God has entrusted His world to us to enjoy, but also to care for on His behalf. We need to minimise climate change effects, protect endangered species and make sure there are enough of the earth’s resources left for everyone.
Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle
Do we need it in the first place? Can we use less? Can we use it again, or in another way? Can it be made into another useful thing?
At Lee Abbey Devon we:
- have recycling bins in the guest corridors and community areas
- use low energy LED light bulbs and have appropriate lights on timer/sensor switches
- turn off electrical equipment, pull curtains on cold nights, and turn down radiators before opening our doors and windows
- send food waste to a bio-digester
- have won an Eco Church award from A Rocha, an international Christian conservation organisation
- encourage our guests to car share, carbon offset their journey or come via public transport with our Taunton Taxi service
- provide two charging points for guests with electric cars
Renewable hydro-electric and solar power
Water from streams in the forest on the estate powers a hydro-electric turbine generating about a quarter to a third of our electricity each year.
We have hot water solar panels on the roof of one of our community buildings.
Because heating oil is environmentally damaging as well as expensive, we’re investigating converting to biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps to run our heating.
Fairtrade at Lee Abbey means more than just teas, coffees, and products in the Shop.
All the Lee Abbey Community members commit to care for the poor and stand up against injustice as followers of Jesus Christ. Because of that commitment, we:
- Ensure that food and drink we serve is Fairtrade wherever possible
- Buy decor items, products in the Shop and Tea Cottage from recognised Fairtrade suppliers
Lee Abbey’s Fairtrade commitment has also been recognised by regional organisation Bristol and Southwest Fairtrade. Their annual Southwest Fairtrade Business Awards have selected Lee Abbey Shop and the entire Conference Centre for Gold or Overall Winner twice so far.
Amazing wildlife habitats on our doorstep
The Lee Abbey estate is part of a nationally recognised Site of Special Scientific Interest, with its coastal woodland, heathland and pasture habitats, rare species, and significant geology and ecology. We are Partners in Action with A Rocha and together we’re working to preserve and enhance our wildlife habitats, and to make it easier for every visitor to experience the wonder of God’s creation.
There’s a fantastic variety of wildlife at Lee Abbey, some of the species you may spot on our estate includes:
- Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus)
- Lesser-horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros)
- European adders (Vipera berus)
- Early purple orchids (Orchis mascula)
- Silver-washed fritillary butterflies (Argynnis paphia)
Guests can borrow binoculars and record what they see on a sightings board. We have lots of nature books in the library for reference – including our very own, published in 2014: The Birds of Lee Abbey Devon.
Why not head down to our private bay where you can find over 100 different marine species including seals and porpoises. With A Rocha we have prepared a Top Ten marine species search guide that you can take to the beach on your phone or tablet so that you can identify what you see at the sea!