At a time when it has never been more important for businesses to prove their commitment to a better, more sustainable future for our planet, we’re extremely proud at Old Lanwarnick to be able to say that we are absolutely doing everything that we can.
A holiday in the Duchy
The luxury holiday market in the Duchy is improving all the time, and not only in terms of the standard of accommodation. It is also trending towards a more sustainable future; there certainly seems to be an awareness here that we should be working together as an industry to do the right thing, and not just the accommodation providers that operate here. Organisations like Green Tourism (which we are proudly a part of) also work to assist the holiday market and provide guidance on how businesses can improve their green credentials, awarding certification to businesses like ours based on the extent to which they are delivering on their sustainability goals.
As a proud Gold Level member of Green Tourism, whilst we are not ‘self-sufficient’, we are doing everything we can within the parameters set by the listed buildings that form our accommodation, to reduce our environmental impact. And when we say everything, our goal is to leave no stone unturned. Provided they could help to reduce our carbon footprint, we’re open to all ideas!
A sustainable lifestyle
So how about an example? Within the properties themselves, we use energy efficient LED light bulbs, and ensure all appliances are ‘A’ rated for the same purpose. We have also ensured proper insulation, mitigating heat-loss, especially during the colder months, for the best possible thermal efficiency. And for those who are wondering just how energy efficient our hot tubs are, you’ll be pleased to know that we have recently invested in heat source pumps, which are not only renewable, but which heat up the tubs in a quarter of the time. And if spending time relaxing al fresco is your thing, you’ll be pleased to know that we are in the midst of replacing our site’s outdoor furniture with recycled plastic alternatives, in fact, already, we have bought five new benches and two new sets of tables and chairs.
All of the above forms only a part of our overall campaign to make Old Lanwarnick the sustainable business we envisage it to be. This vision has been with us ever since we took the business over, and it’s one that was shared by the previous owner. As we now look to take the business into the future, our stake in the ground for what that future might look like is our willingness to invest in doing the right thing now, not later, and in doing so completely eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels.
The reality is that we are not there yet, but we will be. Eventually. In the meantime, we continue to do absolutely everything we can do ‘do right’ by the stunning environment that surrounds Old Lanwarnick. We use eco-friendly cleaning products made from plant and mineral ingredients, limiting the use of chemicals and minimising the effect on the environment. Coffee pods are fully compostable, too, in fact we source them from Halo – the only truly compostable coffee pod manufacturer. Even the Jay cloths we use are biodegradable! As a guest, you will also find your bathroom and kitchen stocked with bamboo toilet rolls and refillable soaps and washing up liquid, and when you step outside to begin your day’s adventure, or to appreciate our colourful flower beds (which are watered with collected rainfall, and fed by composted food) you may well spot one of us zipping quietly past on one of our new electric vehicles…
What does the future hold?
Our e-fleet includes a Hi-Sun (like a Gator but electric) which we use to move equipment around the property, an electric quad bike, and electric gardening tools. We are also hoping to purchase a small fleet of e-bikes, which should help guests take on those exhaustive Cornish hills on two wheels and leave their cars behind as they strike out to explore the local landscape. To support these, and also to encourage holidaymakers with electric cars to come and stay with us, we have installed three EV chargers for guests, plus one for our own use on-site.
Another development that we are incredibly excited about is our decision to install solar panels on the property. Not only will these significantly reduce the chargers’ impact on the environment, they will lower the cost of running them, too. They’ll also enable us to switch over our lighting to solar power, and eventually – while our heating systems are currently powered by gas – they, too, will become renewable. But bear with us! The investment required to change our boilers over to heat source pumps is a significant one, so this will be rolled out cottage by
cottage. In the meantime, our cottages each have woodburners, which are a wonderful addition at this time of year, and because we’re surrounded by Cornish countryside, we’re able to harvest logs from our own land – either via the management of our hedgerows, or from trees that have fallen naturally.
Getting on board with sustainability
In order to encourage our guests to ‘buy-in’ to our ethos of sustainability, we understand that, as a business, the onus is on us to make it as easy as possible for them. After all, when you come to Cornwall on holiday, you want to be able to relax. For this reason, we provide welcome packs for guests to enjoy on their arrival, filled with foodie goodies from the local area to help reduce food miles (including eggs from our own roost of rescue chickens!), and also including information on local attractions and businesses on our doorstep. As well as all of this, we provide a large food caddy in each of the cottages, to compost any leftover or unwanted food, and we provide spare compostable bin bags and food waste bags. Recycling bags are provided for guests to easily separate their waste, and thanks to their design, they’re easy to transport to our main refuse and recycling area.
Immerse yourself in nature
As for ourselves, we recycle as much as we can in our office, have switched to online accounting in order to reduce our paper use, and are always reviewing our supply chains for ways in which to reduce the footprint of our operations. And while this might all sound like a lot, honestly, it’s worth it. Our care for the environment has a direct impact not only on the world-wide movement towards a greener future, but also on the welfare of our own local landscape. The biodiversity here is astonishing, and being sensitive to this will enable us to sustain the native species and habitats that make Old Lanwarnick such a treasured base for those whose idea of a dream holiday is in the Cornish countryside.
We have swallows who make their yearly visit to us, in fact just this year, guests were delighted to be able to see the chicks popping their heads out of their nest whilst relaxing in the hot tubs. We even had some who delayed their checkout in order to watch the chicks fledge from their nest! There is a pair of buzzards who are always swooping and calling overhead, and our wildlife garden ensures that the site is abuzz with the sound of pollinators. We also have a natural pond that’s teeming with life, including dragonflies, newts and toads, and we have plans to harness the water of a natural spring that we have on-site, near the disused quarry, to create yet another haven for local wildlife. Add to all of this the beautiful Woodland Walk, which offers guests a glimpse of even more Cornish critters, and Old Lanwarnick becomes a sanctuary for those who want to spend their days immersing themselves in nature.
In short, whilst our goals to become a fully sustainable business are extensive, multi-faceted and, we’ll admit it, exhausting, we understand that holidaymakers nowadays are as concerned with protecting the natural environment as they are with immersing themselves in it, and by carefully blending luxury accommodation with sustainable practises, we believe that we are perfectly set to provide them with the very best of both worlds.
Boasting both grand farmhouses and cosy cottages, discover all that Old Lanwarnick has to offer and book your next winter break today.