Call us: 01460 65079



Email: - Call us: 01460 65079

Green Tourism & Environmental Responsibility

Our Green Pledge

Since arriving at Alpine Grove in 2018, we have strongly believed in doing our bit to improve the environment and reduce our impact on climate change, aiming to be at least carbon neutral as soon as we are able. We strive where possible and practical to use technologies that support these principles and aim to run our business and the grounds at Alpine Grove Woodland Park so that we can improve the habitat for both flora and fauna.

The go-to standard for sustainabilityWe always use and promote local businesses, vendors and tradesmen on site and encourage our staff and guests to do the same. We stock our shop with local produce and source local, sustainable products for use around the site wherever possible. We recycle and reuse whatever we can, use a green energy supplier, produce some of our own electricity via solar panels, heat our house with an air-source heat pump, harvest rainwater for use in the house and garden, have invested in an electric car that we drive every day and we review our environmental performance on a regular basis.

We carefully consider the environmental impact of everything we do, and ask our guests to do, on site and are always looking for ways to improve the sustainability of our processes and to minimise our carbon footprint. As a very minimum, we comply with all relevant environmental legislation and are committed to raising the awareness of our guests, cleaners, maintenance staff, suppliers and fellow industry professionals with regards to sustainability issues and how they can help to make the world a better place.

The following pages describe in more detail some of the technologies and methods we have and will employ to meet our aspirations.

Green Energy

As well as producing some electricity from our own solar panels, the rest of the power we need comes from Octopus Energy. Octopus Energy is a British company that supplies electricity that only comes from renewable energy sources. We don't want our energy to come from power stations that belch CO2 and other pollutants. Wind turbines, hydro power and solar production must be a good thing if located at a site that isn't itself detrimental to the environment or nearby residents. Octopus Energy is also competitive on its energy prices and now has over 2 million domestic and business customers. Take a look at their website here if you would like to know more and receive £50 credit if you sign up.

Electric Vehicles

Two Zero Carbon World 32 amp electric vehicle charging points will shortly be installed at Alpine Grove Woodland Park. If you use an electric or hybrid electric car to get to us and to tour the area, we will supply you with a full charge for a small fee. Please note that you will need to bring your own leads. We have also been using an electric car ourselves since 2019 and will be replacing all site vehicles and tools with electric rechargeable units when the time comes for new ones or when it is practical and cost effective to do so.

There is lots of negative and misleading information about Electric vehicles, but once you know some facts and understand that the majority of the population drives an average of 50 miles or less per day, the decision to drive an electric car is simple and cost effective.

An electric vehicle (EV) is on average twice as efficient as a vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE), so a vehicle with an ICE will use twice as much energy (derived from petrol or diesel) to go the same distance as an EV. For the average driver, this translates to significant cost savings over time. A full charge (from empty) of our electric vehicle at home would cost around £5 giving us 100-150 miles of range depending on weather and driving conditions. A single gallon (5 litres) of petrol or diesel costs around £6 and would take the most efficient new ICE cars just 50-60 miles and would also be affected by weather and driving conditions.

In our case because all of our electricity comes from our solar panels or other renewable sources, our full charge didn't produce any harmfull CO2 emmisions when it was created or when it is used. By contrast, the fossil fuel used in an ICE emits CO2 and other substances as owners go about their daily business, but must first be drilled, transported and refined by drilling platforms, enormous floating tankers and massive industrial refineries that all constantly belch CO2, before being transported again by smaller tankers to a petrol stations with all of their lights and pumps often using power 24hrs a day.

Someone smarter than us has done the actual calculations on this, needless to say driving a vehicle is only part of the problem, swapping to an EV will help reduce much of the CO2 producing infrastructure behind the scenes as well as while you drive.

By way of balance, we appreciate that not everyone can charge an EV at home although more and more chargers are being installed in residential streets, at work places and in many other locations all around the country, including many garage forecourts. We know that some people do need to drive hundreds of miles per day and the average range of an EV isn't enough for them yet, but this is rapidly improving as battery technology develops. We know that the price of a new EV is slightly higher than a comparable new ICE, but as more EVs become available, the price will continue to drop and they are much cheaper to run saving money longer term. As time progresses, a second hand EV market will also emerge bringing cost of ownership down further and please don't be mislead by the claim that EV batteries need to be replaced every 3 years as this is simply not true. Yes, they will slightly degrade as they get older in the same way that a regular vehicle engine gets less efficient, but their expected life is 10 years which is actually longer than the average ICE!

