Our Ecological Footprint
At Lackan Cottage Farm, minimising our ecological footprint is at the heