solar Power
We have installed solar panels here at WWF. – (if you have not seen them – that’s because they are well hidden).
- Solar panels produce electricity from ‘daylight’ – whether the sun is shining or not – either for use on site or for export to National Grid.
- When the technology is available, we will install batteries to extend the availability of the electricity we generate at WWF to the evenings / night time.
- You can make best use of the electricity we generate at WWF. by:
- operating items that are heavy users of electricity like washing machines and dishwashers during daylight hours – after breakfast perhaps.
- switching off the electricity supply to items you do not need.
- We have also installed eco light bulbs and energy efficient appliances and have begun experimenting with external solar lighting.
Water at WWF comes from springs / borehole. Our water, checked twice a year for purity by West Somerset Council, is safe to drink (though please boil for very young children).
- You will find our water does not have the ‘added chemical taste’ of public water supplies because we use infra red light to kill any bacteria.
- We try to make best use of the water we extract (and the electricity we produce) by investing in modern washing machines, dual flush loos and eco shower heads. You, our guests, will see these as – just ‘modern’ equipment.
- We collect rainwater for use in the garden.
- Please switch off taps etc. when not in use.
- We maintain our own sewage system in ‘healthy’ condition by using eco friendly detergents and cleaners (which are supplied in your cottage for your use).
Thank you for your cooperation. Please enjoy your stay here at West Withy Farm.
West Withy Farm.