Sustainability at Press Mains Cottages As farmers we are the first to see the effects of global warming. When we moved here in 1994 our local average rain fall was 26 inches this has increased to 37 inches!!! this effects the type and quality of crops we can grow.
Because of this we looked at all our business activities and after a lot of thought came up with the following aims or mission statement;
REDUCE IMPACT AND COSTS, INCREASE QUALITY AND PROFIT.
We looked at what impact we have on the environment, looked for ways of reducing it, costed proposed schemes and looked at how it would effect the quality of our guests experiences and whether it could lead to more profitability.
We have been in the Green tourist business scheme www.green-business.co.uk (gold award) for several years so had already changed to low energy lighting, increased insulation, encouraged recycling and composting etc.
We now needed to go a stage further. The business was audited by the energy saving trust and so we started to implement their recommendations.
The properties on the farm were heated by oil and electricity, the boilers were old, inefficient and unreliable. With the help of a grant from the Scottish Rural Development Agency we replaced all the boilers with a district heating system. Fueled by wood and grain from the farm. This saves us money as it is much cheaper to run than the old boilers. We replant the trees felled for use in the boiler.The road miles have fallen as instead of bringing oil from half way around the world we are harvesting trees and thinning grown on our farm.
We wanted to come up with simple solutions to counter our effect on the environment.Rather than spend time and money on carbon offsetting we thought we would simply plant a tree for every visitor to Press Mains this will form a new plantation and offer wildlife habitats in future years. In 2011 we have planted2.3km of new hedges around the farm. In 2012 we planted 2.22 hectares of mixed conifer and broadleaved woodland. We used the money raised from the sale of logs from our visitor’s to
contribute to the cost of the planting. Thank you. We have made walks through the new plantations.
In 2012 we built a 200KW Vergnet windmill which was commissioned in May 2012 and now is producing electricity.