At a Glance
- Travel: Sustainable transport options: arrival by train and bus direct to YHA Okehampton
- Travel: Installed Electric Car Charging Station at YHA Okehampton for overnight stays
- Travel: In 2023 we added an Electric Minibus to Adventure Okehampton fleet.
- Waste: Recycling our waste now exceeds 75% per year.
- Water: We have reduced our water usage by 26% in last 2 years
- Water: Installed water refill stations at YHA Okehampton and YHA Okehampton Bracken Tor
- Energy: In 2022 we built a new Cycle Hire Shop and Cafe heated by Air-Source Heat Pumps
- Energy: in 2023 we added more Photo-voltaic panels at YHA Okehampton Bracken Tor
- Reducing food miles: most packed lunch include sandwiches/cakes/cookies made on site
- Reducing food miles: support local suppliers for meat, eggs, milk, vegetables.
- Increasing biodiversity: added new hedges on both sites
- Recognition: 2018 Visit Devon Bronze Award for Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism
Each year we review our progress towards a sustainable and ethical adventure centre delivering fun but safe sessions to our users. We want to make our customers aware of our sustainable and responsible tourism practices, so we have been adding more signage about sustainability, telling them about places to go using public transport, and getting our instructors to engage with customers telling them about Dartmoor, the countryside and wildlife.
Major Developments in 2022
The new addition in 2022 has been the creation the the new Cycle Hub building at Okehampton Station, which has a Air Source Heat Pump and underfloor heating combined with good insulation, creating a more sustainable new build. The solar tunnels add light to the building reducing the need to light the room during the summer.
Major Developments in 2023
After 18 months on order our new electric minibus finally arrived and entered service in the fleet, the first steps towards changing our fleet over to all electric.
Reductions in the % of waste. In 2022, we have managed to increase to 75% recycling of our waste, by taking on recycling glass ourselves. This has been a gradual journey, starting from 30% recycling in 2014, to 60% by 2018 and now 75% in 2022.
Reductions in the % of water usage.
In 2022 we have installed a second grey water system in the new Cycle Hub building, increasing the level to which we use water from the roofs for for toilets and laundry at YHA Okehampton and Granite Way Cycle Hub and Cafe.
Since 2019 we have reduced our water bills by 24% though adding valves to reduce pressure, based on information and advice from SW Water.
Reducing our energy use
In 2018 we added Solar Panels at the Bracken Tor Function Room generating up to 4000kW per annum. At the same time, we have changed the way the electricity is supplied to the three buildings at Bracken Tor, so that any excess energy from the Solar Panels can now be used in Bracken Tor Lodge. The gradual switch to LED lighting has reduced the amount spent on bulbs per annum by 80% as well as reducing customer complaints about flickering lights. In 2023 we are about to add further panels to increase the level of generation on our journey to become carbon neutral.
Adventure Okehampton’s utility bills represent a large percentage of our running costs. If we can become more efficient in our use of energy, then we can reduce our bills and give long term benefits for the environment. Hence as traditional lights fail they are replaced with energy efficient LED lighting throughout sites.
We have reduced energy use by creating zonation systems into the buildings, which allow more careful control of heating levels.
Ensuring our use of local suppliers
Whilst costs often mean that we can buy produce at a lower cost from one of the large suppliers that have distribution centres some distance from Okehampton, we seek to use, where possible, local suppliers for daily supplies of eggs and milk, local producers for vegetables and meat. We make our own cakes, biscuits and similar goods rather than buy ready-made products.
Increasing our “Free-from” food options.
We have sought better signage for our “free-from” menu options, we have folders with information on all allergens for staff and customers and we have added new products increasing the proportion of gluten-free and dairy-free products in shop and snack-bar.
Increasing our use of renewable energy
We have switched our energy suppliers to one claims to use 100% renewable sources and we have installed solar panels ourselves at Bracken Tor.
Installation of electric car charging point at YHA Okehampton, free to overnight guests. We are investigating adding a rapid charge point for two parking spaces at the Granite Way Cycle Hub.