We have gone to great lengths to make écovallée the most perfect environmentally and family friendly yurt camp not just in the Dordogne, or France, but Western Europe – perhaps The World!

Our 18-foot Kyrgyz-style guest yurts are handcrafted coppiced chestnut, because we feel the natural lines are far more beautiful than sawn timber (the walls are also higher than Mongolian yurts, which is an added bonus). The yurts sit on locally sourced wood floors, and have comfy beds with good pillows and duvets, because we wouldn’t want anything less for ourselves. This is also why the safari-style outdoor kitchen has all the pots, pans, utensils and appliances you could want, including a large gas barbecue. And why there’s a stunning solar shower and beautiful tree bog compost toilet just a few metres down the field. Because we have young children, we included a special toy and game-filled Play Yurt just for kids. And we provide a Welcome Picnic for guests staying one week or more so parents can start relaxing as soon as they arrive.

Add Pepito the retired working horse, fresh eggs from the free-range chickens, rabbits, geese, acres of space, a trampoline, woodland play area, wildlife, peace and quiet, countless tourist attractions nearby, and a thriving 13th-Century market town a few hundred metres away, and you’d think we had thought of everything.

But you’d be wrong.

Last year, the cool boxes in the outdoor kitchen couldn’t cope with the heat of Summer, and it was clear we’d need to provide more reliable refrigeration. That refrigeration has now arrived and looks like this:

fridge freezer

It’s rated A++ and has enough space for all three yurts, but obviously from an environmental point of view it still uses electricity we weren’t consuming before. To make this OK, with ourselves, our guests and the planet at large, we’ve signed up to France’s 100% renewable electricity provider – enercoop. Something we’ve been meaning to do for a while.

Now, we’re pretty sure we’ve thought of everything…

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