Eco Holidays in Cornwall


We are keen to do everything possible to encourage the local flora and fauna and support various environmental groups such as Natural England, the Woodland Trust, the RSPB, the British Trust for Ornithology, the Barn Owl Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Caradon Natural History Club etc, and contribute to records of sightings in the area.

This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and we are close to Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, as well as wonderful beaches and coastal walks.

Kingsmill Holiday Cottage Cornwall view

 

In our own grounds of 4.5 acres we have a range of different habitats:

First, there is the long, private frontage to the estuary, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and where little egret, herons, curlew, kingfishers, ducks and swans are frequently sighted. Avocets are regular winter visitors to the estuary.

The recently established wildflower meadow is a source of great joy. As they are notoriously difficult to create, we decided to take the extreme route of stripping off the topsoil in the field overlooking the estuary, and sow on the poor quality underlying shillet. The seed mixture from Emorsgate Seeds  includes Yellow Rattle to suppress grass regrowth, as well as a wide variety of native annuals and perennials.

The photograph above shows the meadow during the first spring. 

Our next
project was a new fresh water lake and bog-garden, which has attracted frogs, newts, dragonflies and damsel flies. It replaced a redundant tennis court surrounded by 200 or so leylandii.  This is now establishing well, with water lilies, aquatics and marginals. We have planted the terraced banks and surrounding areas with mainly indigenous plants, to attract butterflies, bees and other insects.

A moorhen has nested in the reeds for two years running. Kingfishers and herons visit regularly, also mallard ducks. 


We now have over 30 of 12 different types of nestboxes around the property, and watch the camera connection for nesting activity.

The photograph above shows the freshwater lake in its 3rd summer

As enthousiastic wildlife gardeners, we have joined the
Royal Horticultural Society, and take advantage of their on-line Plant Selector service when choosing suitable plants. We are blessed with excellent local nurseries with knowledgeable staff, and have sourced numerous trees and shrubs from Duchy of Cornwall Nursery, Burncoose Nursery, and our local Tamar View Nursery.

New raised planting areas have been established using Ecosci compost. This is made using recycled green garden waste from Plymouth's parks and gardens. Weedfree and with a neutral pH, it is the ideal growing medium for a wide variety of trees, shrubs, perennials etc.  A thick mulch of woodchippings retains moisture and suppresses weedgrowth, and we have planted some areas with groundcover plants.

Under the deciduous trees we have planted thousands of wild snowdrops and narcissus.

We have been careful to leave several wild areas undisturbed, with dense undergrowth, decaying branches and brambles. Ferns, fungi and wildflowers flourish, and badgers and stoats have made homes there. Probably due to the badger population, we have not spotted any hedgehogs.

The ancient hedgerows support a huge variety of wildlife, with numerous nests and burrows, and hawthorn and beech, which keep their leaves throughout the winter, providing wonderful cover.

On the opposite side of our creek is the ancient oak forest of Ziggarson Wood. This is another wildlife haven, as well as a nesting place for buzzards and owls.

Our environmental/sustainability policy is to reduce, re-use and recycle whenever possible.

Rainwater from our roofs is harvested and used for watering the garden and vegetables. Where practicable, we also use it for flushing loos

We compost and mulch, and use well-rotted manure from a local farmer.

Three years ago we started to grow our own vegetables -  tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, aubergines, beetroot, leeks, parsnips, French, broad and runner beans, courgettes, pumpkins, lettuce, rocket and herbs ..... but cannot claim to be self-sufficient yet.  

We support COAST Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project and undertook an environmental audit via Envision, to ensure that we do all we can to reduce our carbon footprint.

Last year we upgraded to a small hybrid car, and installed photovoltaic panels. We are currently investigating an air-source heat pump to replace our oil boiler.

We are holders of the GREEN ACORN AWARD for Sustainable Tourism and ENVISION AWARD for good environmental practice.

Kingsmill Farm Holiday Cottage Cornwall      
Kingsmill Farm Holiday Cottage Cornwall      
tel: (+44) 01752 844 223      
e-mail: taplin.kingsmill@gmail.com      

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