Welcome to our eco-friendly paradise, run on +90% renewables and organic principles in a pocket of Norfolk bursting with wildlife. It is a social enterprise that has repurposed the historic farm buildings to recreate the rural livelihoods and local networks that farming used to. We aim to be a rural idyll that explores the best ways of living, working and being and attracts like-hearts and minds, so that we can explore and learn together.
We are proudly committed to sustainable values and hope you’ll join us in striving to be kind to the environment.
The heating and hot water is powered by a wood chip biomass boiler, with solar panels helping to provide renewable electricity. All our electrical goods are highly efficient and our taps and shower heads are largely water saving.
Our ethos is to reuse, rebuild and recycle. As you wander around our site, you’ll spot many details that have been repurposed from a former life.
Our delicious drinking water is drawn from a fresh chalk well, available at every tap.
We work with organic ingredients and locally-sourced food where possible, with plans to create our own organic kitchen garden in 2019.
The biological waste treatment is powered by microorganisms, meaning we don’t use harsh chemicals. For this reason, we are careful to use only organic, natural cleaning products and encourage guests to use the natural soaps and shampoos provided in each property.
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE VENUE
We are run on principles of social enterprise. Having repurposed otherwise redundant historic buildings, we have set ourselves the goal of transforming West Lexham into a valuable contributor to our local community and economy. In particular, we want to create local employment opportunities centred around a positive culture of personal development and team building.
As our project grows, we plan to provide increased support to charitable schemes. Our commitment to continual reinvestment of profits will help us in this mission.
NATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
You’ll find every type of tree and shrub indigenous to the UK growing happily on our 22 acre estate. The ecology of the floating water meadows has earned it title as an ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’, with the restoration of our rare chalk stream and surrounding wildlands creating an active habitat for biodiversity.
Our journey began with a unique collection of heritage buildings and gardens, the result of many centuries of human settlement in Lexham. Our local history stretches back over 800,000 years, with two mentions in the Domesday book. A great many generations have loved and laughed at West Lexham. In 1997 the Colville family became custodians of it’s most recent guise – a disused farm set in 21 acres of overgrown land. By 2008, the earliest form of West Lexham as it stands today was conceived, with the Colville’s already hard at work transforming the grounds.
By 2011, our first Bell Tents were erected and we began experimenting with hosting events. We also opened Tinker – the first rentable Treehouse in the UK.
In 2012 our course was changed by a fire that devastated the bedrooms in our converted piggery…a disaster from which we bounced back!
We were granted funding by the EU and DEFRA, allowing us to convert the Barn and outbuildings that sit at the heart of West Lexham today, relaunching the business complete with a new troop of tree houses in 2014.
Exciting news! We have been awarded a second grant from the EU & DEFRA in addition to a loan agreement by the leading ethical bank Triados to develop the heart of West Lexham – a central gathering space focused around food and conversation. We want to create places where people can eat, meet, share and learn.
Once works are complete, our future facilities will include…
Organic restaurant for onsite guests
Reference library and snug
Communal living room
Reception and shop
Gym and wild outdoor gym
New natural, chemical-free swimming pool
New changing rooms
Vegetable garden where we grow our own organic food
New offices and staff room for our team
Residence space for volunteers
WEST LEXHAM DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
This funding will help with the building of a restaurant, kitchen, library, shop, reception, offices and staff room. Notably, the project will help to create local employment.