BALE Award winners for Sustainability
In February, the Knock family who run a farming business near Needham Market in Suffolk, were invited to a free session at Ashtons Legal new offices near Bury St Edmunds. This was the prize the family had won as part of the ‘Best Green Enterprise’ Sustainability Award in 2018. This is one of several BALE Awards, which receive entries from across East Anglia; Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.
In 2017 the family decided to diversify one part of their farming business by developing an old sugar beet pad into luxury lodges which overlook two fishing lakes. The site is now known as Welhams Meadow and is a small development, with only four lodges available to buy, each individually named after surrounding trees ‘elm’, ‘oak’, ‘willow’ and ‘ash’ set amongst recent landscaped grounds.
Chris has farmed at Manor Farm for over 40 years and was keen to incorporate a mixture of sustainable practises; low energy use, renewable energy, rainwater harvesting and habitat enhancement for surrounding the lodges at Welhams Meadow, which reflect the general ethos of the farm business. Hence the family applying for the BALE Award.
Georgina was keen to harness the technology during the initial stages to minimise the energy footprint of the lodges. “We researched into renewable energy and decided the Tesla solar batteries were the best option. We have seen an incredible impact on the energy savings; in the past six months £856 has been saved and £277 worth of power provided back into the National Grid.”
Chris says “It simply makes sense, financially, environmentally and especially as we’re in one of the sunniest parts of the country! We are happy to show others how we’ve done it and we’ll soon be publishing the data for this summer on our website sunnysuffolk.co.uk because this will be the first summer since having people to stay and enjoy Welhams Meadow.”
The lodges start at £150,000 on a 99-year lease with subletting available, which makes them an attractive investment opportunity, countryside base or weekend retreat. One of the lodges has recently been sold and there is the opportunity to design your bespoke lodge, such as number of bedrooms, interiors and layouts; as we work closely with Omar Homes the local manufacturer based in Brandon, Suffolk.
If you’re interested, please contact Josh at William H Brown estate agents, based in Stowmarket: the number to ring is 01449 614459