We see ourselves as custodians of this special place that is Lower Grenofen. We’re in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and part of our grounds are designated as a SSSi (Site of Special Scientific Interest). The SSSi is protected primarily for rare lichens and moss (giving the woods their amazing green-ness) and for the rare brown fritillary butterfly whose caterpillars feed on wild violets which grow in the woods and the garden in Spring. We have 7 different species of bat living on the site and we hear owls in the woods most nights. People have lived in this house for hundreds of years and each generation has added to the place. We’ve added our own stamp too and built something contemporary here that would probably astonish previous inhabitants.
We’ve created two wildlife ponds, which have made a significant contribution to wildlife habitat. We see ourselves as living in the midst of nature, sharing the space with the wildlife (deer, foxes, badgers, bats, owls, newts and frogs, dragon flies). I will confess I don’t like sharing my space with so many slugs…I don’t pretend I have learned to love them…All our printer cartridges are recycled as are all our glass bottles (and we have a few of those each week), we don’t print our brochures, all our information is digital only which has saved some trees over the years.
We grow most of our own plants, either from seed or from cuttings. We like to decorate with living plants and cultivating our own plants is a big part of what we do here.
All our water comes from springs up on the hills. The water in our ponds, water feature and rills runs down from the moors and is gravity fed and eventually feeds into the river.
We’re always looking for ways to improve our greenness, we’ve got plans to be completely energy self-sufficient over the next few years.