Polhawn Fort has stood as the Guardian of Whitsand Bay for over 200 years. While we no longer face an imminent threat of invasion we still feel our responsibilities as Guardian of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty very strongly. We have taken steps to reduce the negative impacts our actions and activities have on the environment and our local community. Our ‘Guardian of the Bay’ ethos, which is embraced by our whole team, is not simply something that we feel is right, it has become our way of life.
Our policy is a natural extension of our company ethos. Its aim is to give our guests, staff and suppliers an overview of our on-going commitment to reducing our negative environmental impacts and enhancing our surroundings.
• We source responsibly, scratching beneath the surface and considering the life cycle of the products and services we purchase.
• We aim to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill.
• We monitor our energy usage and aim to reduce our carbon footprint year-on-year.
• We create rather than consume.
• We aim to inspire all who come into contact with us to make positive changes in their own lives or businesses.
• We are ground-breaking and innovative in our decision making, continuously challenging our procedures to see what we could be doing better.
• We pause to reflect on our decisions to ensure that we can stand by them.
• We acknowledge our mistakes and celebrate the learning they bring.
• We are true to our values, resilient to challenge and committed to what we do.
Here is a summary of the ways Polhawn Fort is sustainable:
Polhawn Fort is home to a variety of stunning artwork which have all been created by South West artists.
The Fort has been constructed with potentially recyclable materials. All materials can be recycled should the building ever need substantial refurbishment.
The Fort electricity is provided by Green Network Energy who ensure that 100% of the electricity we purchase is generated through British renewable sources i.e. wind and solar power.
Providing guests and staff with the option to minimise the amount of water being used by selecting a smaller flush.
We have used low level, low energy and LED lighting throughout the building.
All of our electricity is generated from 100% renewable sources. Every drop made from local sun, wind and rain. We continually monitor our company energy usage, comparing month to month in order to raise awareness on what we are using and how to reduce our consumption.
Our towels and linen are only changed between parties, aiming to reduce water and energy consumption.
Every room has soft and luxurious towels and bed linen which has been responsibly sourced from a South West based company.
To save energy and minimise the use of ozone depleting substances, we have elected not to have in-room fridges.
In the knowledge that a short shower uses much less water than running a bath, and although most of our bedrooms do come with a bath for relaxing weary limbs after taking in the Cornish sights, we have installed excellent showers in every bedroom.
We provide all guests with naturally and ethically sourced Cornish soaps and shampoos – an organic range made locally in Helston. We re-fill our soap and shampoo dispensers which are made from 100% recyclable plastic. We do not provide single-use soaps and shampoos in plastic bottles.
We ‘upcycle’ soft furnishings that are no longer suitable for normal use by making them into cushion covers and re-upholstering existing furniture.
The Fort sits comfortably within the landscape the building’s organic curves and lines are hugged by the cliff top and the sympathetically planted grounds help merge the fort property with the rest of the coastline.
There are a number of benches and seats that have been created using recycled and reclaimed materials.
To minimise the amount of light pollution caused by The Fort, we have installed minimal, low level and LED lighting to guide guests through the grounds. To reduce energy consumption, our outside lighting works on day/night sensors.
Our grounds have been sympathetically planted with species which are native to the north Cornwall coastline, therefore needing little watering.
We have conscientiously selected plants that should entice and support Britain’s dwindling bumble bee population. Plants are also selected for their long flowering seasons thus prolonging the harvesting time for the bees!
We reuse all items that we can.
We recycle everything that we can; paper, cardboard, tins, cans, plastics, glass and food. Separate bins are located throughout the Fort for our teams to use, and we pride ourselves in our excellent waste management.
We do not provide mineral water in plastic bottles for our guests as the production and packaging is not sustainable. Instead we offer good old Cornish tap water that has been chilled and is served in reusable glass jugs.
To reduce our negative impact on the ocean we have made every effort (and every last amount of elbow grease) to use the most environmentally friendly cleaning products available to us.
Our carefully selected waste management provider has been chosen for not only their environmental credentials but their thoroughness in sorting and recycling waste. After collection the waste is checked and re-sorted if needed. Any general waste is again checked and recycled if possible so that the very minimal in waste is left for landfill.
Our team regularly remove plastic waste and other debris deposited upon the beach beneath the Fort to avoid it causing damage to marine and wild life.
We have an online enquiry and reservations system and send the majority of our confirmations and information by email, reducing the amount of paper use and minimising the carbon footprint associated with post transport.
Guests are requested to refrain from using balloons, plastic straws, plastic confetti, party poppers or any other single use, disposable plastics during their stay with us, including during their wedding celebrations. Guests are banned from releasing balloons or sky-lanterns from the property.
The Fort uses and recommends predominantly Cornish suppliers and service providers; from local seasonal food producers, local breweries, linen service providers, soap makers and florists, our recycling providers, and a local design agency to help us produce our website and brochures
We work as much as possible in house, however when needed, we use local company ‘OWN design’ as an external design agency.
We were the 3476th member to join the Cornwall Sustainable Tourism project (CoaST), and are proud to be CoaST Ambassadors whereby we share what we do with others.