West Suffolk: Eco-lodges provide template for ‘green’ living

Upthorpe Lodges at Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds.

Upthorpe Lodges at Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Archant

A west Suffolk couple have used their two-acre garden to provide some novel eco-frieldly holiday accommodation.

Upthorpe Lodges, located between Stanton and Walsham-le-Willows, is the idea of Debbie and Ian Shilling who believe that their two timber-construction lodges are among the greenest around.

However, they say the “feel” is one of luxury rather than down at earth eco-living, with their object from the start being that the buildings should provide high quality holiday accommodation as well as involving a low environment impact.

The solar panels on the roof and the cedar-wood cladding are outward signs that the buildings are a bit different but less obvious are the high levels of insulation, the triple glazing in all doors and windows and the use of LED lighting throughout.

In addition, the south-facing aspect of the lodges enables them to gain maximum benefit from the sun at cooler times of year while the overhanging roof provides shade in summer. An air-source heat-pump and biological waste water treatment ad further to the building’s eco-credentials.

Ian, who completed a business degree at West Suffolk College in 2011, said: “At only 54square metres these buildings are not large but we’ve provided everything required by holidaymakers expecting quality and comforts.

“They are also a template for other uses such as granny annexes, home offices, and teenage chill-out zones. The Bury area is gaining in popularity as a short break destination, and we aim to give visitors a truly green yet high quality stay”.

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Ian and Debbie managed the nine-month project themselves, in conjunction with Cambridge Garden Studios, a local building company which specialises in timber frame construction. They were also supported by Grants4Growth, an organisation which helps green business initiatives in the east of England.

They hosted an “open house” event over the weekend of September 12 and 13 as part of the Explore Green Suffolk to give visits an opportunity see the buildngs for themselves.

Upthorpe Lodges has its own website – www.upthorpelodges.co.uk – and holiday rental is available via Suffolk Cottage Holidays – www.suffolkcottageholidays.com .