On November 19 2014, Wheatland Farm won gold for sustainable tourism in the Devon Tourism Awards 2014 for the construction of Balebarn Eco Lodge. The new building, which opened to holidaymakers this year, is green through and through, from its super-insulated structure to its recycled and upcycled fittings.
Ian and co-winer Maggie Watson say they have lots of fun making sure their eco credentials are on show, as well as being part of the construction.
“We’ve got a really low-carbon building and we’ve furnished it in the same vein, from the coffee table cut from storm-felled trees to the light fitting made from a glass insulator that workmen were replacing on a Devon pylon. Our guests can spot a new quirkily re-used material every day of their stay,” she said. “It’s about more than just somewhere to stay. We want to give Balebarn Lodge a real ‘sense of place’ and provide a fantastic holiday experience that reconnects people with Devon’s glorious countryside.”
A loan from Triodos Bank enabled Wheatland Farm to install an 11Kw wind turbine.
“It’s worked fantastically – we’re now a power station. We’re a net exporter to the grid and produce enough electricity for five holidays and our own home.”
This film was produced in partnership with Greentraveller, a media agency that runs green tourism programmes and creative marketing campaigns on sustainable transport and tourism. It produces visitor guides, leaflets, maps, videos and new media content, and also manages the award-winning website greentraveller.co.uk, which promotes green tourism businesses and holidays run by specialist tour operators that can be reached by train and ferry in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe. Its Greentraveller’s Guides are written by its team of travel writers and photographers and contain original content about green accommodation, local food and drink, visitor attractions, heritage, craft and culture, towns and villages, flora and fauna, and low impact activities, including walks and cycle rides.
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