We are fortunate in living in rural Herefordshire, and have done our utmost to make as little impact as practicable; in fact we wish to leave it better than we found it.
When we moved here, the house was in a poor sate of repair and the barns on the point of dereliction. Our architect and excellent builders have ensured the cottages used local and recycled materials whenever practicable.
The stone is local, either from derelict buildings or from local farmers fields. The beech floors are re-cycled having started out life as a school gymnasium; the oak and other stone are locally sourced.
The heating is located in an adjacent building to reduce noise in the cottages, heating is under–floor this to distribute the heat evenly and reduce ‘hot spots’.
The cottages are well insulated with double-glazing in hardwood frames and each cottage has a mechanical heat recovery system, which re-freshes the air. This encourages guests not to open the doors and windows, saving on heating costs.
A laundry is available and free to use. It has a commercial washer and separate drier, these are very quick and use less power than conventional machines. Washing powder is supplied free.
There are over 12 acres of ancient field systems, which are believed to date to at least Saxon Times (metal detectors have found a variety of interesting objects) with re-laid hedges, with one hedge is reputed to be over 1000 years old.
There are numerous ancient trees, a heaven for wild life.
Ancient enclosures, mature trees and hedges along with unploughed pastures have provided a stable environment for the support of wildlife including: foxes, badgers, owls, birds of prey, amphibians and a range of plants.
Guests have identified honey buzzards and different flycatchers within our 12 acres. Your cottage you will find a collection of reference books to help you identify insects, birds, butterflies and moths, and flora.
In addition we have planted over 40 specimen trees and rejuvenated the surrounding gardens; the pastures are cut late on to encourage invertebrates and those who feed on them. Our ancient pond contains news, toads and frogs.
Along with a small orchard (you are welcome to sample the products), we have reduced mowing the fields to encourage wild life and your dogs will find plenty to chase!.
Hedge cutting is minimized to encourage bird life, which has culminated in The Herefordshire Nature Trust’s Gold Award.
The local Council has instructions, which are to be found in each cottage, there are two bins, one for recyclable waste the other for kitchen waste.
Please use the recycling facilities to minimise the amount going to landfill. If the containers in your cottage get full, do let us know and we will empty them for you.
When time permits, we tend to sort these and burn any paper and card; food is usually burnt to discourage vermin.
Firewood for the main house is either from trees, which have fallen, packing materials or wood waste from the sawmills. There is a large wood store used to dry the materials.
Planting is accompanied with the addition of local barn manure or copra from the local growers.
A fair proportion of the oak used in the cottages has been reclaimed.
We tend to order from ‘Out of Eden’ who we believe use ethically sourced products. We use as little bleach as is practicable, this being a balance between the damage done to the septic tank and keeping the cottages clean and safe.
We are open to suggestions in order to improve.
We have sourced the most efficient oil boiler, which is in the laundry, this to reduce noise pollution in the cottages. Heating is under-floor and each cottage has it’s own controls for each zone.
Hot water is pumped round the sinks and showers reducing water usage, as hot water is available with a very short wait.
The greater majority of the lights are efficient led.
We would love it if you could support our efforts in the following ways:
We are secluded and there is no local transport; however there is much to do without traveling too far. Our local, The Royal Arms in Llangrove tel 01989 770 267, is within ¾ of a mile. We recommend this child and dog friendly country pub and a 10% discount on food is offered to those staying with us.
Take a torch and wear reflective clothing if walking home after dark; the lanes are ancient by-ways, more suited to a quieter and slower pace of life.
Dog walkers, horses and joggers lurk around every bend, so do drive with caution.
There are walks, which can be accessed without the use of a car. Details are supplied in each cottage.
Once here you can just sit and relax, allowing the children and dogs to run freely. There are no cars in the fields. We do not allow shooting, so you are safe from lead pellets.
The nearest train station is in Hereford, some 14 miles distant, Gloucester, 22 miles from here has a wider range of train services. The nearest bus station is Ross on Wye, 8 miles journey; unfortunately there is little in the way of local services.
JMC taxies tel: 01600 890 998 are local and highly recommended.
Our printer is a re cycled laserjet, efficient in the use of ink and does away with cartridges. Our Mac is also recycled. Most bookings and enquiries are via e-mail and the efficient Premier Cottages website.
Payment by means of BACS is encouraged, which saves on trips to the bank and on postage; however cheques are accepted, as we are aware that some do not feel safe with Internet transactions; written confirmation and receipts are provided for those who wish it.
We use local labour and materials wherever possible for the construction and on-going maintenance of our cottages and grounds. We try to use local suppliers for foodstuffs etc., ensuring that we are contributing to the local economy. Monmouth has many specialist shops providing local produce.
Morrison’s in Ross has locally sourced beef.
Our neighbour has free-range chickens producing tastier, fresher and cheaper eggs.
We would encourage you to contribute to the local economy by shopping locally where possible. There are some great local butchers, veggie-shops, farmers markets etc. which provide fresh local produce, often at much more attractive prices than the supermarkets.
Leftover food – please don’t chuck all your food in the bin before you leave! If you leave it in the fridge or on the worktop then we will either use or recycle it (our dog Tilly is a very effective leftover recycler!).
We very much welcome any ideas from guests, which may help us to be more environmentally friendly while not affecting our guest’s enjoyment of our cottages.