Photo: Rydal Beck

Eco activities at Rydal Hall

Rydal Hall Hydro

Our objective is to make Rydal Hall a place of exemplary environmental practice. Our activities are being carefully and mindfully managed to minimize their effect on the environment. We believe that taking small steps accumulatively can lead to a significant change.

Currently we:

  • produce our own electricity through our hydro scheme. This produces up to 500Kw of energy which powers the Hall, and the surplus is fed back into the local network – enough for around 400 homes. Electricity has been produced at Rydal since the 1920s. The current turbine was installed in 2015.
  • have our own private fresh water supply, taken from Rydal Beck, providing water to all buildings east of the beck.
  • have a solid action plan for the continued removal of the invasive Rhododendron, which can be seen all around the estate.
  • are continually looking for ways to curb our use of plastic and packaging. We also encourage proper recycling to minimise landfill as much as possible.
  • only use environmentally friendly products in housekeeping.
  • source our kitchen produce from local suppliers only, reducing the miles our food travels.
  • are working on new ways to curb packaging in the kitchen, recently trialling cereal dispensers for the hall guests and in staff rooms and using re-fillable sauce bottles and serving butter portions in diced cubes instead of small individually wrapped portions.
  • have all foods used by our kitchen locally sourced.
  • produce our own compost from kitchen and garden waste.
  • improved buildings insulation.
  • all lighting on site now LED.
  • reduction and elimination of all non-environmentally friendly chemicals on site.
  • removed all plastic bin liners in guest rooms.
  • have begun composting our kitchen and garden waste.
  • have implemented a new bike scheme. This means a 10% discount on drinks for cyclists at the tea shop.
  • offer a 10% discount on takeaway drinks at the tea shop if the individual brings their own mug.
  • have started selling locally made organic apple juice (sold in glass bottles) replacing mass-produced plastic bottled juice, in our tea shop.
  • have a new deal for all guests travelling to Rydal Hall on public transport. Any booking for 7 night stay DBB will get a free stagecoach bus pass, encouraging guests to use local public transport.
  • Recycling bins in all offices and public areas.
  • have been placed on a water refilling phone application, Refill, with the tea shop and estate registered as a location, signage encourages visitors to refill their bottles with natural spring water from the beck.
  • have a plan in motion to replace the plastic water bottles in the tea shop with water bottles made from organic material, meaning they are fully biodegradable. In addition, we are being mindful of other products we serve that contain plastic, one of which is tea bags - we are looking to find a supplier of non-plastic containing tea bags also making them compostable.
  • are reviewing the use of meats on the guest menu and implementing meat-free days for the staff.
  • have increased our organic and ethically source wine by 50%
  • have green horticultural practices in place, use of organic and biologically friendly fertilisers and products.
  • maintain and nurture sensitive and rare plants. Create wildflower borders. 
  • use ash from the fireplaces to feed the roses and fruit trees and waste coffee grounds from the kitchen and the tea shop for use in the flower beds in the formal gardens.
  • promote the use of orange peel as a more environmentally friendly fire lighter, for use on site.
  • are establishing an organic vegetable garden to supply both the hall kitchen and staff.
  • are fostering links with local primary schools attempting to provide an environmental education resource both on the estate and organic veg garden, This includes plans to build "bug hotels" (habitat for bugs) in the backwoods.
  • continued with the eradication of invasive species. Remove and stem injection of Japanese Knott weed.
  • have a solid action plan on tackling the rhododendron problem on site, using volunteer groups to aid us in this monumental task. We may wish to replace the rhododendron in some areas with native species.
  • plan to convert some of the cut-down Rhododendron into charcoal, which could potentially be supplied to campers or used as bio-charcoal on the gardens and estate. Small scale trials have been conducted, yielding some goods results.
  • continue to involve and encourage staff in all eco project, regular updates and eco newsletters including an eco-suggestion box with a green prize for best ideas.
  • have a wildlife pond in the backwoods constructed by our estate volunteer to encourage wildlife biodiversity.
  • have begun monitoring the wildlife ar Rydal using our camera trap, to be shared on social media and on our website.
  • have organised for all woodland and trees to be conducted by eco foresters, horsepower is used for any timber extraction. Substantial habitat stacks have been introduced.
  • have developed a sustainable firewood supply for onsite buildings.
  • we encourage visitors by our Art Sculpture trail, to experience the environment, most of the textile work is created from reused and recycled materials and many pieces create wildlife habitat.
  • use local suppliers, tradesmen and craftspeople when possible and support local businesses.

For any questions or comments please email the Estates team:

Environmental Policy Statement

Our objective is to create a climate of environmental excellence in services and products provided for employees, volunteers and guests. Our activities will be managed to minimise their effect on the environment. We are committed to continual improvement at all levels and in all functions of the organisation. We aim to become the flagship for the Diocese of Carlisle of exemplary environmental practice and to lead by example. We recognise that this will only be achieved through regular monitoring of our environmental performance against objectives regulated by a committed management system. These objectives are as follows:

1.  Identify, control or eliminate the risk of pollution arising from any of our activities, products and services.

2.  Meet and exceed all regulations relating to environmental matters and adopt safe and environmentally acceptable standards where none currently exist.

3.  Reduce our waste to the lowest practical level by means of recycling, upcycling or other management systems and ensure responsible disposal of waste materials created or received, undertaking environmental audits and measure the results against established targets.

4.  Reduce the use of materials, resources and energy minimising the environmental effects of all future developments and appraise the environmental effects when sourcing raw materials.

5.  Reduce and maintain as low as possible, the consumption of electricity in all buildings, using more efficient methods of heating/lighting.

6.  Advocate employee involvement in all environmental matters and provide suitable training and support for all employees and volunteers with regard to this environmental policy. Ensure that any person working on our behalf is made aware of and agrees to comply with this policy.

7.   Address the environmental impact of travel related to the Hall by exploring ways of encouraging sustainable transport.

8.   Seek to ensure that products and services supplied by third parties can be used, handled, stored and disposed of in a manner which safeguards the environment and the health and safety of all.

9.    Endeavour to promote local, sustainable and fair-trade products where possible.

10.  Continual removal and management of invasive species to help protect native species.

11.   Inform staff, volunteers, guests and visitors of the importance of our work and publicise through information boards, media, events/activities, leaflets, word of mouth etc.

12.   To undertake a review of this policy in the light of any new knowledge, legislation or public concern.


As part of our eco activities, Rydal Hall has joined the Refill movement by adding three water stations to help prevent plastic pollution at source. Whenever you walk through our grounds, you can refill your water bottle for free at any of our water stations - the Tea Shop, the outside tap opposite the Stable Cottage and the sinks outside the campsite shower block. If you are walking nearby just look us up on the Refill app and you will find us :)