Sustainable Glamping at Round the Woods

How a guilt-free luxury & affordable holiday is possible

At Round the Woods we have succeeded in offering luxury glamping accommodation in the countryside whilst providing an incredibly eco-friendly, guilt-free experience for you to enjoy. Round the Woods has off-grid accommodation in the form of 2 yurts with a strawbale roundhouse soon to be available, all set in 20 acres of beautiful Norfolk countryside. We are proud to have had a Gold Award from Green Tourism since we opened in 2015 and are constantly making decisions to be more sustainable as a business.

We are a low impact site which means that we avoid using concrete where possible so that if Round the Woods had to move or close for any reason we would leave very little footprint on the land. We do this by having our structures sit on pavers and if needed have gravel foundations.

Having recently been asked to give a talk to prospective and existing glampsite owners on how glamping can be more sustainable I thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight the extent of our environmental credentials. I hope the extensive list that follows demonstrates how committed me and my family are to reducing our environmental impact as well as how we attempt to make a positive impact on the local area.

Solar PV panels generating 5KW of solar electricity

Energy

  • All of the lightbulbs at Round the Woods are LED or low energy equivalents light bulbs.

  • We have solar powered lights across the site, including fairy lights in the yurts creating a magical atmosphere and in various other areas outside, lights around the campfire as well as individual lightbulbs to give brighter lighting for dining, cooking and by the bed. We also have solar path lights helping to light the way for guests.

  • Toilet lights and ventilation fans in the shower rooms have motion sensors to ensure they are only on when needed.

  • Woodburners provide carbon neutral heating, with logs from our woodland or sourced locally.

  • We have a 5KW solar PV system which powers the shower building and our house.

  • We provide washable hand towels and flannels rather than hand dryers. 

  • We encourage guests to travel by public transport and provide information to assist with planning journey as well as offering to pick guests up from the local bus stop in Lenwade.

Waste

Reduce

  • We purchase anything we can in bulk to reduce plastic and we refill smaller containers if necessary.

  • We find uses around the site for washing up cloths and sponges guests have used in previous years. This year we're going one step further and are providing a reusable wooden washing up brush instead of disposable alternatives.

  • Bin bags, toilet paper & kitchen roll are all from recycled sources so new virgin materials are not used for these.

  • We also provide the essentials for our guests, bought in bulk where possible, so our guests don’t need to purchase these just for a short stay, creating wastage. These include kitchen roll, oil, tea, coffee, sugar, salt and pepper.

Reuse

Shipping container shower building conversion
  • believe it or not our shower building had a former life as a shipping container, we converted it ourselves in 2015 giving it a new purpose and cladding it in timber to fit in with the natural surroundings.

  • A large proportion of our furniture is upcycled and a lot of our crockery and decorations are from charity shops, we take our time to search out the perfect items to work with the luxury post-modern/rustic/country design of our accommodation and it means that each of our yurts are slightly different.

Recycle

  • We have recycling facilities for our guests to use as well as food waste compost which is used on our veg garden.

 

Water

Bog cabin private compost toilet for each yurt
  • Whilst our guests can enjoy a lovely hot shower after a long day exploring the countryside, we’ve actually tested that the flow and our water pressure is within good levels. If you do find your water pressure is too high you can retrofit low flow tap connectors.

  • We have waterless eco-friendly compost toilets alongside our yurts with an en-suite being included in the roundhouse. Don’t worry, they’re really rather nice and our guests often comment on how great they found them. They’re in cute sheds fondly known as Bog Cabins and the waste is composted separately and used to nourish our land.

  • There is a hand pump tap at the sink in toilet to ensure that excess water isn’t used.

  • We’ve decided against providing hot tubs for our guests to use, although I know some people are specifically seeking this we just cannot bear the thought of wasting and replacing the water on a constant basis.

  • Our water is fresh from our own borehole.

Biodiversity

Barn owl hunting by Oak Tree Yurt
  • Our whole 20 acre site, including a semi ancient woodland and County Wildlife Site meadow, is managed for the benefit of wildlife.

  • We coppice the hazel trees for logs and kindling for woodburners on a 15 year rotation and gather deadwood and sticks for guests to use on the campfire.

  • We encourage guests to enjoy the site and have den building materials available and a newly created woodland play space to enable families to relax and play together with log balance beams, tyre swings, a mud kitchen and lots of nature explorers equipment and books, obviously most of the equipment for this has been sourced second-hand. 

  • We have an abundance of wildlife on our site, including a barn owl, several species of deer, woodpeckers, buzzards, Egyptian Geese, Red legged partridges, hare and great crested newts. We provide books & information for guests on wildlife.

  • Over the last 5 years we’ve planted over 600 native trees and hedge plants.

  • We avoid using chemicals as part of our land management.

  • We’ve sown a large area of wildflower meadow which has been naturally expanding each year.

  • Guest vehicles are left in the car park for the duration of their stay which ensures the site remains wildlife and child friendly.

Chemicals

  • Our cleaning products are all environmentally friendly, including the laundry liquid we use. We are planning to start using homemade cleaning products soon using vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda to further our environmental efforts.

  • Cleaning and body products for guests use are also environmentally friendly including hand soap, shampoo and shower gel (which are sourced from a lovely local business) and washing up liquid.

  • We don't use any chemicals to manage our land.

Ethically sourced

We have lots of great local suppliers that we love sourcing products from for our guests to enjoy.

  • Our welcome hamper includes bacon and bread from our village, eggs from our hens and milk in glass bottles from the local dairy.

  • We have a small honesty shop which stocks local ice cream, chocolate, apple juice and sauces & bamboo toothbrushes.

  • We provide our guests with sustainable British charcoal for the BBQ.

  • Our guests are provided with locally sourced cold-pressed oil to use during their stay as well as fair trade organic coffee.

  • We also offer additional hampers full of local ingredients.

  • We use an ethical bank to manage the finances for Round the Woods.

Roundhouse

Straw bale roundhouse from the outside
  • As with the rest of our operations our roundhouse has sustainability at its core, creating a peaceful and beautifully natural space to relax in. With:

  • gravel foundations for the timber frame.

  • British sustainably sourced wood with as much as possible coming from right next door to us rather than the alternative of Sweden.

  • British sheep’s wool insulation.

  • straw bale from less than 10 miles away.

  • formaldehyde free OSB.

  • clay for the plaster on the walls from a building site 5 miles away.

  • second hand windows from a café in our local village that was being converted.

  • a sedum roof with biodiversity value.

  • en-suite compost toilet.

  • off grid with solar and battery back-up electricity, a woodburner and gas cooker.


A large appeal of glamping is getting outside, connecting with nature and destressing and what a bonus if you can have a guilt free relaxing holiday, knowing that you’re not negatively impacting the environment.