When we moved to Graig Wen in 2007, we didn’t know a soul round here. Now we have the pleasure of working and playing with all kinds of local people who we can count on through thick and thin. You just never know when you’re going to need a tray of eggs, a tractor or an extra pair of hands. That’s just one of the reasons we use as many local food producers, crafts people, suppliers and givers of good advice as we can. By supporting us you are supporting our local economy which mostly relies on visitors and the odd sheep to survive.
As well as local people and our great team, our family, friends, volunteers and regular customers all contribute to our sense of community here. We aim to extend the same warm welcome – or croeso cynnes – to our guests as we have found here in Wales.
Custodians of a Special Environment
We are passionate about sharing and protecting our special surroundings.
Since we arrived, we’ve made short and long term changes to enhance this special environment and reduce the impact of our business. Graig Wen is in Snowdonia National Park and part of our land near the Mawddach Estuary is also a Site os Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). We are privileged to be the custodians of such a rare and special place. Habitats range from ancient woodland to meadows, streams and salt marsh.
We are managing our areas of ancient woodland, planting and encouraging native broad leaved trees and protecting other flora and fauna. We aim to balance the land use to create varied habitats suitable for short-term coppicing, wildlife and woodland regeneration – and of course camping! We have erected bird-boxes and created other sanctuaries for wildlife around the site. Campers are requested to assist in our woodland management scheme by buying the sustainably sourced firewood we sell and not collecting dead wood from the woodland floor.
We have improved boundaries to enable controlled grazing, thus encouraging the establishment of ground flora and woodland succession. Planting throughout involves native species sourced from local provenance. We are improving biodiversity in the meadows by a careful programme of targeted mowing. As result of this, during 2021 we were pleased to see more species of butterflies and months including Meadow Browns, Painted Ladies, Speckled Woods and Red Admirals. We also saw and heard more Tawny Owls than usual this year.
Around 9 years ago we planted a new orchard of native Welsh and traditional apple varieties including Ynys Enlli/Bardsey, Rhyl Beauty, Pig Aderyn and Pigeon’s Beak. More recently we have planted some wildflower banks and used lockdown to develop an organic vegetable patch. All the photos on this page were taken around the site.
We are conscious that many of our guests arrive by car but, as Graig Wen is well served by public transport, we encourage people to lessen their carbon footprint by either using public transport to reach us or leaving the car behind to explore once they are here. Contacts for bike hire, buses and trains can be found in our digital Guest Welcome Guide. Although we don’t yet have an EV charging point, we can usually help people out with charging their cars.
We are working to reduce our environmental impact through minimizing use of gas, electricity and water and reducing waste and sewage.
Twenty two of our 30 pitches/accommodation units are off grid.
Our water is filtered from a mountain cavern and we conserve water through use of 4 low flush WCs and 5 compost toilets for the camp site. We work hard to harvest rainwater for use on the garden.
We have installed more energy efficient systems to provide heat and hot water and improved insulation significantly in the buildings.
We monitor our energy usage and have replaced all lights with energy efficient bulbs, and use exterior down lights, some red lights which are better for nocturnal wildlife and sensors. We use a green electricity provider. Please help us by turning off lights, TVs and chargers when not in use.
We are proud to be in the heart of Snowdonia International Dark Skies Reserve and have been chosen to be a Dark Skies Ambassador.
Play your part
We serve locally produced food and drink whenever possible and champion the use the wonderful meat, dairy and fish produce of North Wales. We really encourage you to shop local and discover some of the wonderful local produce and people!
Our marketing and guest communications are increasingly digital or use recycled paper. You will find loads of useful holiday tips about places to eat out, visit etc on the digital welcome guide emailed when you book. It works offline like an app on your phone.
We ask all our guests to recycle waste and provide facilities for recycling glass, paper, plastic, cans and to compost vegetable waste. We try and use local suppliers, materials and contractors wherever possible. We have significantly reduced our use of single use plastic and always looking for new suppliers and ways of working towards reduction of single use plastic.
The cleaning products we use are eco-friendly and we bulk buy so we can refill and re-use as much as possible. Our guests go through a lot of loo roll! So we buy sustainably sourced toilet paper from companies who reinvest in sanitary provision for communities in the developing world. Our compost loos are all twinned to support the same purpose.
We recycle or compost over 70% of our waste – please help us to improve our impact on beautiful Snowdonia by thinking carefully about your choices and how you dispose of your waste.