The George – A case study for sustainability

The owners of The George in Castleton, John and Vicky Judson, are passionate about ensuring the pub is as environmentally friendly as possible.

By Des O'Flanagan, co-founder, PubAid

11 May 2024

The pub grows its own produce, uses solar power and keeps bees. The team re-use and recycle materials and food and make products from ingredients that are grown, swapped, or foraged. They are also looking at ideas to reduce water use and their carbon footprint and enjoy hearing from other pubs about their sustainability journey and swapping ideas.

Such is their passion that they were awarded a PubAid Community Pub Hero Award for sustainability in 2024.

The team at the pub all take it in turns to help in their garden where a lot of the food is grown. John said that the gardening helps with the team’s mental health and they all enjoy getting involved. It certainly needs a lot of upkeep as it has 35 raised beds, a polytunnel and three large greenhouses to grow produce that is a bit more sensitive to the Peak District weather.

Nothing goes to waste as coffee grounds and egg shells are added to the soil for fertiliser, all vegetable peelings are composted and they have installed three wormeries to help to compost the food waste. Even carrot and parsnip trimmings are put to good use as they make them into dog treats for the four legged visitors.

John and Vicky save all of the cardboard tubes from inside toilet and kitchen rolls and use them to grow seeds in as they help them to germinate.

The team make their own chutney, vodka, gin, pickles, ice cream, sorbets, salad dressings, flavoured oils and jams from what they grow on site.

John used to do glass work as a hobby 10 years ago and has recently got back into it. He bought a kiln to melt the glass bottles from the pub down to make into serving dishes. The kiln is powered with renewable energy from their solar panels so every single possible step is taken to act in a sustainable way.

The community minded couple are also planting a wild flower meadow for the whole of the village to enjoy and will also buy some land to keep their bees on his year.

The George in Castleton is open seven days a week, offers a weekly quiz night and a variety of home cooked food on its seasonal menu. It is a traditional, family run pub with great views of Mam Tor and Peveril Castle.

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