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We have and We plan to – Sustainability on the Combe Grove Estate 

At Combe Grove, we have a plan and commitment to maintain and improve our environmental and sustainable responsibilities. This entails reducing the impact we as individuals, a charity, and community have on the environment. Throughout the nearly 70 acres of Estate, we encourage biodiversity through conserving, enhancing and establishing habitats to contain a healthy ecosystem.

As we move towards a climate emergency, BANES Council wishes for Bath and North East Somerset area to be carbon neutral by 2030, which we will align with. Combe Grove recognises its environmental responsibilities as higher than the current legal and regulatory requirements stated by BANES Council to foster both a healthy land but also a healthy wellbeing.

Historically, Estates were predominantly self-supporting through productive agriculture whereby the profits from the land were sufficient enough to support the household that lived upon it. One of Combe Grove’s objectives is to reduce its carbon footprint and being self-sufficient on the Estate is a way to achieve this. Although we aim to be fully self-sufficient, we are currently undergoing integral work and gathering resources in order to achieve this. 

Below is the most up to date, dynamic document that demonstrates Combe Grove’s green journey, focusing on the areas where we have already shown impact by the choices made and the direction we are going.

Up to date sustainability points: 

Buildings 

  • Switched to Good Energy, a renewable energy supplier
  • Added a solar powered mechanism to open the roof lights in the Oak Room 
  • Removed air conditioning from the Oak Room
  • Have installed water saving bathroom fittings in the Oak Room
  • Save 1 litre per toilet flush with adjusted ball valves
  • Installed an energy efficient induction kitchen
  • Installed WS Swift Worcester Bosch GB162 high efficiency class A rated boilers, saving more than £80 per day. The new boilers are running at 96% efficiency
  • Installed an air source heat pump to one of our buildings to supply underfloor heating 
  • Continue to replace and install energy efficient electrical devices – LEDs, low energy lighting, light switch sensors, printers etc
  • Switched to Watson-free weights, made from British Steel and sourced locally in Frome
  • Switched gym equipment to SportsArt, leading fitness products that allow energy of an individual to be repurposed to renewable energy for Combe Grove
    Between April and July 2021, the Sports Art Equipment has:
    – Electrically powered fans for 264 hours
    – saved 0.195 Gallons of petrol
    – Cut our CO2 Emissions by 1,980g
    –  Powered Electric bulbs for 528 hours
  • Continue to monitor our overall waste and recycling
  • The new Switch Room was built on top of saddle stone, glued laminated timber, natural fibre insulation and Welsh slate from Snowdonia and contains a bat loft to allow the area to be a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) 
  • New entryway constructed at the end of The Barn is designed and built by local craftsmen at nearby English Oak Buildings 
  • All rooms will be refurbished by upcycling furniture and any unused pieces of furniture will be donated to charity. We will use paints that  have the industry’s lowest eco rating, with their VOC rating almost zero.

On the Estate 

  • Apprentices continue to work with local charities such as The National Trust  
  • Practice wildlife friendly grounds maintenance and continue to improve beneficial wildlife habitats including planting trees, shrubs and plants 
  • Continue to manage an increasing tree cover of 36 acres, alongside the additional acreage of thriving grassland 
  • Have a no-dig policy, to increase soil health and reduce the release of carbon  
  • Working towards greater data collection on the bat species within the grounds 
  • Aiding moth conservation through non-lethal moth trapping and recording 
  • Use of non toxic pesticides 
  • Use alkylate fuel in power tools on the Estate used for hedge-cutters and chainsaws
  • Achieved Silver and working towards the Gold Standard Green Tourism Award and the mission to become net zero 
  • Created a no smoking policy throughout the whole Estate 
  • Continue to run conservation and environmental workshops and events such as the Wildlife Watching Evening to educate the wider public 
  • Continue to research and learn about environmental problems and solutions 
  • Hazel hurdles cut from the woods on-site and constructed by The Estates Team Apprentices is a traditional, low impact building material used to fence the tennis courts 

Food 

  • Continue to procure local, certified organic meat and dairy from producers that share our values in land stewardship where possible 
  • Compost all materials that can be put back into the land 

Housekeeping / Services 

  • All uniforms are made using organic cotton, 100% natural rayon viscose thread made from wood pulp from sustainably managed forests. The threads used are produced in a factory that recycles water and uses energy recovery for climate-neutral thread dying. All uniforms are sourced locally in Frome in order to cut our carbon footprint
  • Changing all bathroom amenity products to natural eco-friendly products 
  • Use green stationary in our offices and recycled paper products for house cleaning 
  • Use recycled paper for notices, posters and timetables. Making them digital where possible
  • Working towards chemical-free swimming pools
  • The Caff stocks products which are befitting of at least 3 of Combe Groves 5 philosophies: Local, low impact, heritage, artisan, and organic
  • Encouraging members to use their own reusable cups with incentives 
  • Reusing grounds from The Caff’s coffee machine as a natural fertiliser for use in the soil and giving to members for the garden 

Combe Grove recognises its environmental responsibilities higher than current legal and regulatory requirements. Our aim is to reduce our impact on the environment, both locally and globally in the running and maintenance of our business operations, buildings and grounds. As well as reducing our impact on the environment we are actively involved in enhancing our nearly 70 acre estate and the many ecosystem, and community benefits it provides. We are continually reviewing our environmental performance and endeavour to increase employer and guest awareness of environmental issues. 

We welcome any suggestions that you may have on achieving our sustainability aims. Please feel free to contact us by email. Browse our sustainability journal posts.