Product Focus: Achieving Sustainability

With glamping attracting an ever more conscientious crowd, sustainability is an important requirement for providers

Wild Hart Wagtail FarmCompany: Wild Hart (formally Classic Pod Company)
Telephone: 07971 869058
Website: www.wild-hart.co.uk

Glampsite: Wagtail Farm

Description: Smallholding supplying salad and meat products to local markets

Product: Seasonal worker accommodation

Details: Wild Hart created a small well insulated cabin manufactured with timber from a local sawmill for the owners of Wagtail Farm. It is used as accommodation for seasonal workers sourced through WWOOF, a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange (www.wwoof.org.uk). This allowed the smallholding to accept workers, in particular family groups, for several months of the year to help with farm duties.

Wild Hart Wagtail FarmWith beautiful features, waney edge cedar cladding and a tin roof to echo the rain, it has space for a double bed and single bunk, a seating area around a small stove, and a covered veranda with bespoke sink. The timbers used are naturally durable and sustainably sourced, and don’t require any treatment. This was important for a smallholding with an organic stance.

The Classic Pod Company has rebranded and become Wild Hart. Set up in 2016 by designer/maker Nick Sneller, the company was originally formed to design and manufacture cabins and pods but has since incorporated other products. Wild Hart Cabins, Playscapes, Gardens and Home Furniture.

Children thrive in the natural world, we all do; that’s why Wild Hart is all about nature, escaping to a country cabin, exploring wild places, learning through natural play, or having beautiful wooden furniture at home.

Feedback: The clients were able to work alongside Wild Hart to design and develop the cabin to their vision. It was built as a project with WWOOF volunteers as a learning opportunity and many tasks were experienced by a number of workers staying at the farm over three months. Their interaction and enthusiasm enabled them to learn new skills and each worker also added their own creativity to the project by making decorative mushrooms from timber off-cuts. The clients were hugely satisfied and have referred Wild Hart to other customers.

 EasyGrid 3000 Energy SolutionsCompany: Energy Solutions
Telephone: 01634 290772
Website: www.energy-solutions.co.uk

Glampsite: Somerset Glampsite

Description: Luxury off-grid glamping in a variety of structures in the south west of England

Product: EasyGrid 3000

Details: A strong theme from last year’s Glamping Show was the desire of rural glamping sites to deliver enhanced amenities to their guests, ensuring visitors’ stays are unique and comfortable. But how to get power to those remote facilities? Well, you need a power system that delivers on many levels including lower carbon emissions, quiet running, cost efficiency and durability. A glampsite in Somerset ticked all those boxes with their purchase of an EasyGrid 3000 at the show in 2016.

Pic: Getty Images

The EasyGrid unit connects to solar arrays but also has a connection for a generator. It utilises energy from the sun to charge a battery where energy is stored until needed. The array then tops up the battery as the power is used.

Each accommodation has its own solar power source providing plenty of light inside as well as a means of charging phones if required, although guests are encouraged to undergo a digital detox during their stay!

Feedback: The owner said: “It was clear our guests wanted a more rural experience and EasyGrid was the perfect solution for providing power for our environmentally friendly site in rural Somerset. EasyGrid allows us to provide accommodation deep in the heart of our wood where the mains can’t reach but without the downside of solar power alone.”

Blackdown Shepherd HutsCompany: Blackdown Shepherd Huts
Telephone: 01460 929774
Website: www.blackdownshepherdhuts.co.uk

Glampsite: 95 Watermill, Isle of Scilly

Description: 95 Watermill is a luxury, hand built shepherds hut providing a magical, romantic hideaway. Nestled in its own secluded garden, near some of the most breathtaking beaches on the Isles of Scilly, 95 Watermill offers total luxury with minimal impact on its special environment, taking glamping to another level

Product: A turnkey hut in oak cladding

Blackdown Shepherd HutsDetails: This shepherd’s hut in a quiet garden adds to the sense of total escape, as you cross the stream on a ladder bridge to its private space overlooking a plantation of Christmas trees. The hut, just like the islands themselves, invites you to live outdoors, with a hammock and seating round the fire bowl perfect for afternoon naps and stargazing after a day of exploring. Inside, a double bed, gas hobs and a modern en-suite bathroom complete the perfect blend of comfort and wilderness.

The hut is off-grid, using solar panels and LPG gas. The tap water is safe to drink and the owners encourage guests to ‘Refill Scilly’ to minimise use of single use plastics. All food products supplied are Fairtrade. The cleaning products are Ecover, the loo roll is from Who Gives a Crap, and when available vine cuttings are provided for outdoor fires from the local vineyard.

