The Sustainable Organic Living Experience was established to close the gap between environmental demands and a modern, comfortable lifestyle. CountrySOLE aims to raise awareness of the unnecessary use of the world's finite resources and to encourage the use of sustainable materials in everyday life, recycling where possible and striving to close the gap between environmental demands and modern living conditions. Our self-catering accommodation is truly sustainable and environmentally friendly. The project is organic both in principle and growth. It continually evolves, and each stage is exciting and challenging. We would like you to come and share our vision and experience sustainable living. Book your self-catering holiday with us. The CountrySOLE Project….it simply works! ABOUT THE PROJECT The challenge we set for ourselves was to build sustainable houses using, as much as possible, renewable, reusable, reused and biodegradable materials, and to build a living system which would have the least impact on the environment. There are many ethical and practical considerations to grapple with and I’m not sure that we have always attained the right balance, but we have tried hard to work through the difficulties. We would have liked to be able to buy everything from local sources but often the materials or the expertise has not been available. We are very grateful to the volunteer groups from Hands Around the World whose input has been much appreciated and for all the family help and support throughout the project. THE HOUSES We have two houses built from Finnish Pine interlocking logs, protected by a home made borax solution to control mildew and woodworm. The construction involves only wooden pegs to “nail” the logs in place between the log intersections. The wooden framed windows are double glazed and the wall and floor insulation is provided by sheep’s wool, some of which were grazing on our farm. The roof tiles are recycled plastic, reformed to copy Welsh slates. Electricity is obtained from the sun using photovoltaic cells and a small wind turbine. The electricity is stored in deep cycle batteries. The Bunkhouse operates at 12 volts and LED lights provide excellent lighting at very little wattage. The Woodhouse, our accommodation, has a dual power system relying on 12 volts for all essential operations but includes the ability to invert to 240 volts for operations when the power is plentiful. A back up generator is available for filling in the gaps in supply. We have been very glad of the technical support for the renewable energy systems from our son-in-law Ben Whittle. Heating and cooking comes from solid fuel (in this case wood) Rayburns, recovered from the rush for oil and gas. Hot water in the summer comes from solar heater panels on the south facing roof. Both houses have grey water recycling and composting toilets to return, eventually, all waste to the soil. THE GARDEN & FARM We have planted 350 trees within the plot to replace the trees used in the buildings and eventually to provide a source of firewood and timber. More trees will be planted over the coming years to maintain the balance. We have created an amazing circular garden (the circle of life - see the Photo Gallery). There is a central octagonal pool (the water of life) to raise fish for eating, and raised beds radiating from the centre to the 8 main points of the compass, growing fruit, vegetables and flowers on a permaculture principle, with the small triangular beds between for other crops.