Charge your car with the sun!

We've recently boosted our green energy production with a further 60 solar panels on the two 'hangars', so we now produce almost as much electricity as we use over a year at the farm!

Problem is, we don't always need the 23kW of power we can generate on an early afternoon in May, our house and cottages being super-insulated and designed to make the most of the sun through their large windows and hot water heating solar thermal panels. So surplus power goes back to the grid...until now!

Another year on....!

Ok, so when we set up this blog the intention was to do 'regular'ish' new posts on developments at East Cambusmoon....the last year blog wise was rather infrequent, and it is now just over a year since our last post! Well, there's been much happening here in the last 12 months, so much so that we've had little time to report it!

The holiday cottages have been getting busier not just because of the summer, but also due to the great feedback we've had from our guests to whom we are extremely grateful for taking the time to do so. We were also over the moon to be awarded 'Gold' accreditation by the Green Tourism Business Scheme last November and strive to improve our sustainability credentials without compromising on quality.

But blogs are very much about the 'now', so what's the latest?

1st Birthday!

It's nearly 12 months since we welcomed our first guests to Curlew Cottage and The Old Dairy. It's been great fun and we've met lots of really lovely people from all over the world.

We started working on the designs for the cottages around the time we finished building our house (5 years ago) but for lots of reasons, time, money, family and business, we didn't commence the renovation of the dairy and byre until May 2011.

When you're heavily involved in the project management and specification of any project it takes a while to step back and appreciate 'the job' is finished but in reality for us the end of the renovation project marked the start of the holiday cottage business.

Festivals in and around Loch Lomond

Coming up in May we have Booked which, as you might guess, is a literature festival. Organised by West Dunbartonshire Council library service this festival is just a few years old but already has a loyal local following and has an interesting programme with a great variety of authors speaking.

Events are held (mainly at libraries) throughout the area and there is the opportunity for Q & As and signing sessions at the end of each talk.

Over recent years I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to a tremendous range of interesting people; some first novelists, some seasoned household names, poetry and music, factual social history, biographies, shadow writers, world adventurers and local colour. Whether you're resident in the area or a visitor you are sure to find something of interest.

We've left copies of the programme in both cottages, tickets for the events are free and can be collected from West Dunbartonshire libraries.


... has been fairly rapid during the long days of a Scottish summer. Since pouring the floor slabs the timber frame has gone up in a matter of weeks, with work now starting on building up the old dairy's stone walls another 400mm to roof eaves level so our guests will have plenty of headroom upstairs!

Construction design is similar to the house, using an insulated timber frame clad with woodfibre board on the outside for extra insulation and to reduce thermal bridging. This keeps the wind out and, with the help of fancy tapes and membranes on the inside, the heat in. Heating is to be from a ground source heat pump and solar thermal panels, with solar PV offsetting electricity use. Inside we just have underfloor heating on the ground floor which will keep things cosy during the chilly winter months!

Over the next couple of months we should see the roof windows in and the roofs slated, then hopefully, the windows and doors will have have arrive so the cottages can be wind and watertight before the cooler and wetter months...roll on Autumn!

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