About Cross Lanes Organic Farm
The Cross Lanes Organic Farm project is a concept Peter and Sue Coverdale have wanted to develop for many years. In 2002, they purchased the 11 acre site at Cross Lanes Farm and after running the already established free range egg production unit for a while, it was decided to plan for an organic farm shop/café and horticultural centre. On 27th October 2011 the Cross Lanes doors opened. Peter and Sue also run Heritage Coverdale Masonry, a very successful local family business providing stone masonry and restoration services.
Sustainability and Green Credentials of Cross Lanes
Cross Lanes is an eco-friendly centre focusing on living in a sustainable way. We are committed to ensuring the least possible impact on the environment and hold sustainable practice at the heart of what we do. The site features a number of green credentials which will continually be added to as the business develops.
There is a living roof, with sedum planted on the south side and meadow turf planted on the north side. The meadow turf has around 25 varieties of wild flower and grasses in it including yarrow, wild carrot, red campion, cocksfoot, yellow trefoil, sheeps parsley, burnet and corn marigold. Three hebridean sheep have taken up lodgings on our eco roof to help with the management of the grass (alternative lawnmowers!), the sheep are on loan from Phil & Anne Hughes of Greyscar Farm, Bowes. Hebridean's are an ancient hardy mountain rare breed well accustomed to grazing open pasture at high level and have taken very well to their roof lodgings. The sheep have the poshest sheep pen in Durham, constructed by the P&S Coverdale Masonry Contractors team, it is stone built with a tiled roof, wrought iron gate and fencing and wooden slatted ramps up to the eco roof.
Following a competition held in the shop our 3 sheep now have names:'Roofus' (Jayne Davies from Darlington), 'Ewegene' (Rachel Preston from Shropshire) and 'Baarny' (Nicola Hole from York).
Two solar panels on the south facing side of the roof, convert energy produced by the sunlight into heat to produce hot water. Air source heat pumps fuel the under floor heating. Straw bales have been used to insulate the walls. The external envelope is constructed using redressed local waste sand stone and the stone is fixed using a traditional lime based mortar. Natural lime rendering and plaster have been used for the internal walls. The toilet doors and vanity units are made out of recycled plastic bottles.
Rainwater harvesting system With water being an essential resource, a rainwater storage system has been designed. As well as a new bulk tank and filter system, we have incorporated the existing slurry pit left from the intensive pig and poultry units which formally occupied the site. This tank was overhauled specifically for this use, to store the captured rainwater from the roofs of the buildings. The harvested grey water will be used for the irrigation of crops in the horticultural centre and is currently used for the cafe-restaurant and staff toilets.
Reed bed - We handle the treatment of sewage entirely within the site through a range of measures designed to be as sustainable and ecologically friendly as possible in accordance with the aims of the project. A reed bed system has been put in place which naturally treats waste from the cafe-restaurant toilets through a natural filtration process.
Composting toilet & heather thatching - On the east side of the site on the edge of the car park, an outdoor composting toilet has been installed. This is a predominantly aerobic processing system that treats solid waste, the end product is a harmless nutrient rich compost. The company we used was Natsol, the compost toilet specialists. The toilet roof has recently been thatched using heather from Whitby, find out more about heather thatched roofs by clicking here.
Green electricity - We use a green electricity supplier who provides us with 100% green supply, and a proportion of the money we spend on electric is reinvested towards building new renewable energy sources.
Recycled shelving - Initally all the shelving in the shop interior used the recycled fittings we obtained from the closure of the Barnard Castle Woolworths store in December 2008, we have now also introduced a recyled tractor tyre type of shelf!
Organic and Local
There is a growing interest from consumers about where food comes from and concern about what is in food. At Cross Lanes Organic Farm consumers will be able to obtain organic foods which are produced as nature intended, using sustainable farming techniques with no chemicals or genetically modified products, focusing on animal welfare and a strong emphasis on protecting the environment. We have achieved organic certifcation from the Soil Association working to their standards, and have a licence for growing, catering and processing.
We have had ongoing battles with signage, the Highways and the Planning Team, click here to find out more.
Education and Training
As the business develops we intend for Cross Lanes Organic Farm to become an educational facility for the benefit of local people, businesses, schools, other organisations and tourists. We would like to educate, inspire and demonstrate to individuals, areas of sustainable living. This could include the appreciation of where food comes from and organic food production, sustainable use of land and energy and also environmentally efficient building practices and traditional construction.
Mon-Sat 8.30am - 5.00pm
Sun 10am - 5.00pm
Tel: 01833 630619
Cross Lanes Top 10 Destination Farm Shop by BBC Good Food
Aerial picture Jan 2013
(taken kindly by David Hall)
Aerial picture taken after 1962
Air source heat pumps
Straw bale wall insulation
Toilet doors made out of recycled plastic bottles
Coaches, bikers & dogs welcome