A sustainable home

When we moved into Pickwell Manor ten years ago, the manor house and its apartments were in need of renovation and a rethink as to how to use the space.

We are passionate about the environment at Pickwell, so we made the decision very early on to make sustainability just as important as any other factor in creating the kind of place we wanted to live.

It’s been a decade-long journey that’s involved tons of hard work with plenty of small victories (and our fair share of mistakes) along the way, but fundamentally we have learned - and are still learning - a huge amount.

We’re always delighted to share any of this with any of our guests who are interested in the journey we’re on. Equally we totally respect that some of our guests couldn’t (quite rightly) give a stuff about where we get the heating and lighting from.

But for any like-minded souls who have ever idly wondered how many solar panels they could fit on their roof, or found themselves googling ‘composters’ late at night, you’re our guys and we’re here for you...

The bigger stuff

One of the first things we did was replace the oil-fired boiler with a biomass boiler that provides all our heating and hot water, with wood pellets sourced largely from UK. This saves approx. 50 tonnes of Co2 emissions a year through having the biomass boiler and using wood pellets, instead of oil that we used to use.

We also installed a 32KW solar panel array behind the house that gives us about 40% of all the energy we need, and get the other half from 100% renewable supplies courtesy of our supplier BULB.

We store the electricity from the panels in our Powervault battery which we use to run our three electric cars. We also use it to charge our electric bikes, which you can hire when you’re here (very handy for North Devon’s hills!).

Meanwhile we have our own borehole that supplies all our water, and have created a composting area and installed a commercial recycling facility here that can handle the footprint of a place this size.

The smaller stuff

We keep looking at everything that we do here to see if we can do it more sustainably. That’s why we’ve taken lots of little decisions that (we hope) all add up to big change.

Like our two electric bikes that will give a helping hand to keep you fit and take the strain out of the Devon hills. You can hire them for just £15 each a day.

We only use green cleaning products like Who Gives A Crap (toilet rolls), and LED lightbulbs through the house. We make sure all our outdoor benches and chairs are made from FSC wood. We’ve swapped out all our toiletries for ones made here in Britain to reduce air miles. All our wood comes from our own sustainable woodland.

We’ve also introduced our own bee hives as well as carved out a patch in the grounds for our very own pigs and chickens to go wild and crazy (not together, obviously, that would be madness).

We could go on, but we won’t, because a) a list of things is innately boring and b) you’ve read this far - you deserve a break. Needless to say, if you’d like a chat about any of this stuff, just come and find us when you’re here or drop us a line.

We believe in putting our money where our manor is, so every single penny of the profits from Pickwell Manor goes to the charity we set up. You can find out more here about the work the Pickwell Foundation does for people and our planet here.