In 2019, following the GreenCheck assessment in May from Green Tourism, we were delighted to have our Gold level confirmed for the 11th year, achieving Excellent in the categories of Management, Energy Saving, Purchasing, Waste Minimisation, Travel & Transport and Nature & Culture, and Outstanding in the area of Innovation!
Our solar panels have now generated over 28,000 kWh and our solar iBoost system installed last year ensures that we maximise the use of the solar energy generated. As of this year, we have moved to a 100% green energy tariff, meaning that ALL electric used at Tregathenan is now generated from renewable sources, saving roughly 700kg of CO2 every year.
Lots of New Arrivals to report. Our 16 year old drake, Basil, proved that there’s life in the old bird yet, as his younger mate, Sybil, produced 2 ducklings, Eric and Hattie, with the help of our neighbour’s broody chicken.
In February, we re-homed a pair of very handsome Toulouse Dewlap geese, Napoleon and Josephine. Josephine started laying from 14 February, and in late spring, we left her sitting on 12 beautiful enormous white eggs. Liz did a bit of research and discovered that this breed of goose commands quite a high price. Whilst Liz was planning her next exotic holiday on the proceeds, Josephine continued to sit patiently. After 35 exhausting days and just one hatchling, we had to take Josephine off her eggs. The youngster – our first ever gosling at Tregathenan – we called Solo. Needless to say, Liz didn’t get her holiday and we have another cantankerous gander!……oh well, there’s always next year! There’s some proverb about not counting your eggs….
The Welsummers arrived in June. 3 young bantams, who integrated happily with our existing Black Rocks, but acted like grungy teenagers for the first few weeks as they wouldn’t get out of bed until gone 11! It’s taken a while, but they have just started laying some beautiful eggs.
We had to say good-bye to our dear old Frodo this year. He was much loved and left a big space in the field.
In September, Saruman, Boromir, Faramir, Barliman arrived to fill the gap. Saruman is our first Suri alpaca in the Tregathenan herd (the type with dreadlocks!). The other 3 are hucaya alpacas and have the sweetest teddy bear faces!
Sam continues to loves his obedience training and this year achieved his silver obedience award. The sad news is that he has just been diagnosed with epilepsy and will have to be on medication for the rest of his life. Every day we have with him now will be that much more special.
NO increase in the cat population this year – thankfully! Bill, Ben and Bluebell continue to tolerate Storm. Storm enjoyed Christmas immensely, especially all the decorations which were put up for her exclusive use and play (obviously!). She and Sam had great fun with the tree – she would swipe the decorations off the tree onto the floor where Sam was waiting to receive and chew whatever came his way!
Projects – Some of our planned projects have had to be deferred as we realised at the end of the year that the condition of the lane would not last another winter of mud and rain, and so at the end of this month, the whole of the lane will be resurfaced. Those regulars to Tregathenan will be delighted with the new smooth racetrack surface, although we will be incorporating a couple of speed bumps to try to slow the postman down!
A new, super-efficient boiler has been installed in the Granary, and a new kitchen is planned for early in the New Year. Exciting for Granary regulars!
In February, after many, many months canvassing BT over our poor internet access, High speed broadband – FTTP (fibre to the premises) – was delivered to Tregathenan. We data cabled all of the cottages and Tregathenan House and can now offer high broadband speeds to all our guests, enabling them to stream and download to their hearts content! I overheard one guest comment – “this is better than we get at home and we live in the middle of a city!”
Liz cycled in 2 major events this year – the Velo Birmingham in June was a fantastic 100 mile closed road ride starting and finishing in the middle of the city after taking in many Midlands’ towns, villages and countryside – old haunts before our move down to Cornwall. This was followed by a rather more hair-raising 100k Ride the Night cycling event in Edinburgh, raising money for the Women v Cancer charity. It was a very dark, damp night and the ride was made trickier with tram lines, Edinburgh’s’ pitted roads and cobbles. A big thank you to Liz’s long suffering friends and family for their help and hospitality.
Ian has fully recovered from his hernia(s) operation earlier in the year. It turned out there were 2 hernias; just one op. So two for the price of one, which appealed to Ian – always an eye for a bargain!
No major holidays for us this year (see above re goose eggs!). We had a wonderful 3 day trip to the Isles of Scilly in late April, staying with some lovely friends on Tresco. Some lovely walks, beautiful scenery, flowers and wildlife and great company. We even had calm crossings both ways, with dolphins for company. The Scillies are indeed a very special place.
We had a visit to Edinburgh in September (Liz’s second of the year!) to help celebrate Liz’s cousin’s 50th wedding anniversary. 50 years ago, Liz had been their bridesmaid!
Along with all our other activities, we have managed numerous coastal walks, with Sam, with friends, or with Liz’s HF Walking groups We are so lucky to have such stunning coastline on our doorstep and it is no surprise to us that Cornwall was voted the best UK Holiday County by the British Travel Awards
So that’s about it for this year, except to remind any cycling enthusiasts out there that the 2020 Tour of Britain starts right here in West Cornwall on 6th Sept 2020! We’ll be there!
Wishing you all a happy and peaceful 2020!
Liz and Ian
Tregathenan House and Cottages - beautifully presented, well-appointed self-catering accommodation with a wealth of character and charm, set in peaceful Cornish countryside near Helston.