We are very concerned for our environment, both locally, and in its widest sense.

Rather than pay £150 per year to the Tourist Board for a Green Tourism logo, we prefer to give you specific information about our concern for the environment:


  • Recycling, of paper, card, plastic bottles, tins and glass bottles, is a high priority for us, from our personal and guests’ waste. As a consequence we have very little rubbish to go to landfill. We could go for four weeks, and often more, without filling our wheelie bin.
  • Food waste is virtually nil, and what small amounts there are go to feed our friendly, local pheasants.
  • Our garden is run on organic principles, producing a wide range of plants for aesthetic appeal as well as to encourage wildlife. Our vegetable plot produces many of the vegetables we use to serve evening meals to our guests, thus reducing food miles to food yards. We grow a wide range of fruits and tomatoes which we use for jams and preserves.
  • We compost all garden waste to recycle around the garden on flower beds and the vegetable garden.
  • We have nest boxes and have started to install insect nesting/over-wintering boxes to further encourage wildlife, while we also have various bird feeding stations in the garden. In addition, many plants are not cut down until after winter to provide more feeding/nesting opportunities for insects.
  • We specialise in home cooking and baking, using home grown ingredients wherever possible. Much of our cooking is done on the Rayburn stove which, because it combines the functions of cooking, heating and hot water, saves energy.
  • The food that we buy is, as far as possible, local, free-range, fair trade and organic. We patronise Barnard Castle Farmers’ Market to reduce the food miles involved in our cooking. We obtain our eggs from free-range hens within a couple of miles of our home. We also support Fair Trade in those products which we have to obtain from overseas (e.g. coffee, tea).
  • We save rainwater from the roof of our garage and sheds, for watering in the garden and in the greenhouse.
  • Our water is a natural spring, with no added Chlorine or Fluoride, but tested by the local Council to ensure purity.
  • We have installed showers, rather than baths, to reduce water consumption and this is also aided by dual flush toilet systems.
  • Guest accommodation (indeed, the whole house) has double glazing and cavity wallinsulation, while the roof space has 250mm of insulation, to ensure that heat is retained as well as possible and energy is not wasted.
  • Guest rooms have curtains which have thermal linings to save energy and retain heat, a process which is further enhanced by the voile/strings which we installed, principally for guest privacy.
  • Low energy light bulbs are used wherever possible to reduce our consumption of electricity.
  • Although it is impractical to replace all electrical appliances with an ‘A’ rated alternative immediately, we are working towards having all ‘A’ rated appliances to ensure that, from an energy consumption point of view, they are as efficient as possible.
  • With no street lighting, light pollution is at a minimum and we strive to add as little as possible to this. For our guest convenience some lighting is needed outside but this is generally low voltage and on timers to reduce time that the lights are actually switched on. We do not have 500W security floodlights.
  • We use Ecover, or other environmentally-friendly cleaning products to reduce the pollution which we necessarily create in the environment.
  • Toiletries which we provide are all from The Body Shop so that we can be certain that there has been no animal testing in their production.
  • The timber used in constructing our bedrooms, and in the furniture which we have provided, is from sustainable sources (F.S.C.) rather than from the destruction of virgin rainforest/softwood temperate forests.
  • Because of our location, in the heart of Hamsterley Forest, walks and cycle tracks are immediately accessible from our door, without further need for a motor vehicle. Some leisure activities are, therefore, available without adding to the levels of environmental pollution. To enhance these activities we have drying facilities, secure cycle storage, workshop facilities and tools, and cycle washing facilities for our guests.

Hamsterley Forest Bed and Breakfast

P4100057Located in the heart of Hamsterley Forest, John and Julie are pleased to welcome you to their superior bed + breakfast accommodation.   Ideal for touring, forest walks, mountain biking or simply relaxing amid the splendour of the scenery and wildlife.   


“An exceptional property which excels in hospitality, service, cleanliness and food.” (Visit Britain Inspector 5/9/08)

Double occupancy – £60

Single occupancy – £45 (£40 for 2 nights +)

Read “What Our Guests Say” to appreciate the care and committment we offer.

There are 2 en-suite bedrooms, one double/one twin available, all on one level.

Enjoy the tranquility and natural surroundings - off-road walking and cycling begin at our door with no need for further use of your motor car.   High quality fishing (Witton Castle) and golf (Barnard Castle/Crook/Bishop Auckland) are available within a few miles, and we are well placed for touring the sites and attractions of County Durham.


Local, fairtrade and organic food will be used as far as possible. We are committed to caring for our environment in numerous ways. (see “Our Green Credentials”)

Private parking.               

Pleasant gardens.       

Secure cycle storage.

Please note this is a non-smoking establishment

John and Julie Stephenson

Ayhope Cottage, Redford, Hamsterley Forest,

Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, DL13 3NL.

01388 488420/07903 779325



“Is it SERENDIPITY when you come across something good by accident?…This is the best B and B we have ever stayed in!”
Mrs M Litherland, Walsall