Nature and the environment are very important to us at The Chalet and are fundamental to both how we run our business and the experience we aim to offer you.
We are in a seaside location which strongly flavours your stay – there is nothing to beat a day at the beach and it’s why most of you visit after all – but we are also in a rural setting. We see this as a huge bonus to our seaside location. We try to integrate a taste of the natural world into The Chalet for your added enjoyment, and it is also an opportunity for us to help protect the environment.
How do we do this?
For a holiday let, The Chalet garden is large and we are working with various organisations to make the most of it while maximising it as a space for you to enjoy.
The Bee Conservation Trust and Devon Wildlife Fund are advising us on appropriate planting to help bees, butterflies and other insects, which will in turn bring other wildlife into the garden. We have chosen garden plants that encourage and help bees and insects, as well as planting wildflowers and leaving an area of the garden with longer grass. The rustic seating area is in this wildlife zone and the area is purposefully less ‘manicured’ than other parts of the garden, with bark and old tree trucks contributing to habitat. There are butterfly and insect homes, and bird boxes to provide further habitat. It’s an interesting area to explore with curious minds, or just a great place to sit and soak up nature, with the added bonus of a really great view towards the sea!
At appropriate times of the year, there is a bird feeding station which you can see clearly from the dining table in The Chalet. So you can sit and watch the garden birds while enjoying your morning cup of coffee.
We’d love to start a wildlife journal of things guests have seen in The Chalet garden, so if you spot something, why not let us know?
Plastic Free Being by the coast, this is particularly pertinent issue for us. Plastic waste is sadly all too obvious to us along the North Devon coast. Croyde, and the other main beaches, are regularly cleaned, but washed-up plastic is easy to find in places slightly more off-the-beaten-path.
We are working with the charities Plastic Free North Devon and Surfers Against Sewage to reduce The Chalet’s plastic footprint and achieve Plastic-Free Status. This is focussed mainly (but not exclusively) on single-use plastics and at the moment it is only small changes: no more cling-film over your cream-tea scones (instead we use a lace tent!); biodegradable bags in your waste bins; soap dispensers for your hand soap and washing-up liquid, paper cotton buds etc. There is a dearth of plastic-free options in some fields (for example, cleaning products all seem to come in plastic bottles), but as other products become available will be introducing them where possible. As things in The Chalet are renewed we will be replacing them with plastic-free alternatives where that is viable. For example, we will be replacing bedding with 100% cotton sheets – which are much more comfortable anyway! Most of our sheets are 100% cotton already, but we’re not quite there yet with all of them.
Other Stuff We make our own compost on our property, and you are welcome (although not obliged) to use our compost heap. A huge amount of energy is used everyday in the UK drying laundry in tumble driers. Whenever possible, we dry your sheets etc out in the fresh air and sunshine. This saves on energy and has the added bonus that is makes your sheets smell and feel wonderful! We always provide our guests with fresh flowers. When the season permits, we provide these from our own garden. These are often more interesting than bought options and it cuts down on ‘flower miles’.