Penton Park is a firmly established family estate on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. That keeps us rooted in our environment, and our landscape. Because we live here as well as working here, we don’t just watch the seasons pass us by, we really feel them. There’s a definite connection to the earth from our grounds, and I’d like to take a moment to share with you, how we keep that connection flourishing.
We’ve been making some pretty substantial efforts to make Penton Park as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible, from the milk you sip in your tea to tackling the ever-present, global issue of waste.
As I’m sure you can imagine, an estate like Penton Park requires a lot of energy to run it (and we’re not just talking about my coffee hit). So, we are careful about sourcing. Firstly, we power Penton Park using Ecotricity, a British energy company who provide electricity from solely renewable sources. These guys also create sustainable energy themselves using windmills and sunmills across the UK. They are totally focused on creating a sustainable future, and we’re really proud to use them.
Settle Down By The Fire
Penton Park feature gorgeous fireplaces, that are simply beautiful and in use from September to April. There’s nothing cosier than tucking yourself up beside a gently crackling fire with a book. Often five to seven fires are burning at one time, so we’ve been conscious to increase our log supply over coal. Now, we source wood from a logging firm, who deliver to us if they have felled trees in the local area. We also fuel our fires with trees from the grounds, when they need cutting back or removing due to old age or disease. I’m really pleased to say that we’ve reduced our coal usage by 70 percent.
That brings us nicely to our milk supply. When you’re toasting your toes by the fire with a nice cup of hot chocolate, it’s great to do so in the knowledge the dairy farmer has been given a good price for your milk. Even the way our milk is delivered is efficient. By having it delivered when the grocer is on a route that means we’re not the only delivery, and in reusable glass bottles, means our carbon footprint is as light as possible.
Waste Not, Want Not
When you look at somewhere as idyllic as Penton Park, you don’t think about waste (at least we hope not), but this is by far one of the largest global issues we all currently face. Making any impact or progress has to start at home. For Penton Park, it’s a priority, and it’s a work in progress. We’re learning and developing all the time - so let’s break down what we’re doing...
Large scale, we have partnered with Greenzone who specialise in using waste as an energy solution wherever possible. It’s a national waste management system that involves local suppliers, and absolutely nothing goes to landfill. You won’t see many black bin liners in Penton Park. Instead, we transport as much waste as possible in hessian sacks sourced from a local coffee roaster. These are washable, durable and reusable. We also use these to gather up all our glass bottles, to be collected by Greenzone for recycling.
At present, any food waste created by the family goes straight into our compost bins for use on the allotment. But there are plans afoot for an anaerobic biodigester. This will enable us to take all of the food waste from our weddings and turn it into new green energy for use on site.
So when you look around Penton Park, and admire the lush green grounds, you know that’s not the only green thing going on. Your rooms are cleaned using natural ingredients, such as household vinegar and essential oils. We ensure that as much packaging as possible is completely recyclable. You’ll find hand soaps in the bathrooms are all in glass bottles which we refill with environmentally friendly soap products from local shop Love and Joy, and, of course, there is not a single plastic straw to be found.
We have recently moved all our toilet paper sourcing to Who Gives a Crap (what a great name), and are just about to finish using Fairy Liquid to replace with an environmentally friendly option from Love and Joy. (Read the back of the Fairy bottle to see how important this is, we simply cannot put product down the drain which is "harmful to aquatic life, with long term affects" any longer).
If you have any further suggestions for how we can be even more green in our approach, then please do get in touch. We're still learning, and we're always open to new ideas and initiatives for a green and sustainable future at Penton Park.
Thank you to the photographers whose photos have been featured, we love their work! Emma Moore Photography, Gyan Gurung Photography, Graham Warrellow, Helen Power Photography, Joanna Cleeve Photography, Julia Conway Photography, Kate Gary Photography, LaHu Studios, Lemontree Photography, Lydia Stamps Photography, Mia Photography, Peter Dyer Photography Ltd, Tansley Photography, Teresa C Photography, The Springles, This and That Photography.