The Milky Way & The Environment
We have been working hard to reduce our environmental impact and are committed to making a day out at The Milky Way an environmentally friendly experience! Many of the improvements we have made have been as a result of an audit carried out by our specialist Environmental Consultants. Below are some examples of the work that we have done to reduce our carbon footprint and to improve our natural environment.
Since 2014 we’ve taken a massive leap forward, installing solar panels and a biomass heating system. We estimate that approximately 75% of our energy usage is now totally renewable and carbon neutral. To find out more please click here.
Other steps we have taken to reduce our overall energy consumption -
- Insulated over 70% of the roofs
- Installed automatic doors to cut down on heat loss
- Replaced most of the windows throughout the site with double glazed units
- Changed to energy saving light bulbs wherever possible – we have currently achieved this in 80% of the site.
We've been working closely with our staff to come up with a manageable way to recycle our waste. We started by purchasing a bailer to enable us to process all of our cardboard and plastic for recycling and we installed recycling bins around the site. We estimate that we currently recycle approximately ½ tonne of cardboard and plastic every month. In addition we also recycle all food waste and glass from our cafes. To cut down on paperwork in the office we now receive many of our monthly bills by email and any paperwork to be disposed of is shredded and sent to the recycling centre. We are currently working on increasing the proportion of deliveries, gifts, food and drinks that come in recyclable packaging.
All of our water comes from a natural lake located deep beneath The Milky Way land. We access this water using a bore hole before treating it with UV light to ensure that it is safe to drink. We use a natural reed bed system to treat all of our sewage and wastewater, returning it back to the environment clean and safe. In fact, as an added bonus, the ponds that we created for the reed bed system now provide another fantastic natural habitat for our wildlife.
Nature & Wildlife
We've already planted approximately 1,000 indigenous trees (species that are naturally found in this area) and 500 conifers around the Milky Way and in 2005 we planted 3,500 more conifers in our maze. We have recently been working with the South West Forestry Commission and have completed the planting of an additional 35,000 indigenous trees covering 50 acres of land which surrounds the Milky Way.
A few years ago we created another pond with an island in the middle to attract wildlife. We now have fish in the pond (we didn't put them there, so their eggs must have been carried here by birds!) and plenty of wildlife inhabiting the island and surroundings. These include wild Canadian geese, a pair of nesting mallards, two pairs of nesting moorhens and a visiting heron.