We have planted around an acre of borage in the field behind the hotel. As well as producing a stunning show of flowers in the summer, this provides a fantastic source of nectar and pollen for many species of insect inluding bumblebees and, of course, our own honeybees.
The borage self seeds each year and also provides a valuable source of food for many birds during the autumn and winter months. So far, there has always been enough seed left to produce a crop the following year!
We have installed a 4kW array of solar panels at the hotel which are producing almost 5% of the electricity used.
In 2013 we have sown about 1/2 an acre of wildflower meadow - it doesn't look like this yet but hopefully it will do next year and will provide a fantastic habitat and food for all sorts of insects and birds.
All of our laundry is done in-house. This not only eliminates the environmental issues of transport but also allows us to carefully control the type of detergents and temperatures used. In addition, we think we actually make a better job than a commercial laundry service!
We have planted around 400 coppiced willows in our field. These can be used for biomass in years to come and in the meantime provide an excellent sink for carbon to offset that which we produce. Willows are fast growing so absorb large amounts of carbon, and are second only to oak in the number of organisms that live on them so they significantly increase biodiversity in the area.