Neil, Emma, Hannah, Eva and Bernie the dog. We are the Punchard family and we would love to welcome you to our beautiful barns for a self catering holiday on the Norfolk Coast.
Neil grew up on The Broads in the 1980’s and spent happy summers fishing and exploring the area. His career now involves protecting this unique water environment. Emma is a committed environmentalist and local food champion with a love of the outdoors.
After 20 years living in London and Bristol we decided to return to Neil’s homeland to bring up our family and start a business; one where we can share our love and knowledge of the area and its wildlife, beauty spots and local ale!
We bought the farm in early 2012 and started the barn conversion in February 2013. We were awarded a grant from the Rural Development Programme to convert the farm as a centre of excellence for sustainable tourism allowing to invest in green technologies and materials. We also plan to create habitats for local wildlife. If you are interested in visiting the barn but not as a paid guest please get in touch as we'd be happy to show you around.
At Mill Farm you can enjoy your holiday in a beautiful and comfortable barns which are family friendly, practical and welcoming but also carbon neutral.
Material and Recycling
We have used natural, local and recycled building materials where possible and ancient handcrafted techniques to create a beautiful, peaceful and bright interior and can proudly tell our guests that only 4 skips of rubbish were removed from site during the entire construction. Guests should fine recycling effortless.
Rain water is harvested
Rain water is harvested from the roof and used to flush the toilets and wash clothes.
Our hot water is heated by a biomass boiler which burns wood pellets. This is much greener than the oil alternative. The rest of our energy is purchased via a green energy tariff making us carbon neutral in terms of our on-going energy demand. Inside, appliances are efficient, lighting is bright but energy efficient.
Outdoor space promotes guests enjoyment and space for wildlife, alongside opportunities to meet chickens and Shetland ponies and eat fresh own grown produce. Car free day trips are possible as guest can use free bikes and guests are encouraged to discover some fantastic local food.
Protecting Britain’s magical waterland
We are also proud to be participating in an exciting ‘visitor giving scheme’ called Love the Broads. This scheme puts money donated by visitors to good use by looking after the beautiful landscapes and environment of the Broads. At the point of booking, guests are asked if they want to make a voluntary one pound donation to the Broads Trust. Once a year we send any money raised in this way to the Broads Trust and they donate it to some great projects like new barn owl boxes, cycle route signage and an improved accessible circular footpath at a local nature reserve.
There is no compromise on quality and the efforts we have made make sure that guests have a fabulous stay whilst supporting the local economy and beautiful environment and not degrading it.
As a centre of excellence for sustainable tourism we would be delighted to talk to our guests or any other local business about the technologies we have invested in and our approach and well as some of the compromises. But we also know that our guests are on holiday so we don’t expect everyone to be interested or even notice.
Mill Farm Eco Barn has been supported by:
The Rural Development Program for England (RDPE) Norfolk Coast & Broads Local Action Group Funded by Defra and the EU.