An award-winning green enterprise
We are so much more than just a hotel and are very proud of our eco-credentials.
Our family-owned Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf, Spa & Lodges, and sister companies Boxford Suffolk Farms and Peake Fruit, are all located in an idyllic corner of East Anglia. The Peake family, now with its third generation working in the business, has been living and farming in the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for over 80 years and has always been passionate about conservation and the environment. The long-term strategy has been to operate as a sustainable green enterprise.
The three businesses together (collectively called The Boxford Group) now employ up to 600 staff, and the whole team is proud to have won a number of awards in recognition of our green initiatives.
As farmers and rural business owners, the family believes that they are also custodians of the countryside and have a very important responsibility to look after their environment to ensure that it is healthy and sustainable for future generations.
So over the past few years, our farming and leisure business has invested over £5 million in the creation of renewable and sustainable sources of energy. These include solar and photovoltaic panels, air-source and ground source heat pumps, and biomass boilers.
Central to our investment is the installation of an Anaerobic Digester (AD) Plant on our farm. This utilises local resources and by-products from fruit-growing and the dry pomace bi-product from Copella fruit Juices to produce renewable, green electricity and heat sources for the Copella factory, the farm and our Stoke by Nayland Hotel. We have consequently lowered input costs, recycled food by-products, reduced our carbon footprint and reduced road haulage- all of which benefit the community and lessens our impact on the environment. We even produce enough power to sell some back to the grid.
Additionally, heat by-product from the AD plant is used to dry woodchip for biomass boilers to heat our soft fruit glasshouses, and the digestate from the AD plant is industrially dried on-site and provides rich organic fertiliser for our golf courses and orchards. We also harvest millions of litres of rainwater from our soft fruit glasshouses and feed it back into our reservoirs to be recycled as irrigation water for our fruit and golf courses – a perfect circular economy.
On the golf courses and in the orchards we use many sustainable practices to protect wildlife and the environment, minimize the use of chemicals and conserve water with intelligent irrigation systems. We planted 60,000 trees over the two championship courses. Our innovative, sustainable techniques used in our fruit growing have also resulted in awards for Best Top Fruit Grower, and Best Soft Fruit Grower of the year awards (2015 and last year).
So the business has effectively been mitigating against climate change for over 80 years.
Last summer we won an international AD and Biogas Award, competing with companies in London and abroad. We have also won a Sustainable Tourism award for our Hotel, Golf and Spa resort and one for Best Green Farming Enterprise. We are proud to be an “Anglian Business Green 100 company
Click here to download our Eco-credentials and circular economy illustration
Sustainable golf, working towards long-term ecological and environmental goals.
- We have planted over 60,000 trees during the past 40 years.
- A pro-active woodland management system.
- We log fallen trees into piles to encourage wildlife.
- Our hedges are managed to encourage their use as nesting sites for the numerous birds in the area.
- We compost all our grass cuttings and leaves to be re-used on site.
- Pest and disease control are carried out within an IPM (integrated pest management) programme to minimise the use of fertilisers and chemicals into the environment.
- Regular ecological assessments are carried out via English Nature, STRI and the EGU.Â
- We work closely with the Environment Agency, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Writtle and Otley Colleges, the PGA and European Seniors Tour to ensure best practice is maintained.
- A register is kept of any hazardous materials, and such materials are securely stored and usage is monitored.
- We have a sophisticated computerised system to make best use of water resources.
Energy and Waste Management
- We use, wherever possible, low energy lamps equating now to 60% of the hotel lighting or low voltage light fittings.
- The heating/lighting in our new bedrooms is only activated when a key card is placed in a designated slot.
- Most of our public areas, function rooms, toilets etc. are on movement detector sensors which will only activate lights once movement is detected.
- Our heating systems are on time clocks.
- Hotel guests are encouraged to re-use towels/linen each day to save on washing energy and detergent.
- Inverter driven heating systems are used throughout the Hotel as an alternative to more traditional heating systems.
- We use water savers in all flushing toilets.
- Our used fluorescent lamps are separated and go to a specialised disposal company.
- An in-line oil/chemical catchment tank has been fitted to the storm drain leading from the maintenance facility and car park.
- We use thermal covers on the swimming pool and spa to prevent heat loss when pool areas are closed.
- We use local companies and manufacturers for our produce and supplies.
- Warm air is heated by reclaimed heat from the pool.
- Low levels of chemicals are used in the pool.
- All of our kitchen oil is sent for recycling.
- Bottles are recycled via our own bottle bank.
- Re-use of envelopes and other paper for internal communication.
- Use of e-mail wherever possible to save on paper.
- We recycle our empty ink cartridges and toners.