Polmanter’s commitment to sustainability

26th March 2024

As the environmental damage caused by pollution and waste becomes increasingly apparent, it’s up to all of us to help protect our planet.


At Polmanter we recognise our environmental responsibility and have been making changes wherever we can to improve our sustainability. Here are some of the new products and practices we’ve introduced ahead of the 2024 season, along with the continued efforts we’re committed to.

Switching to eco alternatives

It’s the simple things that sometimes have the biggest impact, and that’s so true when it comes to sustainable options across the site.

In our amenity blocks, we use water saving devices in our toilets and showers. Where possible, we’ve installed motion and light sensors on outdoor and communal area lighting, with low energy bulbs throughout all four amenity blocks. This means that there’s always light when you need it – and there isn’t when you don’t, helping to reduce light pollution and preserve our stunning dark skies.

On the grounds, we have transitioned from diesel to electric gardening tools, which are quieter and less polluting. Switching to super-concentrated cleaning products has helped us to cut chemical use and to reduce plastic waste by 75% in 2023/24. 

You’ll also see that the main cleaning and night warden vehicle has been replaced with an EV, along with our mini fleet of buggies, all powered by our very own solar panels.

We have ensured that guests with electric vehicles are welcomed, with the installation of two charging points for touring guest’s electric vehicles in our visitor car park, and each of our self-catering properties has its own EV charging socket too. We also provide specific pre-visit information for guests visiting us with EVs to help ensure a smooth journey to the park, and help with tips for exploring with an EV during their stay.

In the bar, we have committed to ban the use of plastic straws, switching to a paper alternative (banning straws entirely can cause difficulties for guests with additional needs).  We are a proud member of The Final Straw, Cornwall, who aim to eliminate the use of plastic straws in the county. We use reusable or biodegradable cups rather than disposable ones for poolside and soft play drinks, and have recyclable menus and take-away packaging.

Our fantastic new restaurant area was built over the winter of 2023/24 by local contractors, with a key aim of improving energy efficiency (and comfort) for guests, by replacing the polycarbonate roof with a tiled and insulated roof, and adding new insulation and more energy efficient ventilation inside the Stable Bar.

In the shop, we no longer stock disposable plastic plates and have replaced them with reusable, bamboo and paper versions. We use recyclable coffee cups and lids for our coffee machine, as well as for any takeaway coffee from the bar.

We offer CanO Water as well as bottled water so guests have an eco alternative; but it’s also worth remembering that we are part of the international Refill scheme, meaning you can refill your reusable water bottles for free in our reception, bar or at any of the taps across the site (all taps are drinking water). As well as tackling disposable plastics, we’re looking at changing other ranges for more environmentally friendly versions, and now stock green camping toilet chemicals. And as we all know, plastic bags have become a major environmental issue. We now supply only certified compostable vegware bags, or why not purchase one of our lovely Polmanter-branded canvas or jute bags and use it every time you shop. Our reusable Polmanter cups are also great addition to your camping kit!



Keeping it local

Not everything can be made locally; however, if produce can be sourced from St Ives and around, we’ll try to use it. For example, Trink Dairy, just over a mile away supplies us with milk alongside nearby Mounts Bay Dairy, and our fields offer grazing and supply silage for Trink cows’ winter feed. Our favourite St Ives gin is stocked in the shop and Stable Bar. Have a look at the local farmers and producers section in Polmanter’s shop (which was designed and built by Cornish contractors).

Our team

Our local staff are supported to use sustainable modes of travel by providing EV charging facilities, free bus travel on our site shuttle and facilities to shower and change for those who run or cycle to work.
Staff from further afield are provided with pitches on-site, enabling them to park up for the season, and walk to work each day!



A big thanks to all our guests, who’ve helped us cut down on our landfill waste enormously by sorting their rubbish at the campsite’s recycling points. Our signage makes it really clear what needs to go where, making recycling a quick and simple job.

Recycling binsWe have new recycling bins at Reception, to make sure that we’re all doing our bit at work, too. However, we’re not generating as much waste in the office as we used to, as we’re nearly paperless! We’ve switched to an electronic brochure; and we now send confirmations and other communications via email rather than letter. (However if any guests prefer a paper version and ask for one, we’re happy to oblige).

Beach exchange – Consider hiring body boards rather than buying polystyrene boards that don’t last, or better still, visit our Beach Exchange. This is a designated place for unwanted items that can be re-used, which also include wetsuits, windbreaks, bucket and spades and camping chairs. Before you dash to the shops to buy new, take a look to see what’s been left behind. If you’re using something temporarily, simply bring it back before you leave. If you’re struggling to pack the car, feel free to (tidily!) leave items that you don’t want to take home with you!

