GREENACRES CAMPING

Family camping near Glastonbury, Wells and Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK

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  • The wait is over - 18 December 08

    How things should look soonThe Wait Is Over
       

     


     

    12 weeks of waiting and worrying are thankfully over.  Yesterday the lady from the Planning office told me that our planning application for the extensions and alterations at Greenacres has been signed-off and approved. Phew!

     

    You could be forgiven for thinking that our 1960s bungalow was single-handedly responsible for all the greenhouse gases and global warming destruction on the planet; such was its dismal Energy Efficiency Rating. It scored just 3 points from a possible 100 and just 29/100 for its overall Environmental Impact Rating. Clearly a flawed scoring system, but we can not deny that things are pretty bad.There is plenty of scope to literally “get our own house in order” as part of our mission to promote camping as a sustainable alternative to foreign travel.

     

    Our plans are to make major improvements to the property’s thermal efficiency and insulation standards, to introduce both solar and biomass heating systems, together with a new rainwater harvesting system and low energy and solar powered lighting. The result should be a multi-purpose building and home we can be proud of – we certainly hope so. Now the race is on to appoint builders, obtain Building Regulations approval and “get stuck in” before the site opens in April. Lots of excitement, kitchens to choose and, hopefully, plenty of good, dry building days through February.

     

    Robin

    In the winter sunshine Greenacres looks amazing. Trees without leaves allow us to enjoy the full splendour of the views we have. On the camp site those leaves all need to be raked and collected for composing, which gives many opportunities to chat things through with our wild rabbits. In this extended cold snap we’ve been putting out extra food for the birds and I counted 8 species on our feeders the other day. Maybe that isn’t such an impressive number, but to me it was a perfect reward for all the effort. The “Shop Steward” is undoubtedly the territorial Robin, who struts and hops around letting everybody know who’s the boss.

     

    I just hope our birds and our builders get on together next month.

     

    Wth best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and New Year,

     

    Duncan

  • Microbe Magic - 3rd Dec

    Microbe Magic

     


    Glorious frosty mornings have allowed good progress at Greenacres this week. Our main task has been demolition of some fir trees, which really was demolition rather than simple felling. Our tree expert Simon has done all the monkey impressions in the high branches, together with the job of making the vital felling cuts. I’ve been confined to the end of a rope, standing underneath. AAhh, as I write this the penny starts to drop!

     

    Fear not, all turned out safely and Simon’s precision cutting has stacked-up all the trunks and large boughs in one area of the garden, ready to be logged. Our new wood burner should never go hungry, which is good news for us and a more sustainable option than using LPG. I’ve ordered a new chain for the saw ready for the “hours of fun” chopping our fuel for several winters to come.

     

    We also had the ritual emptying of the septic tanks serving both the house and camp site. These small (if you can call 1000 gallons small) containers sit quietly below ground, receiving all the unmentionable waste from the toilets, showers and sinks. They use it to grow billions of helpful little microbes, who aren’t at all fussy what they eat, and who purify the effluent coming out of the pipe at the other end. So long as you look after the bugs they do a grand job in a very eco-friendly way, with clean water soaking away into the ground. The secret is not to poison them with blue chemical toilet fluid or other toxins. Once a year the little chaps also need a bit of a helping hand to remove the heavier sludge, so a man with a lorry-sized vacuum cleaner comes along to suck it all out. Now there are some jobs I don’t envy… but I guess it’s “bread and butter” to him!!

     

    It was great to see builders on-site at last, as we got to work digging some holes to check-out the house foundations. Richard (pictured) was a maestro with a mini-digger and all looks good. More on the building project next time.

     

     

    Best wishes, 

    Duncan

     

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