Friday, 15 August 2014

Mazzard Farm: “In a matter of months we’ve gone from being a low-carbon tourism business to almost a zero-carbon tourism business. And what’s more, it makes absolute business sense."

Over a year ago, Mazzard Farm holiday cottages were short-listed for a 'green award':
Futures Forum: My Green Directory

In fact, over the years, they've won plenty of other accolades:
Award Winning | Mazzard Farm

And they are particulary 'green':

Mazzard Farm and the Environment

We’re fortunate to call this special part of the country home and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it too. We want to keep it a special place and help you enjoy the best of it what it has to offer. That’s why, from the start, we’ve tried to create a holiday experience for you that has the best possible impact on the local area and community, and the wider environment. Here are some of things we’ve done and ways in which you can choose to join in.
What we’ve put in place – Our heating (incl. hot water) is generated through a Biomass Heating Boiler, Solar PV panels provide a significant percentage of our electricity, the buildings are optimally insulated, we use wood from our own forest for the wood burners, and all materials used for the conversion of the cottages pass high-level environmental standards. Recognition for this has come through a highly respectable ‘B’ rating at our cottages Energy Performance Certificates.
What we do – Full recycling facilities are available on site, and we can offer you a wide selection of local foods. Not only does the latter reduce food miles, they also taste much better than what you usually get in the shops. The soaps we provide are made on-site by Jacqueline and the shampoo by our friend Beth in Ottery St. Mary. And they aren’t just locally made and environmentally sound, they also smell absolutely gorgeous (many people buy them to take home!).
Where we can source the produce we need locally we will, and we obviously always look for the most sustainable options available.
The community we’re in – A huge factor in being a sustainable business is that you do all you can to work with, and stimulate the local community and economy. Amongst the things we do are apple juicing sessions with the local school, brownies and guides, we sit on various local bodies (such as the Chamber of Commerce and King’s School Enterprise Forum), and do what we can to help promote a healthy (in every sense of the word) local environment. We recently co-organised a beach clean at Sidmouth beach (with Keep Britain Tidy).
What we encourage – Many people like having a supermarket delivery before they arrive at Mazzard Farm. We fully understand that, but do suggest that when it comes to food and drink, you leave some (lots of?) room for the gorgeous local produce that is available, in Ottery St. Mary itself, as well as in the wider area. After all, what is more fun than – when on holiday in a new area – spending an hour so at the start of your break browsing in the local butchers, fish mongers, bakers, fruit & veg shop and wine merchant and picking up some fantastic locally sourced (and very high quality!) produce? Check our Links page for some great local addresses.
Through our home-produced ‘Guide to East Devon’, we help people keeping down their mileage significantly whilst at Mazzard Farm, as it highlights just how much there is to do in the immediate area around us.
Furthermore, there are many opportunities for walking and cycling in the area, with some routes starting right from the farm. And we are just a few miles away from Sustrans regional cycle way 52, and a proposed new national cycle route (2) runs right through Ottery St Mary. And if you are interested in wildlife, maybe check out our special ‘Wildlife‘ page.
It is also worthwhile knowing that you can get to Mazzard Farm using public transport, and we would happily come and pick you up (max. 6 people) from Honiton station, with our compliments *. More information on the Special Offers page. And what is more, anyone staying with us without bringing their car can have access to our mountain bikes free of charge, or qualify for a £50 per party ‘help the environment’ discount (£25 for a weekend/midweek booking). If you wish, you can offset your carbon emissions through www.climatecare.org.
We have been recognised for our sustainability efforts many times, with key recognition being our ‘Winner of Winner’ and ‘Sustainable Tourism’ Awards at the highly prestigious 2010 Devon Tourism Awards, meaning we were rated the most sustainable tourism business in the Devon!
Please click here if you are interested in reading our Environmental Policy.
* offer open to bookings where no car is brought on site at all.
Mazzard Farm, a truly sustainable holiday destination! | Mazzard Farm

And they've been doing even more:

SIDMOUTH: Holiday cottages go greener

14th August 2014

A holiday cottage complex near Ottery St mary has replaced its original biomass and remaining oil boilers with one 60 kW state-of-the-art pellet boiler, dramatically reducing carbon emissions.

The owners of Mazzard Farm say the move has reduced bills by 80 per cent and will make thousands each year in government incentives.

Mazzard Farm, which recently won the Devon Sustainable Tourism Award, switched a large amount of its heat generation to biomass six years ago. It has now gone a step further, replacing both its original biomass and remaining oil boilers with one 60 kW state-of-the-art pellet boiler.

The new system provides all of the heat and hot water for the six holiday cottages and also it heats the owners’ main house and generates a 16 per cent return each year through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The project was funded through ethical investor Triodos bank.

Mazzard Farm owner Ruud Jansen Venneboer said: “In a matter of months we’ve gone from being a low-carbon tourism business to almost a zero-carbon tourism business.

"And what’s more, it makes absolute business sense. We believe it’s no longer an option to continue using fossil fuels and that the tourism industry should take a lead in raising sustainable energy standards.

"The total costs of providing six cottages and our house with heating and hot water using biomass is about the same as we used to spend on oil for our house alone. "The overall saving therefore is more than significant. ”

Ruud and fellow owner Jacqueline Parker donated their old biomass boiler to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth when the new had been fitted by SunGift Energy. The system took two weeks to complete, which was important to Ruud and Jacqueline so that their cottages were not out of action for longer than necessary.

Ruud added: “When you’re running a businesses that relies on your premises being open to generate revenue, every day that you’re closed affects your income. “SunGift understood this, so their work was planned to minimise disruption so that we could use the cottages again for our customers as soon as possible."

Mark Howard from SunGift Energy explained: “The biomass system adds another dimension to Mazzard Farm’s sustainability measures.

"And thanks to generous Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) payments Ruud and Jacqueline will receive an additional annual income of more than £6,500. This means they’ll have paid for the system in just six years and any additional income will be available to them to spend on more sustainable energy measure if they wish."

Holiday cottages go greener - View from Sidmouth.

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