What Makes Newt Cottage Green?

The environmentally friendly renovation of Newt Cottage was carried out in 2005 with the help of a teenage environmental group, the Northumberland Eco Wild Team. As youth leaders with the Wildlife Trusts we guided the teenagers as they researched the creation of a very ’green’ home and then professional workmen made their dreams into reality. It was an exciting, award-winning project and the group were able to present their ideas at a youth conference in Sweden, and later at a Tunza UNEP Youth Conference.

Newt Cottage is cosy and warm whatever the weather, with an energy efficient air-source heat pump providing heat to radiators in each room. Solar panels on the roof mean that there is always oodles of hot water, and to stop the heat escaping we’ve insulated the cottage really well – you can see sheep’s wool insulation through a viewing panel in the living room.

We’ve chosen a green electricity supplier and energy efficient appliances throughout the house to minimise energy use. Guests can help us look after our planet too by enjoying a morning shower rather than a wallowing bath and making use of the smaller flush on the toilet. Our glorious garden is watered from a butt collecting rainwater from the roof.

Avoiding harmful chemicals was important to our green renovation. All paints and wood oils used throughout the cottage are ‘green’, free of harmful solvents, and we even asked the electricians to supply non PVC wiring. Hidden inside the walls is a framework of untreated European larch, and much more visible is the lovely solid pine bespoke furniture of living room and bedrooms.

We’ve tried to choose lovely natural fibres; wool rugs and feather bedding. Most importantly, all our bed linen is a gorgeous, ethically-produced organic cotton, giving you a luxurious night’s sleep.

To look after our environment we must recycle and reuse as much as we can. There are lovely recycled glasses and one or two antiques in the cottage. Please don’t forget to follow the recycling advice for your waste while you visit, and to use the garden compost bin for vegetable waste. We embrace the ethos of the NEWTs project in anything we purchase for Newt Cottage; guests can pamper themselves with beautiful Faith in Nature toiletries.

The cottage garden was not forgotten by the NEWTs, either. They planted fruit trees and bushes, flowering plants and herbs. Today the garden is a sunny sheltered haven for wildlife and, of course, guests.