15 Cotswolds businesses putting the planet first

The Cotswolds is known for its outstanding natural beauty and it's home to some beautiful ideals too. Businesses big and small are putting their eco credentials at the centre of their working ethos, with SoGlos celebrating 15 of the most inspiring green leaders across the district.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Businesses across the Cotswolds are making great strides to protect the environment.
In partnership with BioPak  |  biopak.com/uk
BioPak

BioPak, based just over the Gloucestershire border in Worcester, makes compostable packaging from renewable materials – and supplies many businesses in the county including Gloucester Services, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Off Grid Coffee and Goff’s Brewery. Its industry-leading products made from plants include cups, bowls, containers, straws, trays, cutlery and napkins.

BioPak, based just over the Gloucestershire border in Worcester, makes packaging from plants and is a global champion at carving out greener solutions to create a more sustainable future. It already serves Gloucester Services, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Off Grid Coffee and Goffs Brewery with its compostable packaging.

And it's joined by many other companies across the Cotswolds which are determined to leave the world a better place than they found it. SoGlos rounds up some of the key players making big differences to the health of the planet.

Planet-friendly businesses in Gloucestershire

Cotswold Eco Rooms Ltd in Upper Rissington

This garden room specialist which designs, manufactures and installs is sure to ensure their creations are made from timber sourced from FSC certified forests around the world. Five trees are planted for every one used in the construction of its garden rooms. 

But the green credentials don't stop there. It's production warehouse is powered by solar and wind with any additional production fed back into the grid. Bases are constructed with huge ground screws which eliminate the need for harmful concrete - it's thought between four to eight per cent of the world's carbon emissions come from the cement industry. The team uses electric and hybrid vehicles, with the aim that by 2025 the whole fleet is EV, too. 

Daylesford Organic Farm in Kingham

Champions of organic farming for more than 20 years, Daylesford believes that producing food organically, following the year’s natural rhythms, is not only best for the future of our planet, but is better for people's wellbeing, too.

It's mission statement is strong: 'By shopping and eating organically you are choosing to invest in the long-term health of the planet and the wellbeing of yourself and your family, now and for the future.'

Ecotricity in Stroud

Hailed as Britain’s greenest energy company, all of Ecotricity's electricity is generated by the wind and the sun - and it's vegan, too. Gas supplies come from a mix of carbon-neutralised natural gas and sustainable green gas. With no shareholders, any dividends are invested in building new forms of green energy. 

As well as supplying power, in Gloucestershire, Ecotricity has planted 20,000 trees on a 40-acre site, creating a haven for bees, hedgehogs and badgers to thrive.

Planet-friendly businesses in Oxfordshire

Hippynut in Charlbury

The brainchild of two best friends, Hippynut specialises in vegan and zero-waste eco living solutions. Supplying reusable cloth nappies, they also sell everything from eco-friendly nappy accessories and clothing to maternal well being products.

The duo say: 'We believe small positive actions are capable of changing the world for the better. One cloth nappy means one less disposable nappy in landfill; one bowl covered with a reusable wrap instead of clingfilm means a little less plastic polluting the planet. These things may be mere drops in the ocean but if we do our bit, together we can create a wave.' They've also partnered up with Ecologi, so for every £15 customers spend, they plant a tree. The friends also plant 12 trees per family member each month to offset their family's own carbon footprint.

Burford Garden Company in Burford

With a wide variety of products to give wildlife a helping hand, Burford Garden Company has everything from wild bird nesters to seed packets to create a mini meadow for butterflies and insects; bee bricks to hedgehog barns; as well as frog and toad houses. It also ensures the vast majority of its plants are grown in peat-free compost.

The garden centre itself is kept warm through biomass heating, gardening products are organic and pesticide-free and it's big on recycling. Its rustically styled restaurant uses produce harvested from its kitchen gardens as well as local artisan producers and suppliers - keeping food miles low in its regularly changing seasonal menu.

Feldon Valley near Banbury

Feldon Valley's luxury lodge accommodation hidden in woodlands, contemporary restaurant and 18-hole golf course put nature at the heart of its offering. From showcasing seasonal, regional produce on its menus and supporting neighbouring independent businesses, Feldon Valley embodies an ethos celebrating community, nature and the Cotswolds.

Its drive for regional, sustainable practices is reflected in the kitchen, with farm to table dishes and sustainability at the fore. The kitchen team champion an eclectic selection of artisans, growers, and suppliers from the north Cotswolds as well as nurturing an expanding kitchen garden that grows seasonal fruits, berries, salads and vegetables as well as producing their own honey from beehives.

The golf centre has a green roof to encourage biodiversity; and in the grounds, it has installed five hedgehog homes, more than 150 bird and bat boxes and has recently planted a vast number of trees to give wildlife a happy home.

Planet-friendly businesses in Warwickshire

Cotswolds Distillery in Shipston-on-Stour

Serving up vegan-friendly gin, this eco-conscious firm celebrates the rich agricultural bounty of the Cotswolds, with the barley in its whisky grown nearby on the Blenheim estate and harvests of local fruits and grains, which make up the building blocks of its gin and whisky flavour profiles. It also strives to support the area as much as possible by raising money for Caring for the Cotswolds.

Managed by the Cotswolds National Landscape, this conservation scheme is a way for businesses and people to give back to ensure the environment is taken care of. By protecting heritage and landscape, conserving habitats and species and improving education, the money raised through Caring for the Cotswolds aims to protect the area for years to come.

North Cotswolds Dairy Co in Long Compton 

Its milk vending machine offers minimum farm miles, milk direct from the farmer and a fantastic fresh flavour with very little waste. The family-run dairy farm on the edge of the Cotswolds pasteurises milk on the farm. The cows graze the lush hills of the Cotswolds during the warmer months and in the winter are housed just feet from the milk vending machine and farm shop. The 80-strong pedigree herd keep important bloodlines going and the farm has been praised for its low antibiotic use.

The farm vending machine serves skimmed and semi skimmed milk, as well as double cream and other dairy goodies in an honesty fridge, including cheeses and homemade butter. They also stock Hoorays Gelato (made from their milk), Cacklebean eggs (bring your own box), Long Compton honey and preserves and gingerbread biscuits - helping villagers keep their food miles low.

Whichford Pottery in Whichford

Ethically-sourced materials form the backbone of these popular frost proof terracotta flowerpots made entirely by hand from its workshop in Warwickshire. Using traditional hand-thrown and hand-pressed methods, the potters keep ancient skills alive and support local businesses wherever possible.

Its Straw Kitchen café is run from an old barn, renovated using straw bales and natural building materials and techniques. Offering a sustainable place to eat, it is committed to the environment and sustainable and ethical food production as well as championing respect for people, community and the planet. The menu changes weekly according to the seasons, kitchen garden produce and what local suppliers are growing, with the team's mission to reduce its impact on the planet as much as possible.

Planet-friendly businesses in Wiltshire

Whatley Manor in Malmesbury

From consciously created menus with low food miles, eco cake brands and sustainable wine to local, seasonal flowers and natural decorations, this hotel puts care for the planet at the heart of its agenda. With a vision to be an environmentally responsible hotel, restaurant and spa, it wants to help create a cleaner, safer and healthier world for future generations.

It prides itself on being energy efficient, sourcing responsibly, reducing waste, reusing where possible and recycling - fully embracing the circular economy. By 2025 it aims to be recognised as an environmentally positive influencer in the hospitality industry and by 2026, to have reduced its carbon footprint by 75 per cent compared to 2017. 

Wiltshire Wood Recycling in Castle Coombe

Part of the National Community Wood Recycling Project, this firm diverts wood from landfill and offers volunteering and training opportunities. It prides itself on being an environmental alternative to skips. 

The team collects waste wood from construction firms, joinery experts and other businesses for a fee that's cheaper than conventional skip hire. They then grade and sell the best wood - giving it a second life. Other pieces of wood are manufactured and sold on as quality wood products. Poorer quality wood is sold as kindling and firewood and the worst quality wood is sent for chipping or board manufacture. Collected wood is never sent to landfill.

Burton Farm Shop & Kitchen near Chippenham

This farm shop grew out of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, when the farmers began to help local villagers with deliveries of fresh vegetables and eggs – and later bread and other items. It became clear there was a need for a local shop stocking essentials and fresh produce, so Burton Farm Shop was born.

Run by Angela and Daniel Clark, the farm shop and kitchen, which opened in August 2021, is housed in shipping containers on the farm and covered in rustic, environmentally-friendly wood cladding. Committed to supporting local farmers, growers and makers, the stock in the farm shop is sourced locally, as is the food they prepare in the kitchen. Now a village hub and destination, it is inspired by community and sustainability.

Planet-friendly businesses in Worcestershire

Little Soap Company in Broadway

Broadway-based Little Soap Company received a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its Eco Warrior products earlier this year. Its range of solid soap bars avoids the use of plastic bottles and the firm was recognised by the Queen for its excellence in innovation.

Instead of liquid products, they make shampoo, shaving foam, facial wash, shower gel and body scrub bars from natural, organic ingredients. Sold in high street stores across the UK, the business has an ethos of kindness and aims to help improve the world while balancing people, profit and planet.

Deer Park Hall in Eckington

Nestled in more than 1,000 acres of organic farmland, this wedding venue and conference centre also includes a vineyard and huge lavender garden for bees and wildlife to enjoy. Visitors touring the vineyard are shown how to take care of nature and how best to work in harmony with the planet. 

For weddings, it avoids plastic and uses recycled paper plates. It has also teamed up with an eco-friendly stationary supplier that provides recycled paper as well as bespoke seed paper for invitations and favours that can be put into the soil to grow plants. It's also home to eco-friendly office space, as well as a lodge and cottages for overnight stays.

The Fish Hotel near Broadway

Over the last three years, no hotel waste has gone to landfill at The Fish in Broadway. 75 per cent of all of its waste has been recycled with the remaining 25 per cent sent directly to a waste incineration plant, which generates electricity. All food waste goes directly to its neighbours at Northwick Park, which has an anerobic digester which uses micro-organisms to break down biodegradable material to generate green electricity.

With 17 electric charging ports for visiting electric car drivers, the hotel uses hybrid cars to help guests move about - and housekeeping staff use electric buggies to get around. The estate's springs fulfil the hotel's water needs and the hotel has joined the Countryside Stewardship Scheme to preserve insect life and animals, as well as embracing organic farming. It's also working on a wildflower project near its beehives to support the bees, rewilding 56 acres of farmland as well as leaving hedgerows to flourish to promote wildlife growth.

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