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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.

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 charities.

 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 King. 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.