Sustainable Self Catering in the Lake District

As more and more hotels step up their environmental awareness and policies so too have self catering accommodation providers.

Self catering can be an excellent way in which to have a greener holiday both in terms of what the self catering operators are doing to lower carbon footprints as well as the control guests have when staying with them.

As with hotels and bed & breakfasts, holiday accommodation providers can join schemes such as the not for profit Green Tourism Scheme or in the Lake District, join and support organisations such as Nurture Lakeland. It is through organisations such as these that operators can learn ways in which to be more sustainable, lower their carbon footprint and help advise guests on how to have a greener holiday. Being assessed and awarded bronze, silver or gold helps guests understand how green each provider is.

lake district cottages

Bank Court, Cartmel with open fire and central village location & Heathwaite Farm, Coniston with the wonderous free fresh air right from the door

Green tips for self catering guests start with the most important meal of the day, breakfast. This can be filled with locally sourced produce which is an excellent way to sustain the community the cottage is located in as well as cutting down food miles and general transportation costs. Guests can take their own environmentally friendly cleaning products for use and other supplies such as recycled toilet and kitchen rolls for example.

Many self catering cottages, especially in the Lake District, are traditional properties so wood burning stoves and real fires can be found which is an excellent and sustainable way to heat the cottage or house. Naturally the Lake District is hugely popular for walking and cycling holidays. With many holiday properties in locations where walks and cycle routes can be started right from the cottage door, car can be kept to a minimum both for daytime activities and evening meals and drinks.

The Lakeland Cottage Company have a number of holiday cottages in the Lake District with great green credentials whilst combining luxury, style and in fabulous locations such as Coniston, Cartmel and Ullswater. Visit https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.co.uk/



Plenty of reasons to Visit, Give and Protect the Lake District

It’s never been more important to think even more about conserving the Lake District National Park. With visitor numbers creasing year on year and more people taking to the fells than ever before, for the preservation of future generations enjoyment, each visitor doing their little bit can really help.

But help and support also needs to come from the businesses within the Lake District and that is where organisations such as Nurture Lakeland are here to help. Running a variety of schemes and campaigns ranging from promoting car-free travel to sustainable outdoor recreational challenge events Nurture Lakeland have brought together the tourism industry and visitor together to protect the landscape.

The Langdale Hotel & Estate have been supporting and working with Nurture Lakeland for some time now promoting a variety of conservation campaigns. A very popular one is the Visit Give Protect scheme where businesses give guests the opportunity to donate at the time of booking, just £1 or £2 for example or buy beer!

visit give protect lake district

As part of the scheme a beer has been created where 5p from every pint is donated to Nurture Lakeland. The Pint That Protects is a Jennings of Cockermouth brewed ale which is on sale as a permanent fixture at Wainwright’s Inn, part of the Langdale Lake District Hotel, Spa and Estate and has been since its launch in summer 2013. Just think, the more you drink, the more you protect, it can’t be any better for the consumer or the environment!

To further tempt it is an amber ale, a mid strength 3.8% ABV yet with a full taste which brings out the flavour of the malt and hops and blends these with fruity overtones. Having been on the Lake District with all their beauty, to come and quench the thirst with a locally brewed beverage and helping to protect the landscape that has just been enjoyed is a great thing to be able to do. The scheme has been running now for over 2 years and looks set to continue well into the future thanks to its popularity.

More information on Nurture Lakeland Visit Give Project scheme can be found here



Joinery, the key to easily lower your carbon footprint

Whether it is in home or business premises, the need to go green is finally being realised.

In an area such as the Lake District National Park, striking the balance between keeping the aesthetics of the many period properties whilst keeping the planners happy and trying to lower a carbon footprint is not always an easy task.

But it is with businesses, no matter how small such as individual self catering lets, B&B’s and hotels that can rally make a difference. There are of course so many of this business type in the Lake District and it is a business sector that uses a lot of energy.

windows doors cumbria

A set of period doors before and after replacement

It is often thought that embarking on a energy lowering programme can be a large and expensive operation but it needn’t be. Yes, there are solar panels, biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps but not every sustainably energy method can be implemented into the locations of properties in so much of the national park. What every business and domestic property owner can do is look at ways in which to retain and harness heat as well as lower the impact on the environment of maintenance and renovation work they have carried out. This is most common and an easy way in which to be more sustainable, when replacement windows, doors and internal joinery are required.

breguide

Replacing old and drafty doors and windows saves the environment and the pocket straight away. It is also worthwhile looking for companies that manufacture items using responsibly sourced timber and that adhere to classifications such as the BRE Green Guide. The guide provides specific, easy-to-use guidance on how to make the best environmental choices when selecting construction materials and components. Items shown in the guide are assessed in terms of their environmental impact across their entire life cycle. This overall score is achieved by assessing 13 impact categories such as climate change, mineral source depletion, ecotoxicity, etc. which in turn are rated on a similar basis.

Fallowfield Projects Ltd based in Staveley have vast experience in manufacturing windows and doors for properties in the Lake District National Park and use the BRE Green Guide in production so as to have the least effect on climate change as possible.



Lake District Hotel Makes Another Green Tourism Award Shortlist

As with so many travel and tourism awards now, and thankfully so, there is a green/eco/sustainable category.

By awarding and praising business who are conducting their business in a sustainable way can only be a good thing and that hopefully encourages other businesses to look into sustainable practices.

In Cumbria and the Lake District it is an exciting time for the businesses who entered the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2014. Last week the finalists were announced in the various categories including “Sustainable Tourism Award” which this year is being sponsored by Lake District National Park Authority. The three finalists are The Quiet Site, Ullswater, Appleby Manor Country House Hotel, Appleby in Westmorland and the Wild Boar Inn, Grill & Smokehouse, Windermere.

appleby manor hotel

Appleby Manor Hotel, Appleby-in-Westmorland

It isn’t the first time the Appleby Manor Hotel has reached the finals of an awards ceremony for their sustainable practices. Last year the hotel won the Environmental and Energy Awareness Award in the CN Group Business Awards, a Cumbrian independent local media business. Later in the year they were then announced as having made the shortlist for the prestigious Hotel Cateys in the category “Green Hotel of the Year”. Appleby Manor unfortunately didn’t win on that occasion but to be shortlisted for this national award against such big and tough competition as the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London and The Savoy, London was a fabulous achievement in itself. It also provided good coverage for the hotel sector in Cumbria and so too family owned and run businesses.

So to talk about why Appleby Manor Hotel has been recognised for its green credentials. Having a strict environmental policy has provided the team with points to adhere to in the day to day running of the hotel including re use and recycling, using local suppliers and encouraging the use of public transport for staff and guests. “We are committed to doing everything in our power to protect and sustain our local, natural and global environment for future generations” Mike Dunbobbin Owner Appleby Manor Hotel.

biomass boiler appleby manor

The Herz biomass boiler at Appleby Manor Hotel

On top of the policy, early 2013 saw two major installations to further confirm the commitment the hotel has to the environment, a biomass boiler and a water bore hole. The biomass boiler uses locally sourced wood chips which has enabled CO2 emissions to be reduced by 100 tons per year. The water bore hole has resulted in the reduction of glass bottle waste and transportation so they have a self sufficient water supply.

The Cumbria Tourism Awards 2014 are to be held on June 17th and lets hope for another successful awards night for this successfully green hotel.

By Green Tourism Blog



Help Popular Lake District Fell Route Win £25,000 Repair Grant

One of the most popular walking routes in the Lake District for walkers, the Red Tarn to Crinkle Crags path, has been nominated to be in the running to receive an amazing £25,000 from the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA).

Each year EOCA members put forward specific projects in 3 categories Nature, Outdoor and Alpine to be considered for funding. The Nuture Lakeland Fix The Fells campaign were super delighted to have found out in January they had made it to the next step in the Alpine category. This next step is a public vote.

vote nurture lakeland fix the fells

Vote for Red Tarn – Crinkle Crags Fix The Fells Campaign from Nurture Lakeland

Voting has begun and runs until March 31st and it is the chance for one and all to vote for the Fix The Fells footpath repair campaign to receive £25,000 for essential maintenance and repair of the Red Tarn to Crinkle Crags route. So if you’ve walked that route, love the Lake District, are supporters of outdoor conservation, supporters of outdoor activities, a business in the Lake District and the list can go on and on, then with one simple click of a mouse a vote could be cast for this most worthwhile of projects.

