If you like the idea of green tourism then you will like Poulton Lodge.
It lies at the heart of our working family farm and was built using wood
from sustainable sources.
Responsible tourism in the natural environment The Sheppard family have improved the natural environment at
Poulton Farm Estate over the last 20 years by: Planting over 6km of hedgerows,
adding in stewardship strips of 6m around most field margins, farmed in an
extensive and traditional manner to encourage greater soil fertility and
bio-diversity. We have put up owl boxes and seen several barn owls hatching
young. The grassland put in for livestock has encouraged the lapwings back -
over 100 in a flock last year. The shoot has encouraged control of predators so
more ground nesting birds are surviving - skylarks and yellow hammers in
particular. We even saw a stoat and a hedge hog this year!
We recycle everything possible, including scrap food to the chickens! Guests
are encouraged to separate their waste into recyclables and non recyclables by
using separate rubbish boxes. We then dispose of this to the local recycling
centre in Marlborough.
We use our own water from the underlying chalk aquifer on the farm and have
onsite bio digesters which filters all the waste water which then runs off into
the ground and gets back into the aquifer eventually - so a huge recycling of
the water goes on here. We also use Hippos where possible and rain showers
rather than power showers to conserve water useage.
We have gradually put in low energy bulbs and are now in the process of putting
in photovoltaic cells on the roof to generate some renewable electricity.
Poulton Lodge was built
using local craftsmen - plus James and his Dad. It is extremely well insulated
and made to last 100 years. It has settled into the landscape and the barn owls
use it as a roost and look out post at night and we also have about 8 swallows’
nests each year. The guests love to watch the birds from inside.
Community When we built the Lodge we used local craftsmen to do it. We
have also used our neighbour to make all the blinds for the Lodge. In high
season we also use a local lady to help clean and iron for the guests. The
information folder gives recommendations for all the local pubs and restaurants
and local attractions to help sustain the local economy and keep the tourist
pound in the local pocket.
Campaigning for the local community. James is a County Councillor and is keen to address local issues facing those who live and work in the
countryside. He is also Chairman of Marlborough and Wiltshire NFU and regularly
attends meetings and seminars to do with the local environment.
We support the charity Cystic Fibrosis Research and also Aldbourne Brass Band.
There are local people with CF and local people who play in the Band. We
support both charities by donating stays at the Lodge and offering
experiences such as a 'Ride on the
combine with farmhouse tea'. This year we have raised over £3,000 for these
Landscape We encourage all our visitors to experience the local ancient sites and to do
so with guides and local people. For example- the Dowsing experience at Avebury
stone circle with Maria Wheatley, and visiting the ancient landmarks with Gary
We often have visitors who want to
experience life on the farm and have
hosted visits for journalist journalist who then write about a weekend on the
farm which helped spread a greater understanding of this. We are mentioned for
the experiences on trip advisor with very positive feedback. We also try to get
out and about ourselves so that we can inform guests from a better view point.
Last year the family went to Marlborough College Summer School with some guests
that was brilliant fun. We will do it again! Out and about there
are many things to enjoy - our ancient woodland has spectacular bluebells in
April-May and historic Savernake Forest across the valley has miles of woodland
walks. We are close by to the Ridgeway and that makes this an ideal base from
which to explore the beautiful Wiltshire downland - or even the Kennet and Avon
Canal close by. If you have horses we can accommodate them on site in a large,
airy barn. The bridleways from here link to many miles of riding.
The historic market town of Marlborough is only 2 miles away and has markets
twice a week. There is an abundance of excellent eateries and bistros to be
enjoyed and many areas of interest - art courses at Rabley Barn, Marlborough
College Summer School, microlight flights, White
Horses, Avebury Stone Circle, Marlborough Jazz Festival, horse trials at
Barbary Castle, walking and biking... Marlborough is humming! Yet the Lodge has
peace and tranquillity in abundance, situated in a superb location with
fantastic views and big skies with glorious sunsets.