Explore North Devon and Cornwall - activities and destinations within reach of your luxury treehouse

Luxury without the Guilt

Scroll Down for more

Sustainability at Sleepy Owl

Right from the start, we knew we wanted to create something that both people and the planet would love. 

We still strongly believe that our business should give back more than it takes, that we should create permanently better places for people and for nature, and that our decisions today impact the generations ahead of us.

Don’t just take our word for it:

Green Tourism Gold Award for Luxury Treehouses
North Devon Biosphere Business Partners
Bumblebee Conservation Trust Landowners of the Year

During your Stay:

Everything you see has been placed in the treehouses with a purpose - if it’s the low energy LED lighting or the incredibly efficient underfloor heating or the “Who Gives a Crap” Toilet Paper. The plates you’ll eat from were made in the Pottery in Hartland, the wood on the floor and walls came from a Devon forest and sawmill.

The bedding is laundered using only environmentally certified detergents, the toiletries are responsibly sourced. Even the slippers are recycled. And you can rest at peace knowing what you put in the bin doesn’t just go to landfill - it’s all sorted for recycling by our supplier.

What can you do?‍


We’re lucky to be in the most amazing place - the country, the sea, the cliffs. Get out and see it. Tell your friends.

Learn and educate.

We’ve been provided these amazing nature backpacks by the North Devon Biosphere - and we’ve added binoculars and bug/bird guides so you can get out and see.

Shop Local.

We’d love it if you supported our amazing local producers and shops. There are two good shops in the village that stock a really great selection of local goodies - from Hartland Honey to Local pork and beef - and there are three good Pubs in Hartland and a coffee shop, not to mention Hartland Quay or the other nearby villages. There’s such an array of local, sustainable, food and produce on offer that we don’t feel you’ll be stuck for options.


The treehouses and cowshed have been designed to be low-impact and low-energy, but every little helps so turning off appliances and lights when they’re not in use, shutting windows in the winter (and opening them in summer!). All these things will help to reduce the impact of your stay.

Treehouse Design


The vast majority of the timber for the treehouses is sourced from Devon. If it’s the hand-peeled Larch stilts, the massive Douglas fir trusses, the Larch cladding outside, the Oak panelling inside, or the Cedar shingles on the roof. We’ve used wood fibre insulation, with low-plastic membranes (from Pavatex) and we’ve minimised the use of plastics throughout the build.


The Treehouses were entirely constructed in ‘cassette’ form at an off-site workshop, before being assembled in place. We wanted to minimise the impact on our lovely site so we committed early on to using minimal heavy equipment. The treehouses were erected entirely with local manpower - using ropes, pulleys, a-frames and even a bit of colourful language here and there.


We've insulated the treehouses incredibly well - the roofs, walls and floors are insulated with both Rockwool and Wood fibre insulation and achieve u-values below 0.16W/m2K - over twice the required performance of a newbuild house. We've also focused on ensuring the treehouses are airtight, and even the wood burner draws it's own air from below the treehouse floor, this minimises air leakage, drafts and heat-loss.

Each Treehouse has a heat pump for heating and hot water and the entire floor plate is laid with zoned underfloor heating -meaning that they are incredibly comfortable year-round and incredibly energy efficient. In addition, all pipework in the treehouses is encased in insulation to minimise heat loss between the heat pump and the hot water cylinder.

We have a 4.8kW solar array on site, and EV charging is available.


We’re incredibly lucky in Hartland to be in a Dark Skies Protected area (you can see the Milky Way with the naked eye!). We wanted to make sure that we did everything we could to protect this. As a result, no direct light leaves the treehouses above the horizontal - the ceiling lights are wall-top LEDs specifically for this reason. By designing the interior lighting carefully and rigorously, we were able to reduce out-spill by over 1000% and the amount of light leaving the treehouses above the horizontal (which contributes to sky-glow and light pollution) by nearly 200 times. (compared to a traditional light-bulb) Many night time creatures are sensitive to changes in light - but most specifically bats and insects, who are sensitive to bluer frequencies. That’s why we have intelligent lighting in the treehouses and on site that’s been designed with them in mind. Every single light we’ve installed in our treehouses - inside and out - has a colour temperature of 3000k or less.

The Land

We have an amazingly varied 20 acres of woodland and meadow at Sleepy Owl. All of it is being managed actively to promote and support wildlife.

We're working hard under our multi-year Ecology, Landscape and Woodland Management plans to maximise the benefits we can provide for ecology and biodiversity.

The valley floor meadows are being cut on a regime that promotes late-flowering wildflowers - specifically to support important pollinators such as bumblebees. We are trialling many different rejuvenation techniques in the meadows (including overseeding, direct planting, cut-and-remove management) to restore the meadows from their previous agricultural use to a more natural state. You may notice that different areas of meadow have their own character - some meadows are wetter, some drier, some are overrun with clover and others with meadow buttercup. In the time we’ve been here, we’ve seen the number of plant species climb from a paltry handful into the dozens, and we’ve no intention of slowing the improvement down!

The Woodland covers about 14 acres and it may shock you to learn that the trees were all planted in the same year. We’ve suffered greatly from Ash Dieback on the site and we’re in the process of replanting well over 2000 trees with native species that are less affected, as well as leaving as many of the more resilient individual Ash trees in place as we can.

We’ve got a quarry on site - it has been used to source stone for the local area since at least the 1700’s - and we were no exception. We used this stone to restore the devon banks on site, and to build the retaining walls for the Cowshed - reducing dramatically the amount of material we had to bring on-site. In the process of building the treehouses, we committed to rejuvenating the quarry into the sloped wildflower meadow and path you now see - and we’ve kept a stretch of bare, south-facing rock as habitat for the snakes and lizards who love to bask on the red stones in the summer.