Already there has been a number of Lake District businesses showing their support of this vote including the very local to the Red Tarn region, The Langdale Estate. On both the Langdale Hotel and Brimstone Hotel social media accounts, they have been encouraging their followers to vote. The Langdale Estate is already a huge supporter of Nuture Lakeland and the Fix The Fells scheme raising money each and every year.

VOTE HERE NOW http://outdoorconservation.eu/project-voting-category.cfm?catid=1



How green are many so called green tourism businesses?

In a recent article on Blue & Green Tomorrow, they were asking this very question, http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/features/sustainable-tourism-going-green-doesnt-just-mean-a-splash-of-colour/

Purposefully positioned recycling boxes and notes in the bathrooms about towels in the bath, towels left on the rails etc doesn’t qualify a hotel or B&B as green or eco. These are practices all tourism and service industry businesses should be doing anyway. So too with all tag lines and statements found when you are on travel accommodation websites, have a quite look into these statements further to make sure they are credible and not just another marketing exercise.

footpaths lake district

Enjoy yet preserve the environment when you’re out and about.

But for tourism businesses to add just a few  forms of  supporting the local environment, lowering carbon emissions and being less wasteful into their day to day activities, they can hold their heads up high and start to promote themselves as a green tourism business, help the planet and perhaps gain further custom after that.

Through schemes such as the Green Tourism Business Scheme to local initiatives such as Nurture Lakeland in the Lake District and Cumbria, businesses can apply to join be verified and inspected and then guests can see these green claims are not just for colour but actual environmental benefits.

lake district hotel biomass

Biomass boilers, sustainable energy for the tourism industry

Cultural and social responsibility within the tourism industry is more important now than ever. From supporting local suppliers and business services to educating guests on being more responsible in environmental terms when on their holiday, creating a CSR policy is beneficial for all.

This extract is taken from the Langdale Estate’s CSR Policy “We seek to protect the business for the long term; to create a sustainable tourism business for the community that is not only the company but in doing so protect its position within the Langdale valley within the context of the local environment; in an area of outstanding natural beauty.”

The full Langdale 4 star Hotel and Estate CSR policy can be viewed here http://www.langdale.co.uk/pdf/sustainable/CSR%20Policy%20LLL%20Full.pdf

By Green Tourism Blog



Innovative Hotel Room Heating in the Lake District

Green methods of heating hotel rooms can actually work in a hotel’s favour.

Take the Brimstone Hotel on the Langdale Estate in the Lake District. They have installed wood burning stoves into each of their 16 suites and comments are rolling in left right and centre about this novel way of room heating. A guest can light the stove whenever they like with the logs provided, a great little bonus in a hotel room and that’s without the enjoyment of sitting in front of it after a long and damp day on the Lake District fells.

stoves brimstone hotel

Cosy, green heating at the Brimstone Hotel

But wheat needs to be focused on even more here is the way in which this system of room heating is fabulous for the environment. The location of Brimstone being on the Langdale Estate where woodland is plentiful means not only do these stoves lower carbon emissions compared with central heating systems but also that the wood used in locally sourced and managed meaning very little in the way of wood transportation.

brimstone suite with stove

This new boutique hotel in the Lake District has already won the Best Eco/Sustainable Build category in the Northern Design Awards in 2013 which will hopefully convey this idea to other hotels, architects and designers to install stoves such as these or other eco friendly methods of heating (or in fact cooling in some cases) hotel rooms.

By Green Tourism Blog



Nurturing the Lake District

In a similar way to my previous post on the wonderful work carried out by the National Trust’s Fix the Fells programme, I would now like to put focus on the award winning Nurture Lakeland organisation.

Nurture Lakeland heads up sustainable and responsible tourism in the Lake District and Cumbria. It works with tourism operators and businesses in the area as well as being behind ‘Love Your Lakes’, ‘Drive Less See More’ and ‘Low Carbon Tourism’ and many more campaigns. For example ‘Drive Less See More’ is aimed at visitors to the Lake District and Cumbria highlighting alternative methods of travel when travelling to or around the region. ‘Low Carbon Tourism’ on the other hand is focused on tourism businesses whereby Nurture Lakeland advise and help identify the challenges businesses today face when looking to lower carbon emissions and hopefully help them reduce their impact and enhance their business too.

nurture lakeland lake district

Nurture Lakeland

As with Fix the Fells, it is important that both individuals and businesses come together in support. Support ranges from monetary donations (led by the Visit Give Protect scheme), to businesses implementing sustainable goals and to visitors being more responsible when they stay in this county.

Money raised by local tourism operators gets shared amongst the many varied projects running at any one time. Windermere Marina Village is fundraising and monies raised from this are supporting Nurture Lakeland’s Small Grant fund on the other hand Appleby Manor Country House Hotel is operating Visitor Giving and the monies raised from this are supporting Red Squirrels Northern England.

By Green Tourism Blog



Fixing the Fells for the Future

The Fix the Fells programme is more important now than ever with the Lake District fells busier than they have ever been. To keep protecting these fells from erosion through maintaining and repairing the paths, £300,000 is required and this is just for the next 2 year period.
Despite the Lake District ground level having some wonderful sights and activities to experience it is the fells that make up the landscape of this National Park and the biggest reason for visiting it. Whether it is a short up and down popular Loughrigg when staying in Ambleside or taking on the mighty Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, path erosion is problematic through walking on them and weather conditions is problematic. These fells have to be kept open for all to enjoy but repair and maintenance is a constant requirement.
So baring in mind the fells are why the majority of visitors come to the Lake District and naturally they will stay in the various types of accommodation on offer, surely these accommodation providers should each be doing their bit to help. A small donation from each Lake District tourism business would mean a huge amount to Fix the Fells and for the preservation of this special place in the UK.

lake district conservation fix the fells

Paths to be fixed in Borrowdale, Eskdale, Ullswater and Helvellyn

But it is also the fell users that can help and this is at its most evident on Scafell Pike. The rise in popularity of the Three Peaks Challenge, and fell walking in general for those wanting to bag England’s highest mountain, is beginning to come at a price. The Western side of Scafell from Wasdale is the location of choice for those embarking up this fell and 3 paths in particular, Corridor, Hollowstones and Mickledore have succumbed to significant erosion. These paths are not just eroding but the fell to either side of them is too. £250,000 is required to repair these 3 mains routes over the next 8 years. Firstly, Three Peaks Challenges could donate however small an amount to this cause and as importantly, follow the codes of conduct which can be viewed here www.fixthefells.co.uk/index.php/download_file/view/333/487/ on how to conduct this walk minimising impact to the fell environment as well as the Wasdale locality.
The Lakeland Cottage Company, The Langdale Hotel and Lake District Guiding are just 3 different tourism businesses operating in the National Park that are raising funds or making donations to Fix the Fells.

By Green Tourism Blog



Don’t forget the Environment this Christmas

Whether you’re staying at home or going away for Christmas, don’t forget the environment.

If staying at home and when naturally people tend to be off and in the house more than normal. Just have a little think, does the heating really need to be on all day? Do those tree lights need to be on when there is day light? and so on.

Cards and gift wrap create an astonishing amount of waste around this time. Make sure cards and wrapping is recycled and buy recycled cards and wrap as much as possible. Even better, wrap a gift up in a scarf which can be used for years and years or use a good, old traditional stocking.

reuseable xmas stockings

Stockings, a great alternative to gift qrap

Food waste is a hot topic at the moment and the Christmas period is when it is at it’s highest. It really needn’t be and issue at all. Firstly and most cost effectively, don’t cook too much! It’s so simple but if a meal has been over catered for there is the freezer and countless recipes for leftovers on the internet and on TV cooking programmes.

Even if you’re away at Christmas perhaps staying in a hotel, make enquiries as to if the leftovers are being used and if not, it may be possible for you to have some to take home or to eat as a packed lunch the next day.

recipes for leftovers

Just a small selection of leftover recipes from the lovefoodhatewaste.com website

If you are lucky enough to have booked or looking to book to go away for the festive period then it couldn’t be a better time to use the car less. With time off work, no ties, pure enjoyment and relaxation walking and cycling around at Christmas on the quieter roads is excellent and much needed after all the rich food!

These are just some really straight forward ways to have a greener Christmas that will not in any way impact on the enjoyment of this time of the year but will greatly impact the environment for the better.