Our Environmental Policy and Log Burner
We are proud to say we hold a ‘Dartmoor First’ Award. Here are some of the ways that we promote and look after the environment around us:
- We have set aside areas of land for conservation to benefit the native flora and fauna.We encourage appreciation of the Dartmoor National Park’s habitat and cultural heritage.
- We ensure our buildings are appropriate and sensitive to their surroundings.
- We have a solar security light, and promote the local hydro-electric scheme at a farm two miles away.
- We favour local produce where possible and buy in bulk to reduce our trips to suppliers. We also use our own eggs, fresh from free range chickens and ducks in our garden.
- We use a ‘quick cup’ instead of a kettle providing hot drinks for our guests.
- We encourage our guests to buy local produce and stay at ‘greener’ venues when on holiday.
- We are both active members of the community and support local events.
- We breed and support the native Dartmoor Ponies on the common with the use of our pedigree Dartmoor stallion Merribridge Groomsman. The Dartmoor ponies are also valuable as they graze certain areas of our farm for certain periods to benefit the native flora and fauna.
- Our natural spring water is heated by our Rayburn – keeping the water hot without the use of electricity.
- We try to promote our self-sufficient log burner.
- We have restored an old Orchard on our farm. We have planted Apple, Cherry, Plum and Pear trees which we intend to turn into chutneys, jams and juices. The picture above was taken just after the trees were planted – the post and rail fencing protects the trees from Deer and other animals.
The Hedgerow Management System
Lowertown Farm has hedgerows on our ninety acre farm which form an intrinsic part of the farmed landscape. We manage them to maintain shelter and food for the many species of farmland birds, insects and small mammals that use them as corridors to move around the farm safely.
The other product which is important to us is the wood which is harvested from the hedgerows, providing you with heat from the wood burner in the sitting room. The boiler attached to it also heats the bedroom radiators.
We have a 10 year cycle of management of our hedges. One tenth of the farm’s hedges will be laid in the traditional way each year to provide firewood. The hedge will be then allowed to grow up again.
Our hedges are quire diverse as they are old hedges and will give support to many species of plant, e.g. Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Hazel, Dogwood, Ash and Brambles. These in turn give a diversity of flowering and fruiting times and therefore support many invertebrates and small mammals such as dormice. Blue Tits, Great Wren, Blackbird, Robin, Chaffinch all have more room in a taller hedge so providing a larger number of breeding territories.
Older hedgerows also contain deadwood and leaf litter in the base which is a valuable habitat for invertebrates which in turn attract predators such as bats, shrews and birds.
Linear landscape features such as our hedgerows are important for the greater horseshoe bats. It helps them when commuting between roosting sites at the Buckfastleigh caves and feeding areas along the river valleys.