Roselidden’s Green Credentials
When Jos and I moved to Roselidden in 2008, the world was slowly awakening to the damage that we humans are doing to the environment. Cornwall was taking a leading role in making a difference, so in restoring Roselidden we have sought to be as green as we can.
We have redeveloped Roselidden by recycling and re-using whatever we can, and by using mainly traditional materials and techniques. These are best suited to the 150 year old granite buildings and the warm and damp environment we enjoy. Examples are the recycled Delabole slate roofs, lime mortar pointing, and traditional wooden sash windows. These all have a significantly lower carbon footprint than their modern equivalents.
We have tried to make the buildings as energy efficient as possible without altering their fundamental character. We have insulated floors and roof spaces using modern materials, and have used ‘Hempsulate’ (a lime putty and hemp mix) to insulate walls when it became available. Windows are double glazed. We have installed underfloor heating, as it trickles heat throughout the day and night stabilising temperatures and controlling condensation. We have installed a ground source heat pump for the Long Barn and Hayloft, which gives out three to four times more heat energy than it takes in from the electricity grid.
We have efficient wood burners throughout the site for short term boosts in temperature, which mean we use less electricity overall. These use waste wood from the redevelopment, and offcuts from our son’s local carpentry business.
We have solar panels on the house and barn, producing hot water and electricity.
We use low energy bulbs throughout and we buy our electricity from Bulb, who source their power entirely from renewable sources.
We have wanted to install a small wind turbine, as when the sun is not shining, the wind is usually blowing, but Cornwall Council guidelines on the proximity of a windmill to our neighbours have so far prevented this. We hope that this may change as the global call for green energy grows.
We have planted three hundred metres of hedges, over three hundred trees, and three hundred and fifty willows.
We use no artificial fertilisers, weedkillers or insecticides on the pasture, which is left to grow in spring, and cut for hay in summer.
We compost all vegetable waste.
We maintain an open barn as a nesting place and flying school for the swallows which come back each year between May and September.
We use rechargeable maintenance equipment such as strimmers and hedgecutters as much as we can, but due to the size of Roselidden we have to use petrol mowers and tools as well.
We try to use ecologically sensitive cleaning products wherever possible.
We use the sun and the wind to dry our laundry.
We aim to be as plastic free as possible, and encourage all those who come to Roselidden to do the same. We have been awarded Plastic Free Champion status by Surfers against Sewage, and are supporters of The Final Straw, who aim to eliminate plastic straws from Cornwal, and also Plastic Free Helston.
Peter & Jos Hadfield February 2020