Sustainability Policy

Our methods for being environmentally friendly

At Lower Keats, we fervently believe that we should all make changes to our lifestyles and businesses to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as we can. We aim to protect the natural environment, improve our local economy and try to have a positive impact on society. We are proud that every year we take steps towards making Lower Keats a more sustainable business, minimising our footprint on the natural world.

One Planet Living is a vision of a world where we can live happily within the Earth’s resources, leaving space for wildlife and wilderness. It provides a framework for us to adhere to. Below is a list of the ‘10 One Planet Living Principles’ we have already achieved and our plans for the future:

1. Health and happiness

‘Encourage active, social, meaningful lives to promote good health and wellbeing’

Stays at Lower Keats embrace the country way of life. We are set in the heart of the countryside, in peaceful meadowland with unadulterated night skies. Our guests can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, along with any stresses and worries. Meet and feed our animals, collect eggs from our chickens and ducks or simply use us as a base to explore the surrounding area with the amazing Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site close by.

In an ideal world, and to help with their wellbeing, we would like guests to be gadget-free and spend time together in nature. That is why we give them the opportunity to disconnect from the grid and technology if they so wish. We hope that they leave us feeling rested, relaxed and rejuvenated, having been enriched by a simpler way of life.

We provide all that is needed for a relaxing stay. Guests only need to bring clothes and not load up their cars with food or household products. For the bedrooms, we provide natural hypoallergenic pillows, duvets (14.5 togs which can be separated for comfort), all bedding, towels, blankets and hot water bottles, with the most comfortable mattresses (sourced locally). For the bathrooms, we stock locally made Oleo bathing products containing only the highest-quality pure essential oils and no damaging chemicals. Outdoor health promoting activities can involve guests coming on a farm tour, taking part in animal feeding with Gary, pig brushing, bottle feeding calves and lambs, stroking the chickens and ducks and collecting eggs. The fortress play park and outside gym, with pull/push up bars, tyre run and balance boards provide a space for exercise for adults and children alike. We provide outdoor and indoor games equipment and encourage rounders, cricket or football at our pizza nights. Transporting luggage in our site wheelbarrows is good exercise and they are great fun when used for wheelbarrow races, too! Our swing seat outside the honesty shop is a wonderful place for guests to eat ice cream, breathe, rest and take in the view across the meadow.

We welcome dogs to Lower Keats and provide a dog welcome pack (bed, bowl and treats) and are happy to share information on dog-friendly beaches, walks and local activities. We also have doggie memorial ball flingers for use on the site. The honesty shop has pamphlets of slightly further afield places too.

Our Hive communal area is a great space (inside and out) and works well as an undercover play area when the weather is not so good. Future projects include extending our outdoor gym equipment.

2. Equity and local economy

‘Creating safe, equitable places to live and work which support local prosperity and international fair trade’

We employ 8 staff at times during the season and pay over the minimum wage. Our team are local and we value them all. We regularly ask them for their input on new initiatives or plans for Lower Keats. We hold regular team meetings around the pizza oven, have team meals and they frequently quality control Linda’s scones.

The meat and eggs in our honesty shop are from Lower Keats Farm and the other products are locally sourced. We promote local businesses through our pre-arrival emails, guest information packs, Lower Keats Book of Adventures and verbal recommendations too.

We provide business for local therapists who offer treatments in the lodges as well as using local milkmen, bakers, butchers, cake, jam, chutney and honey makers and florist for guest bouquets. 

We also support our neighbouring artist, Anne Townsend, by showcasing her work in the lodges, promoting her art courses and displaying artwork for sale in the honesty shop. We display a locally built swing chair from Sitting Spiritually and promote our Hive by Woodscott and provide sales leaflets to any interested guests. We only use local businesses for our website design, hosting (powered by 100% green energy) and social media, Just SO Media and KF Marketing, as they have a solid understanding of our needs and priorities.

3. Culture and community

‘Nurturing local identity and heritage, empowering communities and promoting a culture of sustainable living’

As a step towards becoming a more sustainable business, we regularly support our local community and charities. We are sponsoring a local young leader to visit Kenya and work with underprivileged school children. Guests can also sponsor in return for luggage deliveries to their lodges.

We have donated stays for fundraising auctions to benefit the Somerset & Dorset Air Ambulance, Weston Hospicecare and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. In 2022 we plan to #TreatourNHS by giving away a stay to an NHS worker now that they can take holiday leave.

We have supported a local cricket team, who have played cricket on the ground at North Perrott for over 60 years, with a 3-year sponsorship deal. We also sponsor local charities such as Chardstock Street Fayre and Hawkchurch Show and we give our surplus eggs to the local village school for free.

We passionately believe in helping to look after the local area and have partnered with the Jurassic Coast Trust making an annual donation. The JCT is the independent charity responsible for managing the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Their vision is that everyone loves, understands and values the Jurassic Coast. Our guests can also donate online to the JCT when booking a stay with us. We get involved with activities to support them, including this year’s #JurassicCoastTurns20 campaign, to celebrate 20 years since the Jurassic Coast’s inscription as a World Heritage Site.

As a River Cottage partner, we support their hard-hitting campaigns that have changed the eating habits of the nation and improved the welfare and sustainability of animals and fish. We share their passion for food integrity and the consumption of local, seasonal produce.

Local heritage is in abundance in East Devon. For thousands of years people have lived and worked here, creating the landscape we see today and our cultural heritage – fossil hunters, farmers, smugglers, Romans and rebels have all played a part in forming the plentiful history and heritage of our land.

Our local tales and traditions, ancient monuments, historic buildings and artefacts all give a glimpse of the past and help us understand how people, interacting with the land, have shaped the landscape. We signpost our guests to our local heritage centres, museums, hill forts, camps and caves so they can also delve into the history and heritage of our landscape.

We are proud that our #DevonDark Skies are the fourth darkest night skies in the country, with extremely low levels of light pollution. We have no electric lighting in the lodges, only solar, candles and wind-up lamps, making us perfect for stargazing with little light pollution in the meadow.

4. Land and nature

‘Protecting and restoring land for the benefit of people and wildlife’

Before work started on building our glamping site, we had an Ecological Impact Assessment completed. This ensured that no significant impacts from glamping were anticipated for the habitats and species present within the meadow. We are passionate to protect the natural environment of Lower Keats and believe that we are custodians of the land during our time here. We work hard to create new habitats and protect the flora and fauna of our small woodland and meadowland for the future.

Our smallholding of 14 acres of grassland and small woodland is not large enough to farm as a sole business, but we do keep chickens, ducks, pigs, lambs and youngstock which provide a ‘meet and feed’ calming animal feeding activity for guests, as well as meat and eggs for our honesty shop and family.
Over the last three years, we have attracted house martins to nest in our log store, a highlight for guests watching them swoop in and out and learning to fly. To enrich and support biodiversity on the farm and attract birds of prey and owls, we have created shelters for field mice, insects and frogs by leaving the grass longer in areas around the site.

In spring our natural meadows, streams and verges bloom with buttercups, cow parsley and clover which is a delight to see. Kestrels, buzzards, woodpeckers, hares, badgers, deer, otters, pheasants and dragonflies are regular visitors to Lower Keats. As well as reference books on birds, animals and insects, we keep bug-hunting kits, butterfly nets and identify/search insect packs in our honesty shop for guests to borrow and learn about the biodiverse environment on the farm.

We were fortunate to secure 20 trees from our parish council (who have a commitment to plant 100 trees a year for the next 10 years). We planted these in March 2021 around the carpark and agricultural barn. They are native whips: lime, English oak, beech, rowan, wild cherry and hawthorn. Future plans include a nest box for owls and a project to plant an orchard of fruit trees to support declining bumblebees.

5. Sustainable water

‘Using water efficiently, protecting local water resources and reducing flooding and drought’

Here at Lower Keats, all our showers and kitchen taps have eco aerated heads to reduce our water use and our lavatories are all dual flush. We do not have any baths. All our sewage and wastewater is dealt with on-site without chemicals by use of an on-site Bio Efficient treatment septic tank and clean water waste system. The treatment is achieved by high-efficiency air diffusers continually pumping oxygen to protect the natural environment.

Going forward we plan to harvest rainwater from the large barn roof to use for watering our plants and washing muddy boots and dogs.

6. Local and sustainable food

‘Promoting sustainable, humane farming and healthy diets high in local, seasonal organic food and vegetable protein’

Our solid purchasing policy aims to work with small-scale local suppliers whenever possible and buy local as much as we can to support our local community and reduce mileage, which in turn decreases air pollution.

To reduce the food miles and distance from field to plate, we rear pigs and lambs. We offer our guests Lower Keats sausages, bacon, burgers plus chicken and duck eggs when in season. We know our animals have had the best time with us here on the farm, being raised in a relaxed environment and being pampered by our guests. Their final journey is only 1.5 miles away and they are butchered locally.

In our Honesty Shop, we provide meals, made on-site, drink and food basics and host twice-weekly pizza nights so guests can stay close by. We can cater to guests with special requirements and offer vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free alternative meals and pizzas. We do not allow supermarket deliveries. We have drinking water in the lodges so guests can refill water bottles or use the lodge carafes, without needing to buy plastic bottles.

We signpost guests to order vegetable or salad boxes locally and promote the independent local farm shops, restaurants and cafes in our final emails and welcome packs. Our local baker delivers to the honesty shop table, we offer milk from our milkman in reusable glass bottles. We also have food exchanges and regularly swap our eggs for delicious sourdough bread baked just down the hill. Other local suppliers we use are Lower Keats are:

  • Honey and jams from neighbouring villages when in supply
  • Local independent cake makers (1.5 miles away)
  • Local butter, yogurts and cheese from RT Parris (3 miles away)
  • Holly Farm summer vegetable boxes (1.9 miles away)
  • Trill Farm Garden organic vegetables (5.8 miles away)
  • Gelato Ice cream from Baboo, ice cream made with fabulous ripe fruit on their doorstep in Bridport (12.5 miles away)
  • Two local bakeries: Charmouth for all bakery goods (9 miles away) and Punch and Judy for our pizza bases (12.5 miles). Both deliver to us whilst on their rounds.
  • Devon grown Burt’s crisps
  • Devon made Luscombe soft drinks
  • Local drinks from Dalwood (8 miles away) and apple juice from Perrys (7.5 miles away)
  • Coffee is locally roasted from The Coffee Factory (9 miles away)
  • Clipper teas, coffee and hot chocolate (13 miles away)
  • Moore’s for biscuits, cereals and Dorset knobs (13 miles away)
  • Gary’s Aunty Pat makes our marmalade.
  • Pickles and chutneys from Cherry Tree Preserves (13 miles away)
  • We use hedgerow flowers for the lodges and Floweringi florist (3.9 miles) away if guests require special occasion bouquets.

7. Travel and transport

‘Reducing the need to travel, encouraging walking, cycling and low carbon transport’

Before guests arrive, we promote our great transport links, including a bus route and rail link from London Waterloo, which encourages many guests to come by train to Axminster Station, where we can collect them. Other guests prefer to share taxis or hire minibuses.

Our guests also arrive by car, taxi, on foot and by bike. We ask guests to park cars in the carpark once unloaded and use wheelbarrows from the end of the track, which leaves the meadow a car-free, pollution and noise-free zone during their stay and provides a safe walk to the honesty shop, fortress and carpark. We can recharge guest EV vehicles by extension lead and have planned for an EV fixed charger to be installed this year.

We advertise our local pubs two of which are within walking distance, and encourage guests to shop at our local farm shops, with one at the top of Broom Lane. Whenever possible we buy local as much as we can to reduce the mileage used when it comes to delivery.

The Lower Keats Book of Adventures provides plenty of information on local places to visit, with maps of walks/runs from the farm and bus links in each lodge pack, with maps of the local area available to borrow too. We encourage guests to switch their car keys for cycle helmets, bring their bikes or walk the Devon lanes around us and use the nearby traffic-free, family-friendly ‘Stop Line Way’ (Sustrans route 33). In the future, we are planning to have bikes for guests to borrow. Housekeepers who live nearby often cycle to work.

The glamping business enables us, Gary and Linda, to work from home part-time, doing our bit towards creating a green business. This means less time sat in traffic (therefore less pollution) and less time wasted in general.

8. Materials and products

‘Using materials from sustainable sources and promoting products that help people reduce consumption’

Everyone at Lower Keats is passionate about using locally sourced, sustainable products. We buy award-winning Oleo products for our lodges in bulk: soaps, shower gels, body lotions and hair products, all locally made in Dorset. We decant into smaller bottles to be more eco-friendly and save packaging. Oleo products contain only the highest-quality pure essential oils and top-grade botanicals, herbs, vegetable oils and extracts with no damaging chemicals, SLS, parabens, mineral oils, artificial colours or fragrances. None of the Oleo products or their ingredients have been tested on animals. We also provide bamboo cotton buds.

We use the Ecover range of natural cleaning products for all our cleaning with no chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and source these from The Big Green Smile in bulk.

We use cloud accounting software for our payroll and our website for bookings, email or messaging for all correspondence, making our admin, and our business, more effective, secure and GDPR compliant. We reduce waste by being as paper-free as we can.

Ground coffee in our lodges is roasted locally from a local ethical supplier, we have moved to a local ethical supplier of tea, hot chocolate and instant coffee and a substantial proportion of our drinks in the honesty shop are locally made.

The fabric for our lodge blinds and cushions were bought at our local market in Axminster from Tavy Textiles, as well as the cushions pads themselves. A local upholsterer created our blinds and cushions to our specifications.

Our Safari lodges and wood burners were locally made in Wellington, Somerset. The fire pits are forge-made in Shaftesbury, Dorset. Teams of local craftsmen built our decks, cabin beds and draining boards, while Gary built the ensuite bathrooms, toilets and kitchen units and we used independent local plumbers and electricians during our build. We bought local, preowned tables, chairs and sofas for the lodges. Old crates have been repurposed for use as bathroom cabinets, bedside tables, shoe storage boxes, partition walls and shop shelves. All paints on the site were purchased locally from independent suppliers, not chains. Kitchens were sourced locally from a reputable supplier and we hope they will outlast the lifetime of the lodges.

Our sustainable tracks and paths were sourced locally and under our track is the hardcore from our neighbours demolished house. The high table at The Hive was the inner reel from our electrical cable.
All our lodge signage and labels, from the large ‘Lower Keats’ sign at the end of our drive to smaller ‘shut the gate’ ones, along with our staff polo shirt uniform, were printed in Chard by Glasper’s, a small start-up family business. The Plain Jane Fire bowl/BBQ in our Hive communal area is made in Britain. Our Hive shelter kit was crafted in Axminster by independent carpenters Woodscott and Gary erected it.  Our Hive log seats are from our own copse fallen trees.
Wood and larch for our decks and structures were sourced from the nearby Bridport Building Supplies (a new small privately-owned company) and local sawmill Blampayne. Our seasoned logs come from S Bowditch, a regulated local supplier 5 miles away, to reduce miles, and we buy by the trailer load and store in advance to ensure we have an adequate supply.

We use ‘If You Care’ Eco fire lighters purchased from the Big Green Smile, which are made from wood and vegetable oil from 100% renewable resources and are non-toxic with the emission resulting from their combustion are considered carbon neutral.

9. Zero waste

‘Reducing consumption, reusing and recycling to achieve zero waste and zero pollution’

We try our best to minimise the amount of waste we send to landfill and we ask our guests to separate their recycling into the various components (glass, paper, cardboard, cans, tins, bottles, plastic and tinfoil) which can then be disposed of in our easily accessible recycling area in the carpark.
When we cater, we try to minimise packaging by using our farm products as much as possible. We bulk buy all our cleaning products and food to reduce packaging. Our milk is delivered in glass bottles which are reused and returned with the next delivery of milk. We recycle our old pots and pans by donating them to our local Scout groups.

At Lower Keats we are always looking for new ways to recycle and reuse items; we have used recycled wooden crates in our lodges and honesty shop and have also sourced lovely antique furniture for the living areas. The floor of our log store and the tent joists under the lodges are also enjoying a second life. Our lodge furniture is second-hand, repurposed and re-homed. Our fortress and dog kennel are second-hand and Gary has made the outdoor gym from leftover project wood. We repair our animal equipment, chicken and pig houses whenever possible, and we endeavour to not buy anything new.

10. Zero-carbon energy

‘Making buildings and manufacturing energy efficiently and supplying all energy with renewables’

The lodges themselves are warmed by wood burners using locally seasoned wood. The lodges have solar lights in the bathrooms and solar lanterns, candles and wind-up lamps in the living area. Guests may charge devices in the Honesty shop or via the solar panel battery in their lodges to be completely off-grid during their stay.

Our honesty shop lighting is low-level LED and on a sensor, so switches off automatically when the shop is empty. Our external lodge and path lights to light guest’s way are all solar. Out of season, all our fridges and freezers are switched off. We charge EV vehicles on-site by an extension lead. We use solar fences for our chickens, ducks and lambs. We have planned this year to install an EV charger along with solar panels onto the agricultural barn roof to power the honesty shop, barn and sewage system too.

For our laundry, we use Dorset-based Johnsons who are a proud member of Better Cotton since 2020 and are committed to improving cotton farming practices globally. Johnsons has reduced their carbon footprint intensity by 40%, commenced the implementation of a Low Carbon Transition Plan, converted company car fleet to EV (or other non-fossil fuelled combustion power), reduced the water volume intensity across operations by 25%, reduced waste sent for disposal by 75% and developed processes for recycling all end of life textiles and eliminated all single-use plastics in products and services.

At Lower Keats, we are always on the lookout innovative ideas that will help us improve our business. We welcome feedback so that we can learn and evolve and we will always strive to do our best for our guests and the environment.

Lower Keats Guide to Being Green
It is important to us that Lower Keats continues to be an environmentally friendly business. We care deeply about our little slice of paradise and try hard to increase its biodiversity and sustainability, but we need your help. Here are our top tips on how you can protect our site during your stay.  Read our guide here.

Green Tourism Gold Award

We have signed up with the Green Tourism Brand to help us promote our green commitment within our business.

This ensures that our guests know we take green issues seriously and that we have had an independent certification.

We are delighted to share that we achieved the highest award, the Gold standard!

This internationally respected accreditation scheme has helped thousands of businesses get greener, saving them money and making a real difference to the environment.  Only a few glamping sites hold the Gold accolade!

Carbon Footprint

The average for a household in the UK is 2.7 tonnes of co2 per year from heating their home.

Based on average occupancy and energy consumption over the previous year, we have calculated the carbon emissions for our safari lodges to be 1.43 tonnes a year, or 0.35 tonnes annually per person.  Using gas for hot water and burning wood are the main causes of this. We are quite happy with this number, and we hope that some of our carbon offset initiatives, including obtaining sustainable wood and planting trees and wildflowers, will contribute to even further lowering it.

Why don’t you use this clever calculator to work out your overall footprint?

We are monitoring our footprint annually and we hope to reduce it further each year.


Booking and Availability

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Outside gym

The Hive and wheelbarrow sink

The Hive and wheelbarrow sink

Treatments in the lodges

Treatments in the lodges

Young leader fundraising banner

Young leader fundraising

Pig Grooming Lower Keats Farm Glamping Devon

Pig Grooming Lower Keats Farm Glamping Devon

Tree planting

Ready made meals, Honesty Shop - Lower Keats Farm Glamping Devon

Ready made meals, Honesty Shop – Lower Keats Farm Glamping Devon

Eggs for guests - Lower Keats Glamping Devon

Eggs for guests 

Pizza night at the Hive

Wheelbarrow Baggage Transport

Wheelbarrow Baggage Transport

Summer Cycling at Lower Keats Farm Glamping Devon

Summer Cycling at Lower Keats Farm Glamping Devon

Glamping in Devon at Lower Keats Farm Tytherleigh

Recycled crates reused as partitions

Sunset view of Stag & Pheasant

Sunset view of Stag & Pheasant



Green Tourism Gold Award