What Makes Flaxton Meadows Eco?
The aim and policy of Flaxton Meadows eco campsite is to provide a low carbon footprint environment for eco-conscious guests to stay and enjoy. Every component of the design has considered the impact on the environment both short and long term. No expense has been spared in creating what we would like to become an environmental legacy and benchmark for others to follow. Building materials have been sourced from either high quality recycled products such as the oak beams in the Champers for Campers bar or they have been sourced locally from sustainable sources. All materials are fully traceable from source.
The design of the structures has considered the environmental conditions to ensure efficient energy use. A good example of this is the roof of the washroom has a large overhang, which not only provides a sheltered walkway, but also provides shading for windows in the summer and shelter for the facility in adverse weather. Air circulates beneath the roof to give the facility natural ventilation and provides a thermal circulation system to generate a constant air temperature.
Renewable Campsite Power and Heating
One of the main considerations was the electricity consumption on the site, providing electricity to facilities, heating water and providing heat in the communal facilities and luxury log cabins. It was decided that not only would solar panels be utilised to harness the suns natural solar energy, but by using ground source heat pumps we could use the solar heat energy stored in the ground.
Heat energy is stored in the ground and water at a constant temperature all year round.
Ground source heat pumps are designed to extract this heat energy via an array of collectors. Ground collectors can take many forms including a borehole in rock, slinky pipe in soil, or pond mat in a lake.
Flaxton Meadows opted for the slinky pipe which is installed 1m below the surface the ground. The temperature remains a fairly constant 8-10°C at this depth all year round. This makes it an excellent renewable heat source for ground source heat pumps. The pipework collect the heat from the soil which is then pumped into facilities to provide 24/7 heating and hot water. Ground source heat pumps are electrically driven devices with no combustion, so there are no emissions generated, such as Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulphur Oxides (SOx) or Carbon Dioxide (COÇ). This not only has environmental benefits, but also benefits health as there is no risk of noxious gases or smells.
Another challenge was to reroute the overhead cables beneath the site so that the view of Flaxton Meadows was uninterrupted from an aesthetic point, but also removal of the cables has benefit for nocturnal bird and bat species who frequently fly into cables and become injured. This had to be overcome at our own cost, but the benefit is multi-fold.
Providing a Sanctuary for Wildlife
As well as considering the environmental impact, the Flaxton Meadows policy is to provide a sanctuary for wildlife. As the important heathland habitat of Strensall Common SSSI is our neighbour we aim to provide a continued corridor for our wildlife. Working with Natural England we have erected a variety of boxes for birds, owls and bats to provide additional habitat. Natural England will monitor the boxes use and record their findings to assess the population of species. We have also installed a number of webcams in the nest boxes which can be viewed from the campsite App.
As a nation of hedgehog lovers we have all become sadly aware of the rapid decline in the hedgehog population, so Flaxton Meadows aims to provide a sanctuary for rehabilitated hedgehogs. Partnering with local wildlife carers we have handcrafted hedgehog homes and rehomed previously sick and injured hedgehogs into our grounds.
Currently we have planted over 2000 trees, laid 300m of wildlife friendly hedgerows and grow wildflower meadows annually to provide habitat for bees and other insects that are a food source for wildlife.
Guests can enjoy our nature trail around the campsite with educational information boards.
Working with other conservationists in the community we will continue to improve our sanctuary and ensure that is a legacy for years to come.
Green Tourism Certificate
Being a member of the Green Tourism (GT) site and being awarded the GT certificate gives Flaxton Meadows increased status for those campers seeking the eco-experience. Green Tourism provides eco-campers assurance that the business is verified as eco by Green Tourism.