Flotsam Flo – We’ve partnered with local sustainability champion, Flotsam Flo, to collect our guests plastic waste that is otherwise difficult to recycle – such as wetsuits, airbeds and canopies. This ‘rubbish’ is then turned into fashion items, including bags and accessories, that are sold online as well as right here in our shop.

Solar energy

As a huge jump towards reducing our carbon footprint, in 2019 we installed an entire field of 960 solar panels. These have been happily soaking up the Cornish sun and producing energy to help power the site all year round, saving over 50 tonnes of CO2 every year!



We are lucky to be surrounded by countryside here at Polmanter, and with a family history of farming, it’s very important to us that we preserve the wildlife as best we can.

David Bellamy Pledge for Nature – We signed up to the David Bellamy Pledge for Nature in 2023 and are pleased to continue with our commitment to the scheme for another year. Since joining we’ve created wildflower gardens, otherwise known as ‘Pollinator Patches’, in more than one area of the site. They not only provide a fantastic habitat for pollinating insects, but they look fabulous too. The array of colours have certainly caught our guests’ eyes! 

This year we’re focused on adding more homes for wildlife, with the installation of over 10 RSPB-accredited bird boxes and more bug boxes. We’ve also taken the decision to let our Cornish hedgrows flourish, along with wild grasses that were previously mown areas (including a new mown labyrinth!), enhancing biodiversity and natural beauty on our site.

Seasonal planting – Our yearly seasonal planting scheme is underway, with a huge order of bedding plants supplied from Trevenna Cross, a nursery and garden centre. Not only are they based right here in West Cornwall, but they also share the same sustainable ethos. For many years, they have been working off their own water supply, have biomass boilers installed to handle their heating needs and recently have installed solar panels. They are no longer potting in black plastic pots, as they are difficult to recycle, and have installed wildlife boxes across their 35 acre site to support their local wildlife.

Preserving the dark sky – With regards to light pollution, we continue to ask guests to keep lighting around tents, caravans and motorhomes to a minimum and don’t allow illuminated flag poles to help preserve the dark sky.

Supporting charities

We’re proud to support a number of Cornish charities throughout the year in many different ways.

Bingo – Our weekly bingo nights from June – September, raise money for a chosen charity each season, which for 2024 will be shared between the St Ives Food Bank and Community Food Share.

Local sport – We have sponsored St Ives senior and mini / junior rugby teams, the St Ives Surf Life Saving club Biathlon and we also sponsor Amelia Nelson, a promising young racing driver who lives right here in Halsetown.

Book swap – You’ll find a book swap in Reception, managed by Penzance Lions Club, with all donations and proceeds going to this fantastic local cause.

Events – We also host charity events at The Stable Bar, which recently included the Edward Hain Centre holding their own bingo evening and raising £800 towards the community’s newly acquired local health service.

Pots and prizes – Our main till areas in Reception and the shop display charity boxes and we donate prizes to local fundraisers – including schools and sports clubs.

Keeping it eco on your Cornish holiday

Public transport use – Leave your car at the campsite and use Royal buses’ park and ride bus, which goes right into St Ives. There are also a lovely walk into town via a quiet country lane, taking approximately 25 minutes – it’s the perfect stroll! And there’s plenty of options to explore the area via public transport; we can supply you with timetables for the local buses and trains. In the summer there’s also the fantastic open top, coastal, hop on hop off bus service, which is very popular!

Keeping beaches clean – Show your love for Cornwall’s coast while you’re here, by taking part in a beach clean. Surfers Against Sewage events across the South West – and you’ll have a lot of fun as well as supporting the environment. Or if you spot any litter during a beach day, simply pick it up and put it in the nearest bin, and always remember to take home your own rubbish. 

Support independents – St Ives is great for independent retailers selling local products and produce, and most of the restaurants (including The Stable Bar) use Cornish ingredients wherever possible. There’s also a fantastic farmers market at The Island Centre every Monday where you can pick up a range of local goods. And not forgetting the recently installed refill station for drinking water located by the lifeboat station in the town.  

All these small measures start to add up – especially when more and more of us embrace alternatives to using single-use plastics and fossil fuels. Penzance recently became Britain’s first town with plastic-free status, as local businesses joined together to make a difference.


Plastic Free Penzance logo

If you have any suggestions for other eco-friendly approaches at Polmanter, please let us know.