We moved to Howscales in 2016. It was originally built as a working farm during the middle of the 17th century. The barns and byres were sympathetically converted into the luxury, dog-friendly holiday cottages that you see today. We’ve made sure each one has its own character, and have retained many of the original features like the oak beams. All the the buildings were constructed using the local red Lazonby sandstone, both for the walls and the traditional sandstone tiled roof.
Howscales is surrounded by open countryside, rivers and moorland. It’s a haven for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts alike. So we’re lucky enough to witness mother nature at her finest on a daily basis.
Swallows build their nests in the open barn. They’re a joy to watch swooping in and out with food for their young during the early summer months. We have many pheasants and partridges that visit the garden, too.
Sadly we haven’t seen any red squirrels in the garden at Howscales recently. However, occasional sightings have been made in the nearby hamlet of Parkhead and the village of Renwick. You might be lucky enough to see them alongside Raven Beck too – between Parkhead and Kirkoswald village.
An initiative led by Kirkoswald Environmental Group is currently underway. Its aim is to attract red squirrels back to the area. We took part by setting up a squirrel feeder and camera here at Howscales but sadly didn’t catch any sighting on film. So the camera has now been resighted at an area where red squirrels were reported to have been seen.
If you want to find out more about this initiative, please visit www.kirkoswald.org and look under KEG Projects and News.
Our eco ethics
We live in a beautiful part of the world and consciously make an effort to do our part to help keep it that way. In our spare time we join in local litter picks, but we want to make sure Howscales contributes to the area positively too. So in an endeavour to run our business as sustainably as possible we do the following:
- Only use environmentally-friendly cleaning and laundry products. We buy 5 litre refills of washing up liquid, toilet cleaner, laundry liquid, fabric conditioner to further reduce plastic waste.
- Provide toiletries supplied by the Bath House, a natural skincare brand based in Cumbria. The hand gel and cream are topped up on every changeover from 5 litre refill bottles. So that reduces our plastic waste.
- Recycle! At Howscales we’re BIG on recycling! Paper, card, glass, cans and plastic etc. I’ve even been known to fish items out of the refuse if they could be recycled!
- Use steam cleaners and micro fibre cloths so we can use less cleaning product.
- We stock jams and marmalades that are made locally, with all proceeds going to Kirkoswald Church.
- Water the plants using rainwater that we collect.
- Pick flowers from our garden to put in the cottages – all year round! It’s really hard during certain months! But it ensures zero air miles and we don’t use any harmful pesticides.
- Insulated all of the attic spaces in the holiday cottages (and our own accommodation) with re-cycled glass.
- Have started the roll-out of replacement windows and doors, moving to double-glazing thoughout.
- Finally, we are in the process of moving to biodegradable poo bags which are included in the doggie welcome pack.