Being eco-friendly is an ongoing initiative at Pentillie, whether it is making major changes to the running of the Castle, for example by digging our own bore hole for the water supply, or simple but effective actions such as using low energy light bulbs and retaining heat by drawing the curtains and shutting the shutters!
Click here to download our Environmental Policy Statement.
We do our best to source all of our produce locally, minimising our ‘food miles’ and carbon footprint, and go one step further by growing and using our own herbs, free range eggs, pheasant (Nov-Feb) and in season forage as much as we can (including elderflower, wild garlic, samphire, sloes, blackberries and wild mushrooms) from the Pentillie estate. Any food waste is composted and used in the gardens.
Beef cattle on the estate is sold through local suppliers and used in the Castle. The orchard has been replanted with traditional old Tamar Valley varieties of apple and cherry – meaning we can press our own apple juice for B&B guests to enjoy.
In 2009 we were lucky enough to persuade local beekeeper, Sue Malcolm, to bring some bee hives to the estate. She has successfully harvested lots of delicious honey from the busy bees who enjoy the fragrant lime avenue, and proliferation of flowers in the gardens.
During the renovation of the castle, we installed an entirely new boiler and heating system ensuring that it was the most energy efficient choice with reduced carbon emissions. At the time a bio-mass boiler was out of the question due to the sheer expense, and a number of infrastructure issues at the castle itself. Luckily, we have been able to re-visit this form of environmental energy - in March 2013 we installed a wood-chip boiler. We plan to produce our own wood chip in the future.
During the initial renovation we also installed solar panels on the only South facing roof. These provide enough heat for the outdoor swimming pool (meaning we start our sun dances in earnest early in spring to ensure plenty of sunshine for the summer season!). Any excess heat generated feeds into the water heating system. The office and main living areas are heated by wood fires and log burners, using good old fashioned wood from the estate.
Loft insulation was all replaced during the Castle’s restoration, along with the installation of energy efficient loos that use half the amount of water, and urinals that work via a sensor so only flush when used. Due to the castle’s listing of Grade II* we were unable to install double glazing, so instead had curtains made with heavy interlining, and ensured that where possible radiators were not installed under windows.
We do not buy bottled water, but instead chose to install a system where we purify our own bore water and bottle it ourselves. The Pentillie branded glass water bottles are reused and refilled frequently for still and sparkling water instead of supplying plastic bottled alternatives.
All waste is recycled where possible by a West Country company or composted, and printer cartridges are returned to the suppliers to be refilled. Any waste paper with a ‘blank’ side is stapled together to make message pads!
We encourage new wildlife to the area and sustain those already in habitat, for example dead trees are left standing for bats and woodpeckers. And no fertilizer or sprays are used on the parkland. Over the Winter we put out bird feeders outside both the office and kitchen windows which attracted gorgeous blue tits, coal tits, thrushes, robins, goldfinches, long tailed tits and blackbirds, to name just a few.
Pentillie is part of Natural England’s Environmental Stewardship Scheme, working to encourage educational visits from Devon and Cornwall schools keen to learn about the Castle’s history, the surrounding wildlife, and exploring the stunning landscape for budding photographers and artists.
The major project for the future to improve our ‘greenness’ is the walled kitchen garden. It has not been cultivated for over 30 years, and so there is a lot to be done to return it to it's former glory. Thanks to support from Natural England we have been able to restore the walls (summer 2012) and are currently rebuilding the last remaining greenhouse (Winter 2013). From this new and stable base we plan to completely regenerate the garden, in order to provide the castle with some of the fruit, vegetables, herbs and cut flowers that it requires.
Please contact us if you would be keen to work in the garden, or even project manage it's regeneration.