We send zero waste to landfill and we ask our guests to separate their rubbish into household waste, glass and mixed recyclables (paper, cardboard, plastics, tinfoil) which can be recycled adjacent to reception. When we cater we provide BBQ and breakfast packs in re-usable Tupperware and try to minimise packaging from our source materials, using our own farm products as much as possible. Our waste water and sewage is handled by a on-site Bio Efficient treatment plant. Vegetable waste is composted to produce a rich soil for our flower beds and vegetable garden. All our showers are eco with low water pressure settings and our lavatories are all dual flush.
We use the Eco laundry based near Dittisham in the beautiful South Hams, who have invested in a water borehole, and biomass and solar technologies to minimise their impact on the environment. They use the highest quality eco – friendly detergents that are ideal for sensitive skin and allergies as well as making our bedding soft and sweet scented.
Our Safari Tents were manufactured in the South West by a family business and the bases were built by local Carpenters. The Cabin was built on-site by local craftsmen to a design by Kate Tregoning and the Tabernacle was designed and built for us in Cornwall to make the most of the views using salvaged and up cycled materials. We have built up a network of local trades who work with us in the Winter to maintain the site to the highest standards. We employ 7 staff throughout the season and pay well above the minimum wage.
Products used in Accommodation
We only use paraban free soaps and hair products / Ecover cleaning products / sustainable wood sourced locally from a 3rd generation Devon farmer. Our loo paper and kitchen roll is made from recycled paper. We no longer provide cotton buds, or foil and cling film but please ask Kate if you require it. We use hedgerow and our own garden flowers instead of buying flowers.
Food and Drinks
Food ingredients are grown on the farm as much as possible to reduce food miles and so we know that it has been grown with love! Brownscombe sausages, bacon, burgers, lardons, chicken and duck eggs and when in season; salad, courgettes and tomatoes or bought locally. We have a fresh water tap in the Larder for guests to re-fill water bottles.
Vehicles and Transport
For group bookings we actively encourage guests to come by train to Newton Abbot station and we will pick them up. We advertise our two local pubs in our literature which are both walkable, as is our nearest tourist attraction, Compton Castle. We provide food, drinks and basics via our Larder shop and hold regular pizza nights to reduce the need to travel from the site. We don’t allow supermarket deliveries on site and encourage guests to use our local farm shop.
Heating and electricity
Our accommodation is heated by wood burners (with local seasoned wood from a third generation Devon farmer) and energy efficient infrared radiators. Our Swimming pool, Farmhouse and Annexe use a biomass boiler for heating and hot water.
Since opening Brownscombe we have attracted a barn owl to a nest box and have created the right habitat by giving over areas of our land to long grass which is perfect for field mice and insects which is their food source. By providing a free laundry to our guests we have raised in excess of £100 pa for the Barn owl trust from guest donations each year. We have also seen our rare colony of cirl buntings expand to over 40 (on the RSPB red list and only 700 breeding pairs left in the UK). We also have regular sitings of kestrels, buzzards, hares, badgers and roe deer. We have also planted 25+trees and an entire bee friendly flower garden to source fresh flowers for the accommodation each week. In 2019 we planted an orchard of ten fruit trees at the front of the property.
Support for Community
The majority of products in our larder are made locally or in the West Country. We aim to actively promote local businesses through our guest information pack and recommendations and small scale producers and endeavour to use their products in the accommodation as well as buying a lot of the furniture in Ashburton from the numerous antiques shops. We provide business for a local Therapist who works in our Wellness room twice a week, as well as Yoga and Aqua aerobics intructors. We also support Compton village by taking part in the monthly litter picks and hosting the annual charity quiz night at Brownscombe and we give away our extra eggs to the village for free. We have supported a local school by twice giving away a stay at Brownscombe as an Auction prize as well as #TreatourNHS giving away a stay to an NHS worker.