Environmentally Friendly Cottage in Scottish Borders, south Scotland

Our one-bedroom, eco-friendly cottages in the heart of the Scottish Borders have been created with environmental impact in mind. We aim to ensure that the overall effect of our business activities is eco-friendly, enhances the local environment and has minimal detrimental impact on the wider environment, including impact on the availability of resources in the future. We continue to follow the guidlines of and have previously held the gold award of the Green Tourism Business Scheme. You can learn more about this scheme at www.green-tourism.co.uk

Looking for an Eco friendly cottage in the Scottish Borders? Look no further!

Sparrowhawk flying above Burnbrae woodstore

Aspects of the local environment we consider include:

visual; pollution of soils & water; noise.

Aspects of impact on the wider environment we consider include:

waste; transport of materials to and from Burnbrae; energy use for heating, lighting and laundry.

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Implementation

Visual impact: We aim to

  • Remove litter from roadside and other areas
  • Exclude grazing stock from some areas of pasture
  • Establish and maintain conspicuous features - pond, trees
  • Reinstate dry stone walls
  • Repair stone and slate buildings
  • Enhance habitat for wildlife of various kinds. We regularly see stoat, hares, woodpecker, buzzard, heron. Occasionally see sparrowhawk, barn owls and recently red kite.
  • Improve access for people to see wildlife
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Invisible impact: We aim to

  • Minimise pollution
  • Avoid discharge of sewage effluent to water course
  • Use water-based paints
  • Instruct guests on setting of wood burning stoves to minimise smoke
  • Avoid cleaning products containing chlorine
  • Our cottages are non-smoking areas
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Noise impact. We are:

  • Conscious that our children can at times disturb the peace and quiet of Burnbrae.
  • Conscious that not everyone loves other guest's dogs.
  • We take care to ensure our boys' and dog's enthusiasm does not spoil your holiday.
  • We restrict use of chainsaw and other noisy equipment to times when our guests are away from the property.
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Resources

  • During winter 2014/15 we had a wood pellet boiler installed to provide heat for all the central heating and domestic hot water on the site. We buy wood pellets grown and manufactured in Scotland.
  • The solar PV array (photo-voltaic panels) which is located in the field adjacent to the cottage garden generates in a year as much electricity as we use on the site in a year.
  • We purchase electricity used during the night from a renewable energy supplier who assures us that all of the power supplied is generated from renewable resources.
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  • We avoid hanging baskets of flowering plants.
  • We collect and utilise rainwater.
  • Onsite we grow and harvest fuel for the wood-burning stoves.
  • All cottages have a high level of thermal insulation.
  • We use low-energy or LED light bulbs, where practicable and appropriate.
  • We use lower temperature washes in the washing machine.
  • We carefully restrict water flow to the taps to ensure that you have plenty but it is not wasted.
  • We use timber furnishings and fittings in lieu of plastics, where practicable.

  • We provide toilet rolls and kitchen rolls of industrially recycled paper.
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Waste

We ask guests to segregate uncooked vegetable , glass, metal/plastic/newspaper/card waste. We compost what we can and use it in the garden. We have some waste/ recycling collected and we considerately transport the remainder to Kelso for recycling.

Admire the magnificent view over the cottage garden to the Eden Water and Cheviot Hills from your south facing conservatory

While we are keen to encourage visitors to see the Scottish Borders on foot and by cycling, we are conscious of the fact that this is not always possible. Information about walking and cycle routes is provided in your cottage and we are happy to talk with you about routes. We provide drying facilities and a lockable cycle store. Our efforts have been acknowledged by award of the designations "Walkers Welcome" and "Cyclists Welcome" from the Scottish Tourist Board.

We are all learning. In particular, we would like to hear of any suggestions you have for improving our environmental policy or its implementation.

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