Electric Cars & Bikes
This is not the most exciting blog – but it is quite a significant one.
When we started we thought that we had enough parking. Having been open for a few years now, it’s been very apparent that we don’t. Guests aren’t sure where to leave their cars and frequently the answer is on the grass (to my frustration). The turning circle around a couple of birch trees proved challenging for some drivers with car inadvertently straying on to the garden. Not amused.
So we have now demolished our ugly concrete garage and in its place there is a large area for guest cars. I haven’t checked the measurements but it must be almost the size of a tennis court.
Not only have a created a place for cars but have also installed a couple of charging points for electric cars. We are seeing more and more electric cars and have only been able to provide a ‘trickle’ charge over night by plugging in a domestic extension cable. Not only did it not really provide much of a charge it was an accident just waiting to happen. Two points will really futureproof ourselves as we move to electric vehicles to address climate change.
In order to connect the charging points we had to lay cabling from the house down to the charging points. It was a great opportunity to remove all the tatty greenery from the side of the drive. Perhaps it looked great thirty years ago but by the time we arrived it was mostly bramble (just waiting to scratch your car’s paintwork), running bamboo and dying old shrubs. Over a couple of weeks this was all removed and a beautiful, contemporary fence added to provide our neighbours with some privacy. It has subsequently been stained black in keeping with our decking and will hopefully provide a dramatic backdrop to bright planting (orange, yellow and blue).
Of course it is not all about cars. As a relatively flat county, Suffolk is a destination for many cyclists. Many of our guests come with some lovely bikes and up to know we have had to put them in our laundry room. Not ideal as bike chains and white cotton sheets rarely mix well. So we have built a bike shed by the new car park. We also plan to get our bikes serviced (shamefully they have had punctures for years) so that guests can leave their cars and get out into the countryside on two cycles rather than four.
There was quite a considerable price tag attached to this work and we are very grateful to East Suffolk Council for providing 75% of the cost as part of their ‘Plan for the Future’ grant scheme. Having been closed for nine months due to Covid, there is absolutely no way that we could have done all this without help.