Our aim is to provide a sustainable working hill farm, balancing the needs of food farming and nature, so we were proud to be first awarded the Gold level by Green Tourism in 2015. Now in 2019 still with our Gold award we have introduced more eco changes to our self catering and way of life and are always looking for new ways to be greener.
Rare breed cattle are used to make our 'ready-to-go' meals, whilst our biomass boiler and solar panelsl provide all our heat, hot water and 75% of our electricity needs.
We are passionate about protecting the countryside, and have planted over 30,000 trees at Nethergill during our time here, in conjunction with the National parks and Forestry Commission to further help the environment. By planting a mixed type of woodland here we hope to encourage more red squirrels to come down to Nethergill. We have also completed a grip blocking project up on our fell land to help protect the huge carbon sink in the future. You can find more information on grip blocking here.
Working with Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust we have been implementing flood mitigation measures to help prevent flooding further down the dale.
Our Biomass Boiler, 'Bertha', utilises cord wood bought in as 22 ton loads from the Greenfields Forest which borders our farmland and other forestry within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The plantation is being felled on a 30 year rotation, replanting with a mixture of deciduous and coniferous. (Greenfields Forest is the 17th Red Squirrel reserve in England).
The cord wood is then cut and split on farm using a firewood processor machine. The split wood is seasoned for a minimum of 6 months and burnt only when moisture level is below 18%.
Due to our remote location we are very conscious of recycling and adhere to a strict policy. Landfill rubbish is kept to an absolute minimum. Our collection service is a mile down the road at the end of the farm track. We aim to use this service only once every three weeks.
Glass bottles, plastic bottles and tins are collected from the end of the farm drive every 3 weeks.
Paper and cardboard is collected from the end of the drive every 4 weeks. All sensitive items are shredded and used in the compost heap, any overflow is used for bedding in the chicken shed and cattle shed.
All green waste is composted. Each self-catering hayloft is supplied with a compost bin which is emptied every few days into a main composting area No bonfires are allowed in the Yorkshire Dales National Parks.
E-cloths and E-cover or similar green products used for cleaning with occasional use of conventional products where necessary. Waste bins lined with compostable or recycled plastic, all guest rubbish is recycled where possible, split down into plastic bottles and paper. Shower gel and soap is purchased from Ecover - pure, natural and using 100% recycled packaging. LED bulbs are gradually replacing low energy bulbs in guest rooms and throughout the house. Coffee and tea supplied in sealed glass jars.
All windows replaced with double glazed windows. All windows in self-catering barn are triple glazed.
6 log burners - all chimneys lined in 2007 to promote fuel efficiency. Each self-catering hayloft has a wood burner, with a small log burner in the field centre and three log burners in the farmhouse. Wood is sourced from Greenfields Forest bordering Nethergill land. A firewood licence has been granted to Nethergill for twisted and uneconomical trees to be used. All timber is purchased out of the forest and delivered in large loads. The self-catering accommodation and field centre are barn conversions that have been insulated to a very high specification. Many of the materials have been recycled including flagstone floors, steps and tiles.
On the Farm
Nethergill Farm is in both an Environmentally Sensitive Agreement and a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme.
Just under 30,000 trees have been planted since 2009, mixed woodland planting to promote species biodiversity.
Large areas of the river bank have been fenced off to prevent stock access, allowing regrowth of vegetation and habitat creation.
River bank erosion is being addressed by willow bundling and planting willow saplings.
Grip blocking completed in January 2016 to help slow water flow off the fells and help to prevent flooding further down the dale .
Diesel is stored in a bunded tank to avoid any leakage into the water course.
No artificial fertilizer or sprays used.
Our cattle and sheep eat grass, hay or hayledge only. Pasture fed meat production using no concentrates.
The majority of hay for the stock is made from the ancient hay meadows on the farm.
No concentrates are fed to stock unless absolutely necessary and these will be sugar beet nuts only.
All string, baler twine, silage wrapping and plastics are recycled
All metal waste is recycled
Use of hybrid car to minimise fuel consumption.
We follow the principles of rewilding – stock to suit the land rather than land to suit the stock.
New eco measures for 2019
All eco hand soaps at hand washing basins to be phased out and replaced with small pure and natural bars of soap (palm oil free)
Flapjack to be made using organic butter
Conventional firelighters to be replaced by eco firelighters using no petrol chemicals for all log burners and Bertha our biomass.