Across the site the Suntrap site there are many things in place that support our commitment to the environment.
The buildings are well insulated and double glazed to reduce heat loss. Solar panels are fitted to both the main building and camping lodge, helping to live up to our name of Suntrap – capturing the sun’s energy to produce both electricity and hot water.
In addition the camping lodge is fitted with a ground source heat pump, transferring heat from the ground underneath the meadow into the building, drastically reducing carbon dioxide emissions from this building compared to if were heated by a gas boiler.
Recycling and composting
Around the building, are many recycling collection points. Recycling materials reduces the amount of energy needed to produce new goods. Every visitor is invited to place their compostable waste into bins available in every classroom. Composting reduces landfill, in turn reducing our carbon footprint.
Staff and visitors are encouraged to cycle to the centre, thereby reducing their own carbon footprint; knowing there is a safe, secure store for their bike once they arrive.
Car charging point
The centre has two electric charging points for cars. In general, electric vehicles produce fewer emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, than conventional vehicles.
Vegetarian meals To develop sustainable earing habits visitors staying overnight are provided with a delicious vegetarian selection to encourage them to cut down their meat consumption. This is part of Suntrap’s strategy to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from intensive meat farming and in turn making it easy for people to choose healthy food for a healthier planet.
For a site covering just seven acres, we have a fantastic range of habitats, including dry & wet meadows, ponds, hedgerows and woodland. Each habitat must be managed to help to maintain it. In winter overgrown ponds must be cleared to prevent them from becoming choked by plants and silting up, while hedgerows need to be pruned to maintain a thick growth; providing greater shelter for birds and small mammals. The meadows must be cut at the end of summer when flowers have turned to seed. Once the seeds have been released from the cuttings, the dead material must be removed to ensure the meadow does not become too nutrient rich: wildflower meadows thrive on nutrient poor soil.
Giving nature a home
Bird and bat boxes have been installed across the site. We have an invertebrate area in our front garden which has an “invertebrate hotel” and log piles, this provides a habitat for these small animals and allows visitors to see what they might be able to manage in their own garden. The animal cages have a green roof, providing an additional habitat for insects.
Wild bees are in trouble. One major reason is habitat loss: there are just not enough places that can provide them with shelter and food. They are also under threat from diseases, pesticides and invading species - all of which can kill them. As well as our meadows - providing a habitat for these amazing insects, we also keep honey bees on site. By keeping them, we hope to help people understand the importance of bees in the pollination process, and possibly to learn to love these important insects as much as we do.