Brackenhill Glamping

Sustainability Statement

Background

We have been honing our environmental practices here at Brackenhill long before we ventured into glamping. Simon is a graduate in Environmental Science and Environmental Management and it is something he has been passionate about most of his life. As we have built the glamping business we have sought to continue, accelerate and expand our investment in and knowledge/understanding of the environment. Our Eco policy aims to guide us in the impact we have locally, within the community and on a global level.

Wildlife and Biodiversity

One of the joys of staying at Brackenhill Glamping is that it is a wildlife haven right on the edge of a village with modern conveniences. The site is part of a Medieval Strip Field system and has remained in a relatively undisturbed condition since this time. It was previously lightly grazed under a countryside stewardship scheme and managed to maximise wildlife value which we have sought to maintain in spite of its change of use. The majority of the site is semi-natural grassland with mowed areas to provide access and space for guests. The ecologist who undertook a biodiversity survey of the site as part of our planning application was very excited at the number of plant species in the field – totalling nearly 30 different plants, grasses and flowers! We have subsequently planted mixed native hedgerow (over 300 plants), germinated and planted yellow flag, introduced native trees (Hawthorn, Beech, Rowan, Wild Service Tree) and reseeded with native wildflower and grass mix where ground works took place (over 9kg of seed dispersed in the field on disturbed ground). This is in addition to maintaining and laying hedgerow, topping and grass cutting and managing certain plant species (bramble, hemlock water dropwort and bracken) to maintain a balanced species mix. The field is teaming with insects (including Glow Worms!) and larger birds and mammals (owls, foxes, badgers, deer) are frequently seen. We also have a healthy population of Slow Worms and we have occasionally seen large specimens of Grass Snakes both of which we are actively managing habitat to encourage them (e.g. building compost heaps and laying down refuge mats). We allow moribund material to accumulate in the field which acts as excellent habitat for rodents, especially voles, which provides excellent prey for owls and other raptors. We have even had a visit from a Barn Owl which is not very common in our area. We have erected a number and mixture of bird boxes on the site to encourage nesting birds. We have a Barn Owl box, a Tawny Owl Box, Swift, Swallow and House Martin nest boxes as well as generic nest boxes for Blue Tits, Blackbirds and Robins etc. We are seeking to erect a Little Owl nest box this year. We maintain an apiary consisting of 4 hives of bees and we have also planted an orchard consisting of a mixture of over 20 fruit trees.

Travel

Although the majority of our guests arrive by private car, Brackenhill Glamping is well placed to offer a car-free holiday. We are situated a 15 minute walk from the village of Bittaford which has a regular bus service that connects you to the train stations at Ivybridge, Plymouth and Totnes. There are a number of taxi firms, however that can offer a short transfer from these locations should you not wish to carry your bags to the site.

Sustainable Travel

In the interests of supporting public transport and sustainable travel, we are offering guests who are car free and travelling by bus or train in a single group (subject to taxi firm availability), free transfers between Ivybridge Railway Station or Bittaford Bus Stop to/from Brackenhill Glamping on arrival and departure dates.

Water and Waste

Our site is supplied from mains water but all of our grey water is processed on-site and then discharged into the local stream which is a haven for invertebrates, amphibians, birds and plants. The waste treatment plant is tested each year to ensure that the water quality is excellent. We have a commercial waste contract for recyclable material and glass which are collected from site and we also provide on-site composting of organic waste, including dog poo which is ‘fed’ to the worms in our wormery.

Energy and Wood

Our electricity tariff ensures that our energy is from 100% renewable sources. We have fitted low energy light bulbs and provide rechargeable LED lanterns or LED torches for the tents. Our steps are lit by solar lights. Our safari tents are heated with locally sourced wood and kindling which is also used for our Fire Pits from Oska @CoppiceandHedge www.facebook.com/pg/CoppiceandHedge/posts and from Poole Farm (A Community Farm in Derriford Community Park), https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/poolefarm/economicdevelopmentandsocialenterprisepoolefarm Oska is also a sustainable charcoal producer and we source our charcoal for BBQs from him as well.

Cleaning

We use Ecover, Method, Bio-D and Fragile Earth cleaning products for our accommodation and recycled toilet paper is provided for our guests. We have chosen to use www.Ecoblitz.com as an eco-conscious cleaning company. Our laundry is partly processed on site to minimise transport (50%) or taken away and processed by the same company we hire cleaners from (avoiding additional trips, 50%).

Local Produce, Local Community

Living in this beautiful part of the world we are well aware of how wonderful our local produce is. Our chickens provide the eggs for breakfast. Our meat products are purchased from our award-winning butchers – Gribbles in Ivybridge who buy from local farmers. We source and supply locally made jams and preserves when available and honey from our bees. We source local and buy local where possible (e.g. see our ‘wood’ section).We actively engage with and support our local sustainability group (Greener Ugborough Parish or G-Up: https://www.ugborough.com/g-up We are also members of the Ugborough Wildlife Project group on iNaturalist and a Member of Moor Meadows: https://moormeadows.org.uk/about/ .

Charity Work

Each year we nominate a charity to support. Last year (2020) we supported Arthur Rank Hospice, a charity close to our hearts.