The Green Stuff
We are privileged to be living in Britain's first designated National Park and you can be confident that, as holders of the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark (EQM), we do our utmost to run Underleigh House in a way that will
- help to enhance and look after the Peak District environment
- support the local economy and community
- celebrate what's special about the Peak District National Park
The Peak District Environmental Quality Mark (EQM) is an award presented by the Peak District National Park Authority to organisations that show a passion for the Peak District, have good environmental practices and contribute to the conservation of the Peak District National Park.
Here are just some of the ways in which we do this:
- By trying one of our renowned ‘Underleigh breakfasts’ you will be experiencing some of the Peak District’s finest produce, making your holiday memorable! You will also be supporting Hope’s local family run butchers and farm shop (http://www.watsonsfarmshop.co.uk). The Watson family supplies us with ‘proper’ Cheshire bacon that smells and tastes delicious, home-made sausages from free range Derbyshire pork, local free-range eggs, traditional Derbyshire oatcakes and Robert’s legendary black pudding! You’ll also be able to sample our home-made bread and Philip’s compôtes and preserves (the latter possibly containing local blackcurrants or damsons). For your evening meal we can recommend several local pubs and restaurants that also pride themselves on sourcing local produce.
- We help our guests get to know our wonderful Peak District area: where the best views are, maps and books for walking routes or suggestions for bike hire - whether it's mountain bikes for the adventurous, casual road/gravel path riders or perhaps electric bikes for those of us who can't remember the last time we rode a bike! We can tell you how to get to places such as Chatsworth, Castleton, Tideswell or Bakewell even if you've not brought a car. We'll give you ideas of where to go when it's raining cats and dogs - what about going down a cave, having a spa treatment, making your own chocolates or visiting one of the many great houses of the area? We'll encourage you get involved with local events which might include the local custom of Well Dressing (throughout the summer), Castleton's Garland ceremony (May), Hope Show (August), Buxton Festival (July), sheepdog trials or a variety of markets and craft fairs.
- Having installed an unobtrusive photovoltaic solar system in October 2014, we are doing our bit to tackle climate change and to reduce Underleigh’s carbon footprint even further. Just bring on the sunshine!
- Underleigh House is committed to enhancing biodiversity in the garden - as demonstrated by the amount we spend on bird food! In spring our nest boxes usually have ‘birds in residence' and our bird feeders regularly feature nuthatch, siskin, goldfinch, great spotted woodpecker and a variety of tits. In the summer look out for the buzzards soaring above and listen out for the owls at night. Frog and toad spawn (and the odd newt) can be found in our pond and you might be lucky to see the odd hare or badger on the lane.
- Underleigh House supports local conservation work by donations to the National Trust Peak District Appeal and by sponsorship as a Corporate Member of Friends of the Peak District. Conservation projects are happening all around the Peak District to help protect, manage and preserve the environment. With peat bogs having a major role to play in the fight against climate change, innovative techniques to fight erosion and save precious peatland habitats are being carried out. These include spraying the peat with grass by helicopter, gully-blocking, planting cotton-grass plugs and airlifting and spreading heather brash (cut heather) to stabilise the peat. The plateau of Kinder Scout is having a fence erected, designed to keep sheep (not you) off the moorland, and will help to speed up the important conservation work. A variety of essential but more mundane tasks are also performed which include rebuilding dry stone walls, thinning woodland and installing new accessible stiles and gates.
P.S. We also do all the usual stuff! For example we buy Fairtrade / RainForest Alliance Certified products, recycle, re-use, use environmentally friendly cleaning products, compost food waste, use waterbutts to water our flowers…………etc. etc! (But we'll not bore you with all that!)