Feedback: “Working with Blackdown has been a total delight. It’s their thoughtful attention to detail that we love – sheep’s wool insulation, a handmade mattress, Belfast sink, wood burner, solid oak furniture, the hamper filled with Somerset goodies – it all just oozes quality, care and passion. They also rose to the challenge of getting the hut to the Isles of Scilly, 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall! They are a friendly team who love what they do – basically they approach their business the same way we do – surprise and delight your customers with minimal impact on the planet.”

Company: Rotunda RoundhousesRotunda Roundhouses
Telephone: 01612 223350
Website: www.rotunda.co.uk

Glampsite: Nether Farm in the Derbyshire Dales National Park

Description: A rural diversification project in the form of three roundhouses with integral bathrooms to provide luxury glamping accommodation

Product: Three en-suite 5.5m diameter roundhouses

Details: Nether Farm is located in a National Park and its owners were told it was unlikely they would receive planning unless they met the criteria for sustainable development. With structures designed in line with the three dimensions of sustainability, Rotunda Roundhouses were selected as the most desirable accommodation for the site. Rotunda is one of the only firms in the UK that sources 100% British timber for construction. The buildings were also locally crafted and clad in locally felled Larch.

Rotunda RoundhousesIn accordance with the Good Practice Guide for Tourism, consideration was given to the three key planning issues for tourism developments: Where the development was located, how the structures were designed, and how they fitted into their surroundings.

Due to their shape, roundhouses have less surface area than their rectilinear counterparts and require approximately 30% fewer resources to construct (for the same amount of floor area). They’re also more energy efficient than most other glamping structures due to the level of insulation (built to Building Regulations standards as opposed to caravan code) and excellent thermal dynamics.

Feedback: Owner, Pam Brown, said: Our three Rotunda roundhouses are aesthetically very beautiful, environmentally sustainable, incredibly spacious, and nestle perfectly within our rural Derbyshire valley. As each of our buildings were constructed, the roundhouse designs evolved and developed and the Rotunda Team ensured the buildings more than met our exacting needs.”

Portable Power Technology Company: Portable Power Technology
Telephone: 01474 761051
Website: www.portablepowertech.com

Glampsite: The West Field Glamping Site

Description: A glampsite looking to create a sustainable off-grid system for a yurt, with the idea to expand the site as the business grows

Product: We helped work out the daily energy use of this glampsite and provided options for systems that would power appliances with solar for sustainable recharge

Portable Power Technology Details: Our customer wanted to run a fridge/freezer, lighting and a USB charging point via an inverter, battery and solar system.

One of the main issues was that the site was north facing and would not attract much light during the winter months therefore reducing the capability of a solar array substantially. We spoke at length with the customer and discussed the various plans of action to keep her glamping site running year-round.

The options included having a larger than necessary battery bank for the summer to recharge and store the energy to be readily available throughout the winter, finding a feasible way to remove the batteries off the site once they were low and recharging via mains power, or having a back up generator on site to recharge the batteries as needed.

Portable Power Technology We pointed our customer in the direction of low wattage appliances and lighting solutions in order to get the best possible usage out of the provided system. Once she had decided on her appliances and back up charging options we provided a quote for a complete, year-round system.

Our systems are always expandable and we are at the end of the phone to help you get the best out of your off-grid application.

Feedback: “I approached PPT for power for my off-grid glamping site. The support, options, information and advice I received was exceptional. I will use them when I expand my site next season and recommend them to anyone!” 

Cawkeld Farm Sam Atkinson CarpentryCompany: Sam Atkinson
Telephone: 07872 012 901
Website: www.sacarpentry.co.uk

Glampsite: Cawkeld Farm

Description: Family run working farm located near Driffield, East Yorkshire. Currently looking into diversification, with a view to adding two glamping lodges just off the Minster Way footpath route

Units: Family Wheat Lodge and Couples Oat Lodge

Cawkeld Farm Sam Atkinson CarpentryDetails: We worked with the family at Cawkeld Farm to create two unique straw bale lodges that would be energy efficient and blend in with their environment. The owners were really keen to offer a bespoke look and a high finish throughout, to appeal to those holidaymakers who wanted luxury accommodation.

The pods are insulated with straw bales, so require very little heating ensuring they are usable all year round, and are extremely cost efficient. Inside, the lodges provide spacious accommodation, which includes a double bed, table, and large kitchen area. The en-suite facilities include a shower, toilet and basin.

Feedback: “Sam and his team have been really helpful throughout the design and planning stages, providing everything we needed for our new glamping lodges. We will get the finished lodges delivered to our site, which will give us a faster installation time so we can take bookings quicker, with minimal disruption beforehand.

“Our lodges are to be sited in an area of woodland so we wanted something that would fit with the surroundings. The lodges will be clad in Douglas fir timber so will straight away blend into the surroundings, making them a natural addition to the site. From visiting other straw bale buildings Sam has built in the area and viewing the high standard of finish and attention to detail we had no doubt in ordering from him.”

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