Ethical, Responsible and Sustainability Policy
The Quiet Site as a company is very aware of its impact on the environment and community. We are committed to ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism and have followed this policy for the last decade.
“Sustainable development is the kind of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Commission).
Our ethos is “Quietly Greener” and can be summed up using the following 12 points:
- Reduce, Recycle, Reuse and Refill (the new 4 R’s)
- Conserve energy
- Be water wise
- Give the car a rest and promote sustainable transport
- Measure our carbon footprint and reduce where we can
- Buy locally and ethically
- Eliminate single use packaging
- Respect nature
- Support green business
- Be good neighbours and have a positive impact on the local community
- Educate and inform those around us
- Evaluate, understand and comply with relevant legislation
This ethos has been enthusiastically pursued and implemented by the following initiatives.
Minimising waste going to landfill
- We recycle all our internal waste. Recycling includes clothing, glass, metal, paper and card, soft and hard plastic and disposable BBQ’s (which we recycle ourselves), and a “good as new” area for guests to leave and collect items.
- We have built a new undercover, dry, clean recycling centre for guests to use.
- We actively encourage our guests to recycle through container signage and visibly sorting our site bins several times a day.
- 2020 sees our Zero Waste shop complete its first full year of operation. Gravity dispensers fill paper bags or reusable containers with food stuffs. Our waste quantities are falling.
- No product are sold in single use plastics.
- We only sell crisps in compostable bags.
- Our bar now only sells soft drinks in drinking glasses via a carbonator to reduce glass use.
- We have installed a water filter and chiller for our guests to refill their own water bottles, meaning we do not have to sell water in plastic bottles.
- We use recycled toilet paper in all self- catering units.
- Our online booking system saves huge amounts of paper and in conjunction with email saves paper and has virtually eliminated postman pat miles.
Using sustainable energy sources
- Fossil fuels have been, where possible, replaced with sustainable energies.
- Solar thermal panels are used to pre-heat all water destined to be heated.
- During May and June virtually all our heat energy comes straight from the sun.
- Five oil and gas boilers which previously supplied the bar, services, cottages and shop were replaced 3 years ago with one 100kw biomass boiler in conjunction with 15000 liters of hot water storage capacity.
- All the hot water and heating in our bar, shop, office, cottages and service block are sourced from renewables. First call is from solar thermal. Second call is from our wood chip fed biomass boiler.
- We signed a 5-year contract in 2018 with an energy company that only buys electricity generated in a sustainable manner.
Energy use break-down in 2019:
Biomass 41% Solar Thermal 4% Solar PV 1% Renewable Electricity bought in 54% Total use 286 000 KWhrs
Monitoring energy use
- Having addressed the way in which we generate the energy, we have then looked at the way this energy is delivered.
- Our heating is constantly monitored and control by computer to supply a heat source that is just hot enough to achieve the desired room temperature.
- Accommodations types with high thermal efficiencies are replacing the traditional low thermal efficiency accommodations units.
- When there is more solar gains to be had the system computer reserves more of the storage tank volume just for solar heated water.
Minimising energy use
- We minimise our electricity usage through constant metering and the selection of appropriate power sources.
- All our buildings are thermally insulated to very high levels. Installing Scandinavian levels of insulation to public areas during building and renovations will lead to savings in the long term.
- All our glamping units are highly insulated and extremely energy efficient.
- All in-house lighting is movement controlled and low energy.
- We have an ongoing program of moving to LCD lighting.
- Customers electric metering has been introduced to encourage responsible use with every pitch metered ‘at cost’ to promote collective responsibility.
- Our reed bed water treatment plant operates naturally without the need for any power, and is also not susceptible to power failures, breakdowns or maintenance.
Minimising water consumption
- All our waste water is passed through a series of four reed beds and then pumped back up to the service block where it is re-used to flush all the site toilets. This initiative has saved our business in excess of 4000 litres per annum.
- All our shower heads and wash basin taps are fitted with aerators which reduces water and energy use.
- The use of aerated showers and taps, together with water harvesting and recycling for all WC’s, has led to more than a 50% drop in water use.
- All taps and showers are timed so as to prevent water wastage.
- All static caravans have water meters fitted to improve collective responsibility.
- All our touring pitches have water hook ups which prevents wasting water.
Maximising environmental benefits
- Our four reed beds naturally clean the water to more than meet our discharge standards.
- A large variety of wildlife exists in the reedbeds including insects, birds, frogs, toads and newts (don’t tell anyone about the Newts!)
- We have planted 11,000 native trees to date.
- We have created a wildflower meadow and bee hotel.
- We have an extensive tree planting and felling program which has made us fully self-sufficient for logs.
- The site is a haven for wildlife. Bird boxes, wild flower meadows, reedbeds, ponds and native trees all lead to huge amounts of wild life choosing to holiday with us.
- Our Facebook page acts as our nature diary. Lots of photos and sightings are posted by our guests and staff.
- We offer only low level site lighting at night to promote a dark sky for star watching.
- We use only eco-friendly cleaning products on site.
- Our underground Hobbit Holes are much less visible in the landscape than all other accommodation units.
Keeping it local
- If there is a local source, then we endeavour to use it.
- We source and promote a product range which supports local farms and food producers and minimises our environmental impact.
- Eggs, bacon, toffee and jams sold in the shop are sourced within 10 miles. #foodmiles
- All beer sold in our bar and shop is brewed within 10 miles. #beermiles
- The wood chip used in our biomass boiler is a waste product sourced from within 20 miles. #energymiles
- We use local contractors and suppliers for all goods and services.
- For products not available locally, we stock as ethically as possible.
Promoting sustainable transport
- We have installed electric charging points on site.
- Guests can hire two leased electric vehicles from site.
- We have purchased an electric vehicle for staff to use around the site, charged from our own solar PV panels.
- We have installed a secure bike store and have bikes available to hire, to promote cycles as a means of transport.
- Guests arriving by foot, bicycle or public transport get a generous discount on our nightly rates.
- We offer to collect guests from the local railway station.
- Our variety of accommodation types and caravan storage facility reduces caravan and motorhome traffic and makes it easier for customers to arrive by public transport or bike.
Promoting sustainable holidays
- In 2014 we teamed up with two other top Cumbrian holiday parks to promote a fully sustainable holiday in the Lakes called Pod’n’Pedal . Arriving by train at Penrith, guests cycle past stunning scenery at Ullswater, Keswick and Windermere while staying three nights in locally made camping pods and finally departing by train from Oxenholme. There are also many walks available from our site. See more, drive less!
- 2016 saw us introduce the 3 Lake Tour where guests can either hire a motorhome at Penrith station or Carlisle airport or bring their own motorhome and tour the parks on Ullswater, Keswick and Windermere for a set fee.
Being good neighbours and helping the local community
- We are part of the Lake District Foundation and have a voluntary giving box set up on our online booking system. Many thousands of pounds have been raised for local conservation projects.
- Each year we give out £1000’s worth of charitable auction prizes.
- We promote our unique bar as a venue for local clubs and charities to meet free of charge to further integrate us into the local communities.
- We often hold quiz event to raise money for good causes.
- We have hosted many meetings and functions to date and have even been the venue for a locally directed movie last year!
- We have partnered with Ullswater Steamers and Lowther Castle to provide special holidays for people experiencing particularly challenging times in their lives.
- We have also partnered with two national charities offering FOC holiday accommodation: ‘Willow’ organises free of charge holidays for seriously ill young adults and their families. ‘Happy Days’ Provides holidays for families with children that have disabilities.
- Our staff, like the beer, are whenever possible sourced locally. They feel included in our Quietly Greener way and often have the best suggestions for our family owned business.
- We support the local Parish Council, Village Hall Committee, Ullswater Association of businesses and Ullswater Way Committee.
- We look after the maintenance our local village hall.
- We mow the surrounding road verges to make them safer walkways for the thousands of people walking the Ullswater Way.
- We clear the local roads of snow in winter to help residents get about.
- We offer our meeting room FOC to charities.
Five Year Plan
Reduce energy consumption by 50%
This will be achieved by investing in more energy efficient accommodation. Our metered electrical hook ups show the average electrical use over a 12 month period for a traditional pitch is 11.6KWh per day. On average we have 3 guests per traditional unit (tent or caravan or motorhome). For the same 12 month period a modern glamping unit uses on average 3.2 KWh per day with an average of 4 people staying each night. This gives us 3.9 KWh per person for a traditional pitch against 0.8 KWh for a modern glamping unit, an energy saving of 80%. Couple this low running cost with the improved customer experience and the fact that the guest is more likely to arrive by public transport and it is easy to see why we are investing so heavily in this new technology.
Increase use of sustainable transport
We offer a sustainable holiday (PodnPedal) where people arrive by train, then ride their bike to us on a pre-determined route. They spend the night in one of our camping pods before continuing on to a pod in Keswick the next day and then another pod in Windermere the day after. They return home by train via Oxenholme station. This collaboration with two other Lakeland parks has been copied by other parks in Europe and very much represents what we are about.
The most sustainable ‘transport’ of all, namely walking and cycling, are exceptionally well catered for. Maps of walks and rides from The Quiet Site are available on our website and at reception. We have a secure bike storage area for customers arriving on their own bikes and bikes for hire.
Other initiatives include electric car hire, electric charge points and a pickup/dropoff service for customers from our local bus and train stops.
Our new zero waste shop opening spring 2019 will change how we do retail here at The Quiet Site for ever. We will remove plastic waste from our business and reduce our overall waste by 50% over the next five years. It’s a privilege to be able to road test the way the rest of the world is going to have to do business in the future. It will be an exciting, at times tricky, but ultimately rewarding journey with the end prize being a supremely sustainable business.