La Fosse - bed & breakfast in Normandy

Living green - using renewable resources...

The eastern end of La Fosse dates from the 1700s and a different type of stone and construction is visible in the walls as you look along the house. We have owned the house since 2000 and over that time have extensively and (we hope) sympathetically renovated the building while trying to use modern methods and standards for insulation, heating and recycling of natural resources.

We put in solar panels to provide hot water – on sunny or even just bright days, these provide plenty of hot water. If you take a bath or a shower at the end of a sunny day, the water you are using has been warmed by the sun, not by “conventional” means of electricity, gas, etc. On sunny days in winter, the solar panels also contribute to heating the water for the underfloor heating.

During renovation we used vast quantities of insulation making the house energy-efficient – cool in summer and easy to keep warm in winter, reducing fuel consumption.

Sourcing much of our food produce locally – or from our own garden – prevents us racking up too many “food air (or road) miles” in pursuit of good and imaginative meals. It also helps support small and local enterprises which matters a lot to us - we're a small and local enterprise too!

The majority of lightbulbs used in the house are low energy. This does mean they take a few moments to "warm up" when you switch them on but the difference this makes in energy consumption is considerable. However, they don't suit everyone so if you would prefer an ordinary bulb in, say, a reading lamp in your room, let us know and if we can supply one for the duration of your visit, we're happy to do so.

Not glamorous, but probably the most important practical contribution we have made to the environment here, is to install a high-specification septic tank. Most of rural France is not on (and probably never will be on) mains drainage. We are 50 metres from a fresh water spring that runs down our neighbour's field, into our wildlife pond and then on to join the river Sée in the valley.

The Sée is one of the region’s best trout rivers and we were determined to ensure that there was no possibility of us – however accidentally – polluting the environment. We have a modern system of tank plus sand filter beds that will prevent that happening.

And finally, like most of France, we recycle perhaps 75% of our household waste via the commune recycling containers. Vegetable waste (leaves, peelings etc) are taken over to the vegetable garden to compost down before use in the potager. All paper, cardboard, plastics and glass are separated and recycled.

While we maintain high standards of cleanliness throughout, if you are staying for more than one night we assume you are happy to use your bathroom towels for up to three days and we put fresh towels out for you on the fourth day. This reduces the amount of water used and washing powders going into our drainage system. If you would prefer towels changed daily, just tell us.