Pentillie’s continued efforts to maximise it’s sustainable impact have been recognised with a series of very exciting awards of which the team are very proud. 2016 saw Pentillie win Eco-Friendly Hotel of the Year at the Best Loved Hotel Awards, and Highly Commended at the 2016 Cornwall Tourism Awards.
A gorgeous place to stay that takes care of the environment as well as you. Pentillie has worked hard to meet the challenge of making an older, energy-hungry building more efficient and to run a successful but socially responsible business in this beautiful setting. – Judge feedback from Cornwall Tourism Awards Sustainability category 2016.
Being eco-friendly is an ongoing initiative at Pentillie, whether it’s making major changes to the running of the Castle by installing a bio-mass boiler, and electric car charging points (both Tesla specific and Universal), or simple but effective actions such as using low energy light bulbs and retaining heat by drawing the curtains and shutting the shutters! Pentillie are proud GOLD members of the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
B&B guests who travel to Pentillie Castle by electric car are offered free charging during their stay. We have Tesla Type 1 and Type 2, and PodPoint electric car charging points which you are welcome to use.
Pentillie Castle and Estate are committed to the careful management of the 500 acres of woodlands, and have engaged the services of Trelow Jack, a 19-hand Shire horse, and his owners Jack, Freya and Reuben.
They have thinned areas of woodland of mixed ash and beech. As the area has some emotional attachment to the Coryton family, a low-impact thinning operation such as that provided by Jack and John is of great benefit, as the undergrowth sustains significantly less damage than by using a huge tractor. A horse is also surprisingly good on very steep ground, where a tractor would struggle. As much of the woodland at Pentillie is very steep, Trelow Jack has provided a very useful service. For a more in-depth article about the horse logging team, read this article in the Western Morning News, that appeared on Friday 27th June 2014.
The team at Pentillie work hard to source fresh local Cornish & Devon produce. It minimises our carbon footprint and it makes for tastier food. In fact, many ingredients have zero food miles because they are grown or raised on the estate including: fresh herbs, apple juice, venison and pheasant (Nov-Feb). The team also spend time in the woods foraging for things such as elderflower, wild garlic, samphire, sloes, blackberries and wild mushrooms. Any food waste is composted and used in the gardens.
The estate Beef cattle are sold through local suppliers and used in the Castle. The orchard has been replanted with traditional old Tamar Valley varieties of apple and cherry allowing B&B guests to enjoy Pentillie Apple Juice.
Local beekeeper, Sue Malcolm, has kept four bee hives down by the kitchen garden since 2009. She has successfully harvested plenty of delicious honey from the busy bees who enjoy the fragrant lime avenue, and proliferation of flowers in the gardens.
Pentillie does not provide bottled water in plastic bottles, but instead the Pentillie branded glass water bottles are sterilised, reused and refilled with still and sparkling water (carbonated on site).
During the Castle’s renovation, a new boiler and heating system was installed which increased energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions. At the time a bio-mass boiler was out of the question due to the sheer expense, and infrastructure issues at the Castle itself. Luckily, this was revisited in March 2013 and a wood-chip boiler installed. The estate hopes to produce their own wood chip in the future.
During the initial renovation solar panels were installed on the only South facing roof. Sadly this is only a small roof, on one of the offices, but provides enough heat for the outdoor swimming pool. (Sun dances begin 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 replaced, and environmentally aware dual-flush loos and urinals that work via a sensor replaced the traditional systems. Because the Castle is Grade II* listed, double glazing was impossible – curtains were made with heavy interlining, blinds installed at every window, and radiators were moved from under windows where possible.
All waste is recycled where possible by a West Country company or composted. Printer cartridges are returned to the suppliers to be refilled. Any waste paper with a ‘blank’ side is stapled together to make message pads!
New wildlife is encouraged to the area, and existing wildlife populations sustained by leaving dead trees for bats, owls and woodpeckers in the habitat. Fertilises and sprays are not used on the parkland, and their use is limited in the gardens. During the Winter, bird feeders are placed outside the office and kitchen windows and attract blue tits, coal tits, thrushes, robins, goldfinches, long tailed tits and blackbirds, to name just a few.
2013 saw the family undertake a project with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust to encourage Ospreys to nest in the Tamar Valley with the installation of nesting poles and perches. See news pages for more info.
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 to improve Pentillie’s environmental footprint for the future is the walled kitchen garden. It has not been cultivated for over 30 years, and so there is plenty to be done to return it to its former glory. Thanks to support from Natural England the walls were restored in Summer 2012 and the last remaining greenhouse rebuilt during winter 2013. From this new and stable base the family hope to completely regenerate the garden so it can provide herbs and cut flowers to augment the supplies required in the castle.
Want to work in the garden, or even project manage its regeneration? Contact Sarah.