The Shared Earth Trust at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre is proud to be a member of Green Key.
Green Key is the largest global eco-label awarded to more than 2,900 tourism providers in 57 countries worldwide. Green Key offers an environmentally sustainable choice when planning holidays, excursions or business trips. Green Key Wales launched in April 2015 and offers a growing collection of the country’s most environmentally sustainable destinations, ensuring that wherever you are in Wales, you can make the best choice for the environment, as well as discovering some of the finest hospitality providers in the country.
Around eight years ago the Trustees at our charity had a vision… A vision to build a sustainable future for The Shared Earth Trust and the Denmark Farm 40 acre nature reserve.
The plan was to construct environmentally friendly holiday accommodation that is flexible, comfortable and completely accessible and upon these foundations the self-catering Eco Lodge was built.
As well as using sustainably sourced timber for the main frame, we have a biomass heating system using locally sourced wood pellet fuel. Rainwater and waste water run to a biodiversity-boosting wetland treatment system. Electricity is generated from our own PV solar panels. Sheep’s wool insulation enhances heat conservation and all is topped by a living green (sedum based) roof. Internal walls are painted with organic VOC free paint and internal wood is treated only with environmental friendly products. Up to 12 guests can stay at a time within three interconnecting and spacious apartments. Each apartment has its own wood burning stove to ensure a cosy stay for guests all year round. Firewood comes from our own sustainably managed woodland.
Our furnishings are green too! Alphabeds near Llandysul made our beds in their water powered workshop, with sustainably sourced timber, and mattresses made from pure wool and cotton. The majority of our other furniture is sourced locally, either handmade or second-hand, further reducing our impact on the environment. All our bed linen and towels are 100% organic cotton. Last, but far from least, we have some gorgeous Welsh blankets, handmade curtains and cushions all supplied by Jane Beck’s Welsh Blankets, who couldn’t be much more local – about a mile up the road in Llwyn y groes.
Not forgetting wildlife, of course, we have sited a range of bird and bat boxes in the surrounding trees, wildlife-friendly landscaping and a ‘natural play area for the ‘human wildlife’.
We are striving to offer as sustainable a holiday as possible, with all profit from bookings helping to further the vision and aims of the charity The Shared Earth Trust. It has not all been plain sailing and the slightly optimistic idea of becoming financially sustainable is still a little way off. Sadly our little corner of Wales, cwtched between the Cambrian Mountains and Cardigan Bay, is yet to be discovered by mainstream tourism and the full potential is yet to be reached. For 2019 we still have a fair amount of availability for those attending events at Denmark Farm or for families and groups seeking a special holiday space immersed in nature. Please do help us care for nature by staying with us.
The Eco Lodge at Denmark Farm has just been awarded its third year of Green Key and is excited to be planning some new developments, to add to our green credentials for the year to come. We are planning to expand our shop area offering more local crafts and produce to visitors. We are also looking at adding to our sustainable food offer for guests and increasing our recycling facilities. Finally we are going to bite the bullet to measure the true carbon footprint of holidays at Denmark Farm Eco Lodge.