Green Policies


Right from the word go, we have determined to run Dowfold House as efficiently and with as little harm to the environment as possible. When we bought the house, we didn’t even know that the Green Tourism existed, but we have been members since 2007, thus encouraging the “green movement” from both a domestic and business point of view.


  • In 2015 - a brand new, wood pellet-burning biomass boiler, replacing our reasonably efficient old oil-fired boiler was installed. We have devoted a whole garage space for the pellet silo and what was originally the coal-hole is now the home of the Scandinavian monster! Do ask for a guided tour.
  • As of July 2011, we are generating our OWN electricity from 16 photo-voltaic panels on our roof, with a nominal capacity of 3.76 KwH and what we buy from the grid is on a “green” tariff.
  • Almost all our light bulbs are now energy saving ones. We have been totally rewired and try to run as much domestic machinery during the day when our photo-voltaic panels are soaking up the sunshine or at night on cheaper rate electricity. Time switches are used.
  • Our chimneys and flues are swept regularly for maximum efficiency.
  • Wood burnt on our open fire in the sitting room (and in our stove in our kitchen/living room) is either from a local supplier who sources locally or from our own felled trees, well-seasoned and very dry.
  • Each radiator has a thermostatic valve – do turn it down! There is also an aluminium foil reflector between each radiator and the outside wall. Radiators in un-used rooms are always turned off.
  • Ceramic damp-proofing was installed in 2010 – dryer walls mean warmer walls.
  • Hot water cylinders are lagged to the maximum capacity.
  • Our loft is well insulated – the top layer of insulation is made from recycled bottles.
  • Small (0.8litre capacity) kettles are provided in guests’ rooms, so only just enough water for two cups is boiled.
  • As electrical equipment is replaced, we are making sure that the new goods are A rated for efficiency.
  • In 2021, we installed a Wiser Smart heating control system, where you set and manage your heating room by room from your mobile - or from Google Home.  It's both delivering savings with more targeted heating (compared to thermostatic valves) and means we can heat where we want, when we want, much more easily.
  • We now (installed early 2023) have a “Zappi” electric vehicle charger. Though we use it for our own EV, we encourage guests to use it for their own EVs.



  • We try to recycle as much as we can. The council takes away glass, paper, card, cans and plastic as well. Guests are invited to recycle rubbish in the porch area between the stables and the side block                          of the house.    Use the Blue Lidded bin for recycling all except glass.  Put that in the crate beside the bin.
  • We are members of Freegle (where you offer unwanted goods at no cost) and much of our unwanted “stuff” goes that way, or to a local charity shop.
  • We compost all vegetable waste from the kitchen and garden, and after 18-24 months it’s used as a nutritious mulch for the flower borders, vegetable patch, fruit trees and bushes. Tea bags go on the compost heap and coffee grounds help deter slugs and snails from tender plants.
  • Much of our printing is done on once used printed A4 sheets.
  • We buy only recycled paper.



  • We are gradually fitting more water butts, currently twelve, but the capacity for 3 or 4 more is there!
  • Our WCs have dual flush systems.
  • We encourage guests to drink tap water from a carafe (re-filled each day, with the left-overs going to the garden) in their rooms rather than environmentally expensive bottled water.


  • We buy as much as we can from local suppliers and farms.
  • Much of our fruit is home grown, in season, and jam is homemade. Apple juice has previously been pressed from our own apples by Fruitful Durham. Currently, we buy our apple juice from North East Autism Society who press surplus apples from all over Co Durham, some of them from Dowfold House.
  • Flowers and plants in the house are usually home grown.
  • Our tea and coffee supplies are Fairtrade brands.
  • We serve our own honey at breakfast time.

Wild life

  • We encourage the birds to our garden with several feeders around. Sadly they are mostly visited by pigeons and magpies! – but we do get the odd woodpecker and lots of pheasants. In the spring, you will be able to hear not only lark song but also curlews in the air above the fields opposite and next door to Dowfold House and you may hear an owl or two after dark.   Swallows return every summer to nest in our bin porch and on warm summer evenings you may see bats flitting about in search of their supper!
  • There are wilder areas for other creatures to shelter, lots of crevices in the surrounding walls, log piles and we do have a small pond, with “self-seeded” fish, ordinary goldfish and newts. Toads and lizards have also been discovered in the undergrowth.
  • We also have a nascent wild-flower - well, we hesitate to call it a meadow – patch in the orchard, but it's a start, and quite pretty. We also practice a differential mowing regime (DMR) which allows some of our main lawn to grow long in the summer – usually a geometric design, interesting when viewed from above through our “Green” bedroom’s window.
  • There’s a notebook in the dining room with details of various wild happenings. Do add to it if you see something interesting.


  • We ask guests to keep the same bed linen for their stay. If longer than 7 days, a change will take place at a suitable interval.
  • We have a towel policy of keeping the same ones for a short stay.  When new ones are desired, used ones are to be put in the bath/shower tray.
  • Where possible, laundry is dried outside. If wet, on a pulley in the laundry. A dessicant de-humidifier and/or an extractor fan speeds up the drying – far more energy efficient than a tumble-dryer.
  • Most washing is done at low temperatures with “green” washing powder/liquid.


Cleaning Products

  • We use “green” products. Ecover, Bright Earth and Bio.D are our favoured brands.
  • The lavatory paper and kitchen roll we buy are made from recycled paper; facial tissues are made from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved paper. 
  • A good deal of the cleaning around the house is done with diluted Bio.D disinfectant, or dilute vinegar and water, re-using spray cleaning bottles.
  • A carpet sweeper, rather than a vacuum cleaner is often used.
  • Environmentally friendly toiletries from The Bath House in Sedbergh (www.the provided in our guests’ shower/bathrooms We think they’re lovely to use, and have all the right credentials, though they do come from the other side of the Pennines! The aluminium pump bottles are refilled from bulk polythene bags – much less plastic “heavy” than lots of new bottles or indeed single use miniatures.   Do let us know what you think.  They have a few shops in the north with a very wide range of beautiful, natural products, which can, of course be ordered on-line.   


  • We don’t live on a bus route and most of our visitors do arrive by car. However, we always send out details of public transport with our booking confirmations, bus and other transport timetables are readily to hand in the house and we do have storage for bicycles. Ask for details of Durham’s Park & Ride scheme for easy access to the City or look at


Besides the Green Tourism, we are members of the local Weardale Visitors Network; , Co Durham’s tourism arm,  the National Trust and have good links with the North Pennines National Landscapes.

Bath House Hair & Body Wash

One of the Bath House personal care products made available in Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast bathrooms

Dowfold House Bed andBreakfast Solar Panels

Installed in 2011, these literally light up our guests' lives!

Dowfold House Lemons!