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Our Environmental Policy
Preserving our Environment for Future Generations

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The Glenholm Centre
By Biggar
Scottish Borders
ML12 6JF
01899 830408

Energy Conservation and Self Sufficiency
Waste Management
Purchasing Policy
Water Management
Transport Policy
Environment Policy

The Glenholm Centre and Glenholm Wildlife Project are set amid some of the most beautiful scenery in Southern Scotland. We would like to keep it that way for future generations. It is our aim to make sure that the activities at the Centre have minimal impact on our environment and that we pass the Centre on to the next generation in the same or better condition than we found it. To help us achieve this we are working on a number of projects and have a stated environment policy.

A sustainable environment is our goal but from a business point of view so is keeping costs to a minimum and having a sustainable business. So we believe that the example we try to set is achievable within a budget.


Energy Conservation and Self Sufficiency

Our premises rely on oil for heating, LPG gas for some of our cooking and inevitably electricity. Over the last five years we have tried to reduce our dependency on oil and gas and to reduce our consumption of electricity. In the medium to long term our aim is to be self-sufficient in electricity, probably through the use of a wind turbine, or failing that to access green tariff electricity. Here are some key points regarding our achievements and plans:


  • the centre is dependent on two oil-fired boilers to provide central heating and to heat water.
  • March 2008 - installed a Woodwarmer wood burning stove supplied by the Stove Experience.
  • oil consumption has reduced from 16 litres per day in 2004 to 8 litres per day (since 2010).
  • all of the wood we use for the wood-burning stove is sourced on the farm from dead, dangerous or fallen trees.
  • on the farm we have a program of tree planting (see Tree Orphanage).
  • we have replaced all light bulbs with low energy versions.
  • in the bedrooms we gently encourage our guests to turn lights off when leaving rooms.
  • we always purchase 'A' rated 'white' goods items, although we have never replaced a working item solely because of its energy rating.
  • we have reduced our electricity consumption from 41 units per day in 2003 to 27 units per day (since 2010).
Electricity Generation
  • our current supplier is Scottish Power who sadly only obtain 6.9% of their energy from renewable sources.  
  • we have a medium to long term goal of producing our own energy probably using PV panels.
  • we are in the middle of a complete review of insulation throughout the Centre with the aim to increase insulation to more than the minimum recommended.

Waste Management

At the Glenholm Centre and within the Glenholm Wildlife Project we aim to reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging of products bought for the Centre and to recycle as much as we can of waste products.


  • the local council (Scottish Borders Council) promotes recycling and makes it easier to recycle with collections of paper, card and most plastic items every other week.
  • Broughton has a bottle bank for glass items.
  • we provide separate bins in guest rooms for recyclable and other rubbish.
Reusing and the Tree Orphanage
  • before sending for reprocessing however we look for ways of re-using items in house.
  • the tree orphanage has a policy of never buying pots but instead re-uses buckets and containers of various sizes left over by the farm.
  • all organic 'vegetable' kitchen waste is composted.
  • for soil the orphanage uses a mix of molehill earth and compost produced from organic kitchen waste.
  • even the trees at the orphanage are recycled as they have all been rescued from gardens and other locations where they're not wanted.

Purchasing Policy

Where to buy inputs for the business and what to buy is probably one of the biggest challenges for a small business that is both trying to be green, but is also targeting an inclusive market and therefore is trying to work to a budget.
  • for economic reasons we buy most of our inputs from large supermarkets although the choice of which supermarket to use and its location (the edge of Edinburgh 20 miles away or Galashiels about 30 miles) is largely determined by where we are already having to travel for other services or as part of our work.
  • when we need smaller numbers of items or when we run short of items we use smaller supermarkets in Biggar (7 miles away) or Peebles (12 miles).
  • where there is a choice we always buy items produced in Scotland (for example meat).
  • where there is a choice we always buy fair-trade items (for example coffee, sugar, bananas etc...).
  • where there is a choice we always buy environmentally friendly detergents (for example the Ecover range).

Water Management

While accreditation schemes such as the Green Tourism Business Scheme quite rightly emphasize the importance of water conservation as one of the key environmental measures that they take into account, we are in a fortunate position in that we have a private spring fed water supply. Any water that we don't use returns to the stream. In addition we have a septic tank so any waste from water that we do use goes to the tank and excess liquid from the tank soaks away through the ground and again eventually back to the river system. Nothing other than natural processes and energy (bacteria) are used to process the septic tank waste.

Note that while education is very important and especially education by example, in the area of water conservation we feel it unnecessary to spend money on manufactured goods to reduce water consumption in toilets, or to add to the number of printed notices reminding our paying guests of issues which in our own situation are not relevant.


Transport Policy

The Glenholm Centre suffers for being in a rural area which is desperately poorly served by public transport. The nearest railway station is at Lanark, 25 miles away, and is part of the SPT centred on Glasgow. Indeed there is no railway station anywhere in the Scottish Borders administrative area. The nearest bus stop to Glenholm is at the end of the glen road (Rachan), one mile away.

  • Rachan is served by the Biggar-Peebles service about six times a day in each direction.
  • there are two services linking Broughton village (a further two miles from Rachan) with Edinburgh, one in the morning and the other in the evening in each direction.
  • there are more services linking both Biggar and Peebles to Edinburgh.
  • a full list of services is available from the Upper Tweed Community web site.

With public transport so poor, local people all rely on their cars far more than they ought to need to and visitors to Glenholm almost exclusively come by car.

  • for our own use we have  a Skoda Fabia Greenline II Estate (to replace our previous seven year old Kangoo) which according to Which has a combined miles per gallon of 83.1, CO2 emissions of just 89g/km and is A rated for road tax.
  • once our guests have arrived we endeavour to provide all that they need without the need for them to go out.
  • we include in a feedback form a box for guests to record the mileage they have used to reach us and we then promise to plant enough trees each year to balance this.

Environment Policy Statement

Within the Glenholm Centre and Glenholm Wildlife Project to achieve best green practice we are committed to:-

  • Reducing the amount of unnecessary packaging of products bought for the Centre
  • Recycling as much as we can of waste products
  • Increasing the efficiency of energy use throughout the Centre
  • Increasing the biodiversity of the land around the centre
  • Making it easier for visitors to view wildlife around the Centre without impacting on the activities of the wildlife.

We ask our visitors to help us by

  • Bedding and towels changed only at your request
  • Turning off lights when leaving rooms
  • Keeping external doors shut when heating is on

We value any comment and suggestions from our visitors in helping us to achieve our aims. Please forgive us if you think we are not doing something right but help us out by making suggestions.