Waste and Recycling

We are passionate about recycling and do what we can to recycle and reuse whatever we can to ensure that nothing goes to landfill. To this end we built a new recycling area in 2020, making it as easy as possible for guests to separate their recycling and general waste and maximising the amount we are able to recycle. Glass, tins, cardboard, paper, plastic bottles, plastic containers and food waste all get recycled via our various waste contract suppliers, leaving a relatively small amount of general waste that gets taken to an incinerator to produce energy. Our site has been landfill free since 2020 when we signed our general waste contract with Veolia.

If that wasn't enough, for the last two years we have been listed as a community drop-off location for crisp packets, bread bags, Pringles tubes, tooth paste tubes, containers and tooth brushes and have been sending them to Terracycle for recycling in exchange for donations to our chosen charities:

Chard Defibrillator Group
- having raised enough money, we will be having a defribrillator installed on site later this year.

The Word Forest Organisation - funding tree planting in the tropics where they can do the most to reduce the world's carbon emmissions.


Our Natural Environment

We are very fortunate at Alpine Grove to have so many beautiful trees, many of which have been here for more than 100 years. We also have a woodland management plan that details how the woodland needs to be managed over the next decade or more in order to further improve the bio-diversity and habitat for both flora and fauna.

As well as removing any deseased, dead or dying trees when needed for safety reasons and generally reducing the amount of non-native rhododendron on site, we have started a programme of tree planting, coppicing and hedge laying and have so far planted in excess of 500 new UK native trees. Most of these are berry or fruit bearing species such as hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, willow, dogwood or rowan that will attract a variety of insects, birds and other wildlife. We have also started propogating our own oak, beech and birch seedlings that will be planted around the site as saplings in a few years when they are large enough.

With the exception of rhododendron, all wood that is felled or collected on site gets stored and seasoned for use either in the log burners in our log cabins, or as firewood used by guests on site (and a few neighbours). We are fully self-sufficient in sustainable fire wood and with the planting and coppicing programme now in place, we will remain so for many years to come.

All rhododendron and anything else unsuitable or too small to be used as firewood is either chipped and used around the site to improve the woodland paths and camping pitches or used as dead hedging on the boundaries. Nothing gets wasted, even the partially rotten beams removed from one of our log cabin balconies were used to make an impressive bug hotel in 2019.

As well as tree planting, we have also been planting various insect-friendly plants, shrubs and fruit bushes around the site to add colour, scent and further diversity, and ultimately to encourage more insects, specifically honey bees.

During lockdown, we have been learning more about these amazing creatures by joining a local bee keepers association and enrolling on a bee keeping course. We have also started to clear a secluded and otherwise inaccessible and unused area of our site and once we have completed the course and have everything we need to safely look after bees ourselves, we intend in add a hive or two to the site. Guests can expect fresh honey and wax based products to appear in the shop 6 to 12 months later.

Toilets and the future

In 2020 we installed a Thunderbox compost toilet in our woodland camping area. Not only does this ease the pressure on our main toilet block (essential while the nation is dealing with the Covid epidemic), it also means that we are now able to process some of the human waste produced by guests in a natural and environmentally friendly way. At the end of each season, the waste collected will be sealed and stored for a further year while the naturally occuring bacteria goes to work breaking it down into compost that can then be safely used on fruit trees and flowering shrubs. "Compo" was a hit in the first year so we may well add more over the next few years.

Our main toilet/shower block was built (we beleive) in the 1980s and extended in the mid-90s. It houses the incoming electricity supply for the whole site and uses an oil burner to produce hot water making it the one remaining reason we are not able to achieve carbon neutrality on site. With thorough cleaning, an annual refresh and plenty of ongoing maintenance, we have been keeping it going to the best of our ability, but we beleive it is now coming to the end of it's serviceable life.

Replacing it will take lots of research, planning, time, funds, sweat, blood and probably tears, but we are determined to incorporate at as many environmental, sustainable and renewable technologies as possible in the new design so that we will be at least carbon neutral or better when it is complete. Some initial design work has already been done and we have even started the pre-application process for the local planning authority. Some of the technologioes we will be investigating are solar water heating and electricty generation, grey water collection and recycling, rain water collection and recycling, aerobic sewage treatment and reed bed filtering systems, pir sensors for doors and lights, air or ground source heat pump heating and hot water. We will also look at using sustainable materials for the build as much as possible and will re-use whatever we can from the existing building where possible.

Watch this space!


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