As the Cotswolds continues its autumnal transformation, our Head of Sustainability, Will Dennis, takes time to reflect on some of our own changes happening at The Wild Rabbit.

It has been almost ten years since we opened The Wild Rabbit and I am still amazed by the quality of the craftsmanship that went into the restoration project. To this day the building oozes character without looking tired, proof that quality, natural materials stand the test of time. We are proud to have worked with local artisans to restore and furnish our pub and cottages, whilst exposing original features such as oak beams and stone walls. This sympathetic approach to renovation creating a traditional yet timeless aesthetic extends to what you can’t see – such as insulation in the walls, horsehair in the mattresses.

We have been working hard to ensure that we deliver exceptional quality with a conscience for a more sustainable stay. The basics have been covered: we work with responsible waste contractors to avoid contributing to landfill and our buildings are powered by 100% renewable, zero-carbon energy from wind, solar and hydroelectric sources. Our focus now is on reducing the resources we use. This starts with simple housekeeping steps such as phasing out all single use plastics from the rooms and reviewing our information booklets to reduce the need for regular reprinting, and increasingly encouraging guests to view them on our app. Our deliveries are consolidated to save transport emissions and all laundry is processed a mile away at our renewable energy-powered facility. But the most significant impact comes from engaging our guests, and we encourage everyone staying with us to reuse towels and switch off lights and devices when not in use throughout their stay.

The most exciting developments are in our bathrooms. Alongside our organic cotton robes we supply a selection of Bamford products, made from the highest quality natural and organic ingredients and certified COSMOS Natural. These products are packaged in fully recyclable plastic bottles made from 50% recycled content but are often only part used by guests. Our new partnership with Clean the World diverts all these toiletries from being wasted; the charity collects all partially used soap and shampoo, recycles the packaging, and reformulates the contents into new soap bars which are sent to developing nations.

There is nothing I love more than being in the countryside on a crisp autumn morning, kicking through the leaves and watching the birds darting around to salvage the last of the season’s hedgerow supplies. This is the perfect time of year to experience the beauty of our countryside, and we welcome walkers of all ages and their four-legged friends to join us on our weekly trails along the local tracks from Kingham through the fields and forests of Daylesford. Each season has its special qualities, we will discover wild garlic growing in the springtime and see our heritage breeds out in the pasture throughout the summer. For those who prefer to explore without a guide, we offer bikes and both walking and cycling maps. Speak to the team at reception for details or to book a walk.

We are always looking for ways to improve our business and know that we still have lots of work to do. I am looking forward to bringing you the latest developments from the dining room next month, speaking to our chefs about their seasonal menu update and heading into the cellar for a world tour of fine wines.