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From the outset of River Cottage HQ, the intention was to create a site that was low carbon, low energy and that considered the various issues of sustainability on the site.

River Cottage developed a holistic approach for the site that would assure nothing went to waste and that all aspects of the energy creation, infrastructure and physical build were realised with maximum sustainability.

Everything from the materials sourced to the systems used, strives to have minimal impact on the environment.

Through numerous systems like a bio-mass boiler that is fuelled with clearings from local forests to the reed beds that naturally process effluent from the site; sustainability has been the primary design focus of the project.

The wind turbine at the top of our hill supplies some of the electricity for the site. We average around 168,000 kWh per year, which is approximately 9-10% of our usage.

We are ambassadors for the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

We our proud that our farm carries organic certification as accredited by the Soil Association and is managed under Countryside and Environmental Stewardship; schemes run by Natural England.

These schemes help land managers look after natural habitats and bio-diversity, in co-operation with food production. Particular habitats of note are our species-rich hay meadows and the management of traditional hedgerows. We grow high quality organic fruit and vegetables on 1.5 acres of the farm providing a wide variety of produce for our kitchen, all year round.

It's been seven years now since we moved into our buildings at Park Farm. Installing then getting to know all our renewable and environmental technologies has been a learning curve for us all, but it’s also been rather fun! Ultimately though we have a serious, and exciting, goal: to make River Cottage HQ a zero carbon site. We’ve been monitoring our energy needs and usage and evaluating how best to reach our zero carbon target. Much of our recent progress has been in identifying some key elements to help us reduce our carbon output (and save us money in the process) — like making sure we use high quality Low E light bulbs. As we continue to reduce our energy requirement an increasing proportion of it can be covered by what we generate ourselves with our wind turbine and solar panels.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
River Cottage