When we set out to create North Hayne Farm holidays for children, we understood that the road ahead would be a difficult one as all of the cottages had previously been converted back in 1988 and certainly not with the environment in mind! Our journey has been long and definitely not over yet! Working between ‘lets’ often in winter, in bad weather and whenever we could afford an improvement, we are proud that to date we have changed and improved many aspects of the business.

What our business does

  • Grounds
    • Organic pasture land for our animals
    • Bat conservation work, running regular bat walks and talks throughout the year.
    • Creating gardens to enjoy filled with trees, shrubs and plants
    • Provide a bug house and bug house activity sheets to promote interest and learning
    • Natural padock area with wild hedgerow and flowers supporting wildlife.
    • Nature sensory trails across the grounds for everyone to enjoy
  • Energy and Water conservation
    • Insulating roofs
    • Even little things; wind up torches in the cottages, low energy light bulbs, eco-friendly cleaning products and wash detergents all help to do their bit
    • Timers on electric items eg. towel rails
    • Modern energy efficient equipment/appliances (AA/AAA)
    • Lined curtains where possible to help retain heat and provide darker rooms
    • Harvesting rainwater; used for our animals
    • Replacing windows for double glazed ones (on going)
    • Fitting showers rather than additional baths and replacing old toilets for dual flush
    • Installing a log burner
  • Recycling
    • Provide recycling facilities for glass, tin, paper/card and plastic to maintain our current 35% recycling figure
    • Making re-cycling fun for the children with our range of green stickers to collect
    • Donate old furniture and appliances to local charities
    • Encourage the use of food scraps for our chickens​

Recycling Figures

  • Keeping it local
    • Sourcing ex battery hens and producing our own eggs
    • Provide OS and walking maps and welly boxes
    • Public transport information
    • Notice boards with local information and current providers to promote and support local businesses
    • Encourage employees to car share and make suggestions that contribute to the ongoing sustainability of our business
    • Welcome pack and produce locally sourced with minimal food miles where ever possible
    • Dusk bat walks in our grounds

  • New for 2018
    • Childrens vegetable garden-This was set up in April 2018 and offered our school age 'farmers' the chance to grow and harvest their own vegetables as part of our Free Rangers club which runs during the school holidays. Its popularity means that there are plans to develop this and extend the activities to include some of our younger visitors in 2019

Our new Games Room and Play Barn build allowed us to create an insulated (minimally heated) warm environment for everyone to relax in and installing hot tubs rather than a large swimming pool have kept energy bills and chemicals to a minimum.

In addition our latest eco cottage (Jeremy Fisher) which was completed in 2017 allowed us to build a super-efficient holiday cottage for larger families. This was an ideal opportunity to use Bio-mass heating which is one of our long term goals and something we hope to be able to one day have across the whole complex.

We firmly believe that concern for the environment makes sense, not only for the environment but also because it saves us money allowing us to continue to provide excellent affordable family holidays whatever the time of year.

Our plans for 2019 include reducing our plastic waste across both the farm and the holiday cottages. Single use plastics is a huge concern across North Devon and we will be looking for further ways to support the global, national and local efforts as well as raising awareness of this issue among our visitors.


What you can do

Since our main focus is on very young children often experiencing their ‘first proper holiday’ we understand how much enjoyment can be added by earning special reward stickers. Simple tasks such as encouraging them to turn off their own lights, saving water and avoiding food wastage (bring your scraps to us at feeding time and we will check what our animals would love to munch through) are just some of the ways in which you can help. We have designed our own `Green Stickers` to collect during their stay and welcome your use to reward their efforts.

We invite you to help us further by shopping locally or having farm days on site. We have some amazing local produce to discover which you can even order using local online services (see Local Farmbox who will deliver to your door). Farm days on site can be fun with one of our ‘welly walks’ or ‘sensory trails’ around the farm. And not forgetting jogging or cycling around our quiet local lanes.

To summarise

  • Save water
  • Avoid the use of single use plastic wherever possible (there is more information about this in the Games Room)
  • Recycle as much as possible, recycling bins provided for glass, tin, paper/card and plastic
  • Keep food scraps for our chickens
  • Turn off unecessary lighting and heating
  • Don't leave doors open in winter
  • Encourage children to get involved with any energy saving initiatives using our sticker reward scheme
  • Encourage children to design energy conservation stickers (please hand finished artwork in to reception)
  • Consider having a farm day to save road miles
  • Shop locally
  • Walk or cycle
  • Use washing lines in preference to tumble dryers
  • Between March and July please save your 500ml coke/fanta bottles (if you have any) for us to use during bottle feeding sessions with the lambs :-)..another way to re-use our plastics!

Thank you for helping us and we welcome any further ideas you may have.