There’s no escaping the need for green credentials in today’s climate. For us, it has never been more important, and we are striving to do more than our fair share when it comes to keeping The Old Granary, and the working farm surrounding it, very much in the green.
From the get-go, everything we have done here has been considered. It has had to be given the nature of the old farm buildings. The bricks and mortar our accommodation sits in were repurposed, as part of our farm diversification project, back in 2018. The very foundation of the business we have created here at The Old Granary was built upon environmental consciousness and conservation.
We’ve never really seen ourselves as owners of the land, more its custodians – we just happen to live and work here every day. Taking care of it while it’s under our watch, we’re making sure every effort is being made to protect the landscape so that there is something here for future generations.
It’s a responsibility, an honour and sometimes a labour of love. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. Combing heritage and tradition with diversification and innovation, for us, renewables have formed a huge part of our journey here. Both the farm and The Old Granary run very much more economically thanks to the installation of solar panels and air source heat pumps.
Here on Manor Farm, we have 50kW of ground-based solar panels, the energy from which feeds into the farm – serving the storage of potatoes through the winter and spring seasons – as well as all the electrical needs of The Old Granary accommodation.
While it’s hard to put exact numbers to this investment, a typical 50kW solar system will yield approximately 42,887kWh per annum – that’s around about enough energy to power four homes for a year. Not to be sneezed at!
Air Sourced Power
Air source heat pumps live very happily on Manor Farm too. They supply the office and accommodation with hot water and heating as well as cater to all of the barn’s needs.
Combining solar and air sourced power, we know we are saving energy as well as driving revenue – so in our eyes it’s a win-win. It makes our life easier, eases our conscience, and gives our guests a greener, more environmentally friendly experience. Something we know people are now actively looking for in such a competitive market.
Protecting Pollinators and Wildlife
But even that isn’t quite enough for us. Biodiversity has to come into it, after all we are farmers. And, sometimes, the traditional methods are the best – with a little modern technology thrown in for good measure of course.
On the farm we sow wildflower mixes, not only to make the rolling hills and grassy knolls pretty as a picture but to actively increase the biodiversity here so that pollinators such as bees, hoverflies and ladybirds, can be as productive and protected as possible.
Winter bird feed mixes are grown too – with fields of sunflowers on the farm providing food for the birds during the winter months. This year too we put down piles of seed rather than just sowing it, to encourage more birds into the area. Another technique we have been utilising is winter stubbles. Rather than cultivating the ground following our wheat harvest, we leave it be. A simple gesture, it actually creates a safe environment for ground nesting birds.
- Barn owls – we already have nesting owls in the horse chestnut tree, and additional owl boxes will be going up this year
- Roe Deer
Inside the accommodation itself, guests benefit from considered purchasing and the environmentally-minded folk living close-by, in the way of fantastic local producers.
No matter which hampers guests opt for, be it the Welcome Hamper (containing local bread, butter, milk and jam) enjoyed by everyone, or the ‘on request’ Breakfast Hamper and Taste of Lincolnshire Hamper, local produce and all of the green credentials that come with it takes centre stage. Fruit bowls too take pride of place on each kitchen table, brimming with local and seasonal produce.
Keeping everything as local as possible, we always make considered purchases. By buying local we reduce food miles, increase traceability and accountability as well as offer support to other small businesses across the county. That even goes for maintenance – from cleaning to repairs and decorating, the more local, the better.
Laundry too is now greener, as we are committed to only using Ecover products – plant-based and eco-friendly. And long-term guests are now given the option for fresh bedding, rather than its replacement being a matter of course.
Stay Green During Your Stay
As for staying green while you’re staying with us, well, it’s a breeze. The local market towns and villages, foodie hotspots and stunning landscape are accessible by two wheels, or two feet.
If biking is your thing you won’t be disappointed. Rather than bringing your own – and risk added emissions driving bikes around atop roof racks or tricky travel on public transport with a bike in tow – why not opt to hire a bike locally? With locations peppered across the county, from Giant Store at Doddington Hall & Gardens and Bike Hire at Woodhall Spa to the Cycling Hub at Grimsby and Cleethorpes, whether you opt for a traditional push bike or an e-bike, book a bike to collect on your way to us or enjoy a day out. Prices from as little as £10/day.
For lovers of a good old wander – as we are – The Old Granary sits right on the last ridge of The Lincolnshire Wolds, so accessing this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and the miles of stunning walks within it, couldn’t be easier.
The farm itself is just over 4km of Permissive Rights of Way too, meaning you are free to explore. These walk-ways act to join up the surrounding villages so exploring your new, immediate, surroundings truly is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other – what’s more, they can take you over to The Cross Keys pub at Grasby, renowned for its award-winning food offering, and unbeatable views out across the patchwork, Lincolnshire landscapes.
These paths also ensure the local community remain engaged with what is afoot at The Old Granary, an utter godsend during the pandemic, with plenty of residents taking to two feet to explore what was on their doorstep. We sincerely hope you’ll do the same during your next visit, to leave a physical, rather than carbon footprint, of your travels.
Looking to the future, and in the next 6-12 months, things will be getting even more of a green boost with the installation of an EV charging point for electric vehicles very much on the horizon. More on that one when installation is complete!