We converted a collection of old and unused barns and outbuildings during 2004 using reclaimed bricks, pantiles and naturally renewable materials such as sheepswool for insulation. Our intention was to offer high quality self-catering accommodation whilst keeping in check our impact upon the local environment and wildlife. Our cottages also specialise in step free accessible accommodation for wheelchair users or less mobile quests
On our farm we operate a waste and recycling policy as well as instigating energy saving initiatives, and we wanted to carry this through to our holiday cottages. We are aware that some of our activities can cause harm to the environment but once identified we try to minimise the detrimental effect and look for more environmentally friendly solutions.
Our farm made a commitment to planting more trees and hedges and since 1999 we have planted over 2000 trees and more than 3 miles of hedges. We are working to create nature trails around our lakes at Elms Farm cottages.
The following environmental points have been identified and are regularly monitored:
- We record our water meter readings on a monthly basis so we can quickly identify leaks (Anglian Water only check the meter once or twice a year and a leak could go undetected for months, wasting thousands of litres of water).
- Showers are available in every cottage as a water saving option to a bath.
- ‘A’ grade dishwasher and washing machines are fitted whenever possible.
- Dual flush toilets have been fitted in each cottage.
- Woodchip is used on the gardens to reduce the need for watering plants.
- A treatment plant is used to treat all sewage with the aim of returning as much treated clean water back to the environment.
- We use email and the telephone whenever possible to reduce our paper-based usage for communications.
- We send our used printer cartridges for recycling.
- Whenever possible we buy refills and bulk-buy in an effort to reduce packaging waste.
- We have three blue bins for recycling cans, glass bottles, jars, plastic bottles and clean plastic food containers.
- A purple bin can be used to recycled any clean card and paper. There is a sign in each cottage and at the recycling station with further help and information.
- A green bin is available for any general waste.
- We actively monitor our energy usage by separating the amount used between the farm and the farm cottages by fitting our own electricity meters, thus helping to identify potential savings.
- We have energy efficient LED bulbs throughout. All exterior lights have a ‘dusk to dawn’ light sensor, so they turn themselves off as soon as there is enough daylight. This ensures that the lights are not left on all day.
- All windows are made by a local business and are double glazed and draught free.
- During renovation our cottages had insulation placed under the floor, along all external walls where cavity walls were not present, as well as sheepswool in the loft.
- All convector and storage heaters are fitted with temperature-controlled thermostats.
- Curtains have been fitted to all external doors to reduce draughts and heat loss.
- ‘A’ grade fridge/freezer, ovens, hobs, extractor fan, dishwashers and washing machines have been fitted whenever possible.
- A notice has been placed in each cottage and reads:
We believe we have a duty to care for the environment and you can help by turning off
cottage lights, the television and electrical appliances every time you leave the cottage.
Check you are not wasting water by leaving any taps running.
- ‘Tastes of Lincolnshire’ Welcome packs are made up from locally produced seasonal foods to reduce food miles and encourage guests to shop local.
- We advertise the fact that we have a train station 300 metres from our cottages allowing guests the option to travel to us by train and leave their car at home.
- 2 lockable cycle storage containers are available for guests to use.
- EV car charging is available for guests and members of the public via two 11kW Type 2 connections in our car park. You will need to download the Vend Electric app on your smartphone to operate it.
- We recycle wherever possible and when we replace bedding, quilts, crockery, cutlery and other cottage items we donate our old items to local charities such as The Butterfly Hospice and the local women’s refuge in Boston.
- Solar panels now provide up to 85% of our energy requirements.
- Employment within Elms Farm Cottages is sourced as local to Boston as possible
- Our cottages were renovated and are currently maintained by local builders to reduce the impact of their travelling to our property.
- We use local suppliers for all our materials, goods and services to support local businesses and to save transport costs.
- Provide a bin for composting kitchen waste.
- Although we use LED bulbs in our cottages we are considering the use of solar powered lights for the courtyard and pathways.
- We are considering charging guests for using the tumble dryers (coin meter) which would bring their attention the fact that they could use natural air for drying their washing.
- We are fitting more water butts to store rainwater for watering the gardens.
- To install more wildlife information boards around our nature trail.