Eco living as natural practice
At Tyddyn Retreat we are committed to living and working in a truly sustainable way. It’s a way of life. We do our best to continually improve our practices and know that many of our guests like to play their part too. We're always open to learning new ways to live lightly on the earth, so please share your tips when you are with us.
Whatever you do when you are with us, the way our eco buildings are designed and the practices we use each day, mean that you can enjoy your time here while knowing that the environment is cared for too.
Please do have a look at our Sustainability Policy, which gives you a flavour of the ways we are working. Our Visitor Charter and the Sustainable Visitor Tourism Code (below) have some ideas about how you too can support green living while you are staying with us.
As part of our commitment to sustainability, we are members of the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS), now called Green Tourism (www.green-tourism.com), which provides accreditation and encouragement for tourism businesses to reduce their environmental impact. We were given a “strong” Silver Award on our first visit, in April 14, and have been told that we will almost certainly be Gold as soon as this website is up and running! We will welcome this upgrade in two years time after the next visit.
We are lucky to live in a stunning beautiful place, within the Cambrian Mountains – one of the few genuine wild places that remain in the UK, and on the edge of the UNESCO recognised Dyfi Biosphere reserve. We like to play our part in keeping these landscapes and the richness of the culture, food and heritage as vibrant as possible.
We do that by:
- encouraging people to visit this truly wonderful area
- ensuring that our own practices are as sustainable as they possibly can be
- inviting our guests to share in eco practices
- being active in groups that promote sustainability.
Our eco living – some practices
Power: we produce as much of our own electricity as possible, from PVs (photovoltaic panels), and from Ground Source heat – using pipes and a pump to draw natural heat from the earth to heat water which is then circulated for hot water and heating. Some of our power goes to the National Grid, and where we need to purchase any, Green Energy supplies us.
Water: we used to draw our water from the hill above Tyddyn Retreat, and still can when we choose to. In order to make our source completely reliable, we now also have our own plentiful water from a borehole: as it comes into the farmhouse and cottages it is filtered and UV treated for extra safety.
Our wastewater and sewage from the farmhouse goes into a septic tank and from the cottages into a bio-digester. The water that comes from the bio-digester is so clean that we have a licence to discharge it into our stream. Because of the eco nature of our water systems we need to make sure that only toilet paper goes into the loos.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: we monitor and reduce our use of energy, water, and packaging wherever we can. We reuse materials in our building works eg. slates for window sills and kitchen work surfaces. We bring our shopping home in cardboard boxes which are then re-used for fire sticks or recycled. We compost everything that is possible, and use recycled products wherever they are available eg. in paper for the office, bathrooms and kitchens. Our recycled Welsh wool throws are so beautiful, that we keep some extras for guests who want to take them home or for gifts.
Organic and Fair Trade:
- All our cleaning and personal washing liquids are environmentally friendly - including using liquids rather than small soaps that will be thrown away
- We buy Organic and Fair Trade products wherever possible
- Bedding and towels focus on organic cotton, and luxury mattresses include recycled materials.
- Our land is cared for organically.
Sustainable Visitor Tourism Code - how you can join in
Our visitors can help keep everything that is special about the Cambrian Mountains special – so it’s there for your next visit. The Sustainable Visitor Tourism Code gives some ideas about how to really enjoy this area, while caring for it at the same time:
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Reduce car traffic: walk, cycle or use public transport
- Stay Local, Eat Local, Buy Local, See Local
- Relax & switch off – enjoy living lightly - turn off some lights & the TV (including standby), make yourself cozy by the woodburner & read a book
- Follow the Countryside Code: respect – protect – enjoy
Reduce car traffic: walk, cycle or use public transport
- We encourage our guests to come by train – to Caersws, which is 15 mins away. We are always happy to arrange for transport from there.
- International visitors can fly into Birmingham International and come direct to Caersws.
- Once here the train can take you to all sorts of places that are great to visit, as can our local buses and the TrawsCymru bus routes. Our AREA & ACTIVITIES section will soon show some of our favourite Car Free days in Mid Wales and beyond.
- For some immediate information on car free travel please see www.visitwales.com/explore/travel-maps/getting-around-wales
The Countryside Code reminds us to protect plants and animals; take litter away; leave gates and property as you find them; keep dogs under close control; consider other people and users when visiting the countryside.
Local living: stay Local, eat Local, buy Local, see Local
A fundamental part of our sustainable approach is to involve as many local people and organisations as possible – in building, catering, running the centre, sharing skills, historical and culture interpretation and activity offerings. We are hugely proud of the great work that is put into Tyddyn Retreat by local friends and businesses. Here are a few of them:
The way our guests spend their time here in the beautiful Cambrian Mountains also makes a real difference to the economy, environment and communities who live here – and so helps to preserve this wonderful area for future generations.
We have a remarkable range of quality local producers and services that are here to visit and enjoy – farm shops, village stores, pubs, cafes, garden centres and craft shops, and so we encourage our visitors to:
Eat locally – here is a list of our favourite local eating places
Buy locally – here are some of the quality local producers that we recommend, including Crafts & Welsh treasures
See locally – enjoy the amazing array of adventure, cultural and natural opportunities in the area. You’ll see a few of them here - AREA & ACTIVITIES, plus a series of helpful links to activity websites such as Visit Wales.