Sustainability In The Yurt

At the heart of Nicholsons is integrity and passion for our planet. While our services have continued to grow, these values have cross pollinated our divisions and firmly rooted as our core principles.  As The Yurt has evolved, we have refined our offer to focus purely on responsibly sourced ingredients which are executed with style in our unique yurt at North Aston. Our chefs work in partnership with the seasons and are passionate about the food they produce. The front of house team is proud of the dishes and service they provide, exhibiting scrupulous attention to detail with a thoughtful and attentive approach.

Head chef, Andrew, and sous chef, David, have mindfully curated a bespoke menu which is intrinsically linked to the seasons and local area. Our dishes do not rely on meat. Instead, meat and fish are used as complementary ingredients. The animals have been reared responsibly with high welfare standards. Dishes naturally evolve to accommodate nature’s bounty and the local landscape inspires. From foraging wild garlic in nearby woodland and elderflower from the hedgerows, to carefully harvesting nettles from the kitchen garden, stunning meals begin their life as humble ingredients nestled in the local landscape.

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Sustainability In The Yurt

Sustainability In The Yurt

What we have achieved:

Sustainability In The Yurt

Creating the ambience:

  • Yurt is made from sustainable fabric and insulated with sheep’s wool.
  • The private dining huts are upcycled using natural products.
  • Simple, natural materials are used for decoration: wicker lampshades, birch dividers, plants sourced from nursery
  • Furniture is made from natural materials with some items handcrafted to yurt specifications to avoid wastage
  • We use chalkboard signage to reduce the reliance on paper
  • We use plants from our nursery to add to the ambience
Sustainability In The Yurt

Our food and beverage offer:

  • Leftovers, if not taken home by customers, are composted and used as a potting medium for plants on site, ensuring that there is zero food waste.
  • Wherever possible, we grow our own produce in our kitchen garden, purchase seasonal goods from local suppliers and use limited outsourcing from elsewhere in the UK.
  • 100% of our milk comes from North Aston Dairy in glass bottles.
  • All fish and meat are sustainable and responsibly sourced from suppliers who meet high welfare standards.
  • We have a passion for English produce and are working to increase the number of English beverages on our menu.
  • All ingredients used in our dishes are traceable.
  • Our menus are now printed on recycled paper.
Sustainability In The Yurt


  • Staff are trained on how to sort waste correctly.
  • Food waste is composted and used as fertiliser, returning nutrients to the soil.
  • Single use plastic is kept to a minimum. We request that suppliers provide alternatives wherever possible.
  • Portions are a sensible and balanced size to reduce food waste. Should customers be unable to finish their meal, we offer recyclable takeaway boxes or encourage remaining wine be taken home.
  • Our specials are curated with surplus ingredients to ensure there is zero food waste.
  • All drinks bottles are glass wherever possible.
Sustainability In The Yurt

Education and Training:

  • The Yurt and Club 57 host educational events for customers and staff about wellbeing and environmentally friendly practices using local guests or in-house experts.
  • Nicholsons write informative blogs for customers about environmental additionality and working in nature’s interests.
  • Nicholsons subsidise horticultural learning and educational courses for members of staff
Sustainability In The Yurt

Our Team:

  • Yurt employees work a 5-day week allowing for sufficient rest over two consecutive days and reduced travel time and expenses.
  • All employees live within a 25-mile radius of North Aston. We champion and recruit local talent and celebrate their knowledge and passion for local suppliers.
Sustainability In The Yurt

Outreach and social responsibility:

  • All our customer events are centered on the following themes: utilising the seasons, celebrating local and environmental conservation. When customers visit for their birthday, they will have a tree planted for them in the Maasai Mara for our Women in the Wild project.
  • Nicholsons prioritises local charity work as well as projects which focus on the environment and education: refurbishment of Home-Start’s back garden in Banbury, Forest School experiences for local children, hosting environmental think tanks, Women in the Wild project in the Maasai Mara.


Our first love is foraging and, where available, we will be harvesting your lunch from the hedgerow. This is backed up by our kitchen garden at The Park North Aston which grows a range of herbs, leafy salads, vegetables and fruits on the light sandy ironstone of north Oxfordshire.

Sustainability In The Yurt
Sustainability In The Yurt

What We Are Currently Working On:

  • Increasing the amount of produce which we supply ourselves from the Nicholsons Kitchen Garden
  • Working with as many English beverage producers as possible, including English wines
  • To increase the quantity of foraged ingredients on our menu and preserve produce to extend its shelf life
  • We also aim to be sourcing all meat ingredients from within a 60-mile radius, except for sustainable fish
Sustainability In The Yurt
Sustainability In The Yurt

About Our North Aston Site:

  • Gretel and Gertie, our woodchip boilers, heat our offices
  • We harvest rainwater in the reservoir and re-use it on site
  • All plants grown by Nicholsons are peat free; we only sell peat free compost
  • A boiling water tap is used in the Tin Barn offices to reduce energy usage
  • 100% of our lights are LEDS to improve energy efficiency and extend their lifespan
  • We have 264 solar panels on our barn roof
  • HVO fuel trial was successful and is now being rolled out across further vehicles
Sustainability In The Yurt
Sustainability In The Yurt