Beechenhill Farm

Address

Address/venue name: Beechenhill Farm
Ilam
Ashbourne
Derbyshire
DE6 2BD
Building type: Farm
Green Technology: Biomass, solar PV, under floor heating plus host of green techniques such as rain water harvesting. A project is also underway to make methane from cow manure.

Venue details

Name of owners: Sue and Terry Prince
Who installed green technology: Technology installed by Skyshades (solar panels), Eco-Energi (biomass boiler), and Robbins Systems (underfloor heating), amongst others.
Why they did it: Sue and Terry were keen to become more energy efficient and help environment.
Benefits: Through their low carbon initiatives, Sue and Terry have lowered their carbon footprint from 41 tonnes to 14.45. As a result, Beechenhill has won a number of awards, including a Peak District Environmental Quality Award and a Gold GTBS award. In 2009 Sue and Terry were finalists in the small accommodation category of the Global Virgin Responsible Tourism Awards, and in November 2012 they were one of the few English finalists in the carbon reduction category of the Virgin Responsible tourism awards. In 2012 Beechenhill Farm won the Environmental Business Award in the Sentinel Business Awards.
What did it cost, what savings are made: Sue and Terry have made a variety of savings through their green technology. For example, their two 3.6 kW photovoltaic arrays cost £25,000. They will save about £627 per year in electricity purchasing and make about £3,096 per year in Feed in Tariffs (FITs). Payback will be about seven years.
Advice to someone considering doing the same: “Do a really thorough environmental audit. We all think we know roughly what is going on in our businesses but it’s amazing and life changing when you find out what is actually happening- based on real evidence. Understanding the real story empowers you and justifies necessary investment.Visit other businesses that have already made changes – talk about your ideas and concerns. Business advisors are all well and good but there is nothing better than talking to someone in the same boat.

If you decide to make change, do it as a special project. Give it a title, aims and objectives and decide when you’d like to complete. Then stick to it.”