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What's included in your accommodation plus some extra special treats too!
How you can help us
- Recycle as much as possible - check before you chuck!
- Turn off lights when you go out
- Take showers instead of baths
- Use fabric shopping bags provided
- Dry washing on lines provided if sunny/windy
Sustainable luxury, green elegance
When we decided to convert Lower Coombe Royal into holiday accommodation, we knew we wanted to offer 5* luxury accommodation to our guests. We also felt passionately that we should do this in a planet-friendly way, minimising our impact on the environment and finding ways to make a positive contribution wherever possible. Before we embark on any project, we consider its potential environmental, socio-cultural and economic impacts and we work in a way that supports local businesses and creates local employment.
We continue to reduce our impact on the earth's resources by using water and energy wisely, minimising waste, recycling and composting, as well as conserving our local ecosystem and encouraging biodiversity. Future projects we are researching include opening up our ancient well and installing low-flow turbines to provide hydropower from our stream and ponds. We also plan to install more solar and photovoltaic panels as we are ideally positioned to take advantage of the sun to produce energy.
Wherever possible, we use and supply organic products and produce. However, it is often more sustainable to use local suppliers, who may or may not be organic, to reduce our carbon footprint. More on sustainability and organics.
All of this has been achieved alongside our commitment to providing guests with a high quality holiday set in beautiful surroundings - it's what we call 'sustainable luxury' and we hope you'll love it as much as we do.
Here are some further details of what we've done so far:
Each of our cottages and apartments has been lovingly restored, developed and the interiors designed with comfort as well as 'green elegance' in mind. The properties have been painted almost exclusively with Fired Earth water-based paints and furnished with restored furniture from auctions, our private collection and the local newspaper classified section.
We used FSC wood and reclaimed local stone, insulated to a very high standard, installed double-glazing in new windows and are gradually restoring the old sash windows with a new draft-proofing system. A biomass boiler which uses wood pellets provides warmth in the Coach House in addition to solar panels used for water heating.
"Once there was a great forest fire, and all the birds and animals rushed to escape. Little Humming Bird went to the river and collected a drop of water. The other birds laughed. 'What are you doing?' they asked. She replied, 'I'm doing what I can.'"
Native American Proverb
In terms of consumables, we supply you with non-harmful cleaning products, recycled paper, kitchen and toilet rolls, recycled aluminium foil. Plastic food and bin bags are biodegradable and compost bags are compostable! We've recently found a company able to take soiled nappies which are incinerated to provide heating for Plymouth hospital. This has reduced our landfill by 50%. We also use low energy light bulbs, AAA-rated white goods and boilers, a green energy supplier and offer other forms of heating which make use of logs from our estate.
Gardens & Woods
The jewel in Lower Coombe Royal's crown, the extensive gardens, has been organic for hundreds of years and we have happily continued to garden in this way. Our organic gardens have even featured in Devon Life and Country Living magazines.
The ongoing restoration of the gardens being carried out by Richard, our Estate Manager, has provided plenty of free logs for the wood-burning stoves in the Royal House and Garden Rooms. When in season and available, we also supply guests with our own organic fruit, and there are always flowers from the gardens to greet you in your accommodation.
Although the water butts and compost bins located around our grounds may not be very pretty, they are extremely practical and productive. After just one year, we had some really good quality organic compost for use in the gardens and our compost production has gone from strength to strength - thanks to our guests!