It is the aim of Midlist Farm Bed & Breakfast to give our visitors an enjoyable stay whilst minimising any harm to the environment. Not only do we comply with the requirements of environmental legislation we go above and beyond. We have a no smoking policy in our Bed and Breakfast.
The farm has two houses. The original house, where our son now lives was built in the 1800’s is heated with a log burning boiler and has been externally clad to conserve the heat. Our house where we run the bed & breakfast from was built in 2009, is highly insulated and is heated by a ground source heat pump. Low energy LED bulbs are fitted in almost everywhere in the house. Both properties use sceptic tanks to dispose of waste.
We installed solar panels to enable us to reduce our carbon foot print. We recently had a small (11 kilowatt) wind turbine installed on the farm, again reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. We are monitoring electricity use weekly
As livestock farmers we produce meat as far as possible from grass. Whilst we do use sprays and chemicals to improve and enhance our grassland output we use them in a responsible way e.g. using spot spraying rather than blanket spraying. We use rainwater collected from our livestock sheds for cattle to drink and for cleaning. The fourteen free range hens we have not only produce eggs but also manure, we use on our large kitchen garden and small greenhouse.
In almost 40 years of farming here we have welcomed visitors both locally and further afield. We have hosted University and college students and children from local schools as well as schools from inner city areas – Liverpool, Manchester and disadvantaged children from Merseyside. We have held numerous open days and fund raising events for local and national charities on the farm. We like to give opportunities of work experience to young people who are seeking to go on to higher education or who are finding it difficult to find employment.
We are proud to cook breakfasts that are entirely produced on our farm (when in season) – Bacon, sausage, black pudding, mushrooms, tomato, potatoes, eggs and preserves. Jams, preserves, pickles and chutneys are made from produce from our large kitchen garden. Our policy to use our own products and purchase local and fair trade food from Saughall Ethical Market, Celyn Farmer’s Market and Lester’s Farm Shop enables us to reduce packaging to a minimum. We take containers to be refilled with oats, washing up liquid, milk, flour etc.
The garden is watered from rain water collected from the house roof. We also use the water for external cleaning. Toilets have a dual flush system to reduce the amount of water we use.
Use of cleaning chemicals is kept to a minimum, we prefer to use e-cloths and white vinegar – cleaning products that are kind to the environment and my skin. We make no apologies for not washing towels and bed linen daily during multiple night stays, we don’t feel it necessary. Laundry is washed using a Smartklean Green Cleaning Ball – cutting out detergent and heating of water. Best of all the washing is dried blowing in the wind outside. Ironing is kept to a minimum. We have in the past used recycled paper products – toilet paper, kitchen rolls, napkins and computer paper. After reading the results of two studies which found that recycled paper contains harmful chemicals we no longer use them preferring to use products that support tree replanting (see appendix 1).
The only form of fuel to the bed and breakfast is electricity. The ground source heat pump provides the heat very efficiently – the heat pump uses 1kw of electricity to produce 4kw of heat. The only heating upstairs is from two heated towel rails (heated from the heat pump). The heat rises from the ground floor to heat the upper floor effectively. Our low energy LED bulbs throughout the accommodation help to reduce our electricity consumption. Our electricity is monitored weekly – total units used, units used to heat the house, units used to heat the water. . We feel by doing this we can assess why the usage may have increased or decreased. We can then change what we do to help reduce the amount of electricity we use.
Flintshire has a good recycling policy and we recycle everything we can. We compost our waste which we use on our kitchen garden. We endeavour to cut down on food miles and encourage our guests to visit local attractions, providing local walking maps and safe cycle lock ups. We promote local eating venues that use local produce.
The house plants we have, have been specially chosen as they clean the air of toxins. We are keen to encourage wild life to our garden through planting shrubs that encourage insects and providing food for wild birds.
As we are adjacent to Halkyn Common we contribute to the up keep of it. I serve on a management committee for the common, I am a Community Councillor and a trustee of two local village halls and the local community new magazine. Periodically litter picking days are held on the mountain and I volunteer to pick up rubbish. We are also involved with local fundraising –helping to organise, sell tickets, donate prizes and attend events.
As part of our plans to further reduce our carbon footprint we are considering collecting more water from the house and shed roofs. The water will be used to supply drinking water to more animals and for washing and cleaning vehicles etc. Changing shower heads to include flow restrictors is another project we are considering. We are also thinking of fitting solar thermal panels to preheat the water. Although we haven’t had any visitors using electric cars we have been doing some research into fitting a charging point. As the need arises we will be looking to purchase linen made from renewable sources.
How can you help?
Switch off lights and sockets when not in use.
Eat and buy goods locally to reduce fuel consumption.
Enjoy the local facilities, walk on Halkyn Mountain, use public transport, why not visit the towns and countryside in Flintshire and Denbighshire.
We can loan you bicycles so that you can leave your car at home.
Re- use your bags and containers or recycle glass, paper, cardboard, plastic and cans in the bin provided.
Don’t waste water.
For further information
Should you want further information about our ‘green projects please ask and we shall try to answer your questions. We are members of the Green Tourism Scheme as an indicator of our commitment to sustainable practices.