Eco-friendly holidays in The Cotswolds and Dorset

At Habitat Escapes, we take great pride in our environmental surroundings. As part of the Habitat First Group, we aim to have a positive impact on the environment, by respecting nature and the wider community while enhancing the health and well-being of guests who choose to holiday on our estates.

Sustainability has been at the heart of what we do from the beginning. Both Lower Mill Estate and Silverlake have injected new life into unused and derelict quarries, creating environments where wildlife and communities live in harmony and have a shared love for mother nature.

By their very nature, our modern, eco-friendly developments avoid turning rural villages into ghost towns and generate local jobs for the community.  

Find out more about how we are protecting and enhancing wildlife, our eco-friendly homes and working with the local communities.

How you can help with our mission

Here are our top six ways to make your holiday more sustainable.

Eco-holidays surrounded by nature


Eco-friendly homes

Lower Mill Estate and Silverlake are two of the only estates in the UK to be awarded ‘Excellent’ status with Building with Nature, thanks to our sustainable approach. Silverlake has also been cited as an example of best practice by Natural England for its approach to brownfield restoration and ecological regeneration.

Many of our holiday homes are designed with energy efficiency in mind, with solar panels, air-source heat pumps and EV charging points. Along with ensuring the architecture works in harmony with nature through using renewable timbers and sheep wool insulation. Our holiday homes also have enhanced features for our wildlife such as; living roofs, bee bricks, birdhouses or bat houses.


Protecting and enhancing wildlife

Lower Mill Estate
is home to a plethora of creatures great and small, thanks to its many lakes, meadows, woodlands and meandering rivers.
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Silverlake has been carefully transformed into an ecological haven, designed to support thousands of species of flora and fauna, including otters, dormice and a wide range of wild birds.
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Our dedicated, expert ecology team focuses on re-wilding the estates and encouraging new species, some of which are unique to the estates. Discover the wildlife on our estates by month in our calendars below. 


Sustainable travel

To help with sustainable travel, wherever possible, we encourage our guests to travel sustainably such as traveling by train or electric vehicle. Throughout the Estate, we offer electric car charging points for guests to use during their visit. In fact, many of our eco-friendly holiday homes come with their own EV charging points and we are delighted to see more of our homeowners choosing this option.

As part of our drive to further enhance our ongoing sustainability goals, we have partnered with Play it Green to offer climate-positive bookings. When you book a holiday through Habitat Escapes you will be given the option to offset the carbon footprint of your holiday journey. By donating £3, we will plant six new trees and regift 30p to local causes.

Read more about Play it Green here.


Eco activities

Our on-site Activity Hub encourages guests to enjoy the natural world whilst having minimum impact on the environment. Explore the estates on two wheels or by water with non-motorised watersports such as paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing. Plus learn more about the nature on our estates with nature walks, events and talks with the on-site ecology team. Our guests also have access to hundreds of acres of nature reserve, running, walking and biking trails and wildlife viewing areas.


Field-to-Fork dining

Ballihoo (Lower Mill Estate) is a field-to-fork restaurant that prioritises the use of locally sourced ingredients and utilises the fresh produce from our chemical-free, on-site allotment to minimise our impact on the environment where possible. This commitment is reflected in our ever-evolving seasonal menu, which minimises waste and allows our team of talented chefs to experiment and craft new, delicious dishes. 

Our hard-working grounds team also use the allotment to recycle as many of our natural materials as possible, such as fallen leaves and vegetable peelings, which in turn helps our food to flourish. Additionally, we work with local businesses such as Cotswolds Lakes Brewing Co who donate leftover grains for our compost after they have finished the brewing process. 

Each year we grow an array of different ingredients for our chefs to be as creative as possible. That’s why we offer seasonal menus to ensure we utilise all ingredients on offer.

A part of the community

Local projects

We are delighted to be able to fund local projects that benefit the environment.


Nature Conservation Fund (Lower Mill Estate)

The Cotswold Conservation Fund is a project administered by the Cotswold District Council and encourages the Parish Council and local groups to invest in nature through a variety of environmental projects.

Projects completed to date include supporting the Cotswold Water Park Water Vole recovery project and supporting Ashton Keynes Primary School in their Nature Garden, an outdoor learning area for children to learn more about British wildlife.

Recently we have also had the pleasure of helping the Cotswold Lakes Trust unveil their Beaver Bus at Lower Mill Estate, an educational trailer for children to learn more about nature.


The Dorset Community and Conversation Fund (Silverlake)

The Silverlake Conservation and Community Fund is a joint fund between Habitat First Group, the Dorset Council and the Dorset Natural Environment team. The aim of the fund is to help reduce the effects of development on the protected heathlands and surrounding local area.

Projects completed to date include providing local schools with equipment to study and encourage wildlife in the school environment, studying the change in the distribution of bees and wasps, installing bird hides in school grounds and researching how bats use the wide variety of commercially available bat boxes.


Giving back to the community


The Habitat First Foundation is Habitat First Group’s official charity. The foundation is currently raising money to build dedicated eco-friendly holiday homes that will be provided on a complimentary basis for children with serious illness or disability to use for a much-needed holiday, along with their families.

Proudly Working With


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If you would like any more details or have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Habitat Escapes Team.

T: 0333 241 6616

Our Estates


Lower Mill Estate, Mill Lane, Somerford Keynes, Gloucestershire GL7 6BG, UK


Silverlake Estate, Warmwell Road, Crossways, Dorset DT2 8HU, UK

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