New Year, New Energy As Budock Vean Basks In Green

It’s cold outdoors but Cornwall’s finest country house hotel is keeping cosy with a clean conscience as it’s green and lovely facilities just turned even greener. Biomass boilers have replaced the Budock Vean’s old oil-burning system, creating renewable heat from pellets made from waste wood just down the road in Redruth.

And while roaring logs fires keep the sitting-rooms toasty, it is now biomass which heats the entire 57 bedroom hotel, leisure facilities including the Natural Health Spa and swimming pool and a select cluster of luxury holiday homes being built in the hotel’s 65 acres of grounds and sub-tropical gardens running down to the Helford River.

 “Our new biomass boilers are a big investment for ourselves and the environment,” says the Budock Vean’s owner Martin Barlow, “and it’s great to know they’re using a completely renewable source material to heat all our facilities, instead of having to rely on fossil fuels.”

That organic source material comes in the form of pellets made from all sorts of waste wood including sawdust, off-cuts and trimmings from trees and hedgerows by Cornish firm Mi-Generation – which also installs the biomass boilers and looks after them thereafter.

Mi-Generation’s John Black explains, “A biomass boiler used to replace a fossil fuel boiler – Liquid Petroleum Gas or heating oil - burns the wood pellets to heat the water that in turn heats the building or comes out of the taps – or in the case of the Budock Vean even heats the swimming pool! The great news all round is that it is far cheaper, greener and carbon neutral – and we don’t even have to travel far to deliver the pellets.”

Installation of the biomass boilers is backed by the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive and guaranteed for 20 years which made the Budock Vean’s decision to invest an easy one and which adds renewable energy to a long list of “green” initiatives since the Barlow family bought the hotel 25 years ago.

The grounds are all organically managed and over the last ten years the gardening team has successfully used a granular organic fertiliser combined with mycorrizal fungi to feed the gardens and even the golf course – making it one of the first of its kind in the UK.

The gardens and golf course will never cause a drain on Cornwall’s water supply either, thanks to a clever UV de-clorination system whereby every three weeks 10,000 litres of waste water from the hotel’s pool and the hot tub are recycled and used to irrigate the grounds.

And for those who think only raw vegetable matter can be composted, the chefs and gardeners did a deal of research and found a way of reducing kitchen waste by a third. Now 12,000kg a year of vegetable and fruit peelings, egg shells, tea bags and lettuce leaves are being magically turned into fine, rich soil to help fertilise the gardens and parkland - instead of being sent to landfill.

Now that the biomass boilers are up and running Martin and the team are looking ever forward – with the next plan to put photovoltaic panels on the south-facing roof of the hotel to harness the energy of the sun as well.

The multi award winning Budock Vean Hotel is a family run, luxury four star hotel with outstanding leisure facilities including a spectacular indoor swimming pool with log fire, sauna, outdoor hot tub, 9-hole golf course, tennis courts, private foreshore and award winning restaurant with Cornish seafood specialities and a Natural Health Spa. For more information visit or call 01326 252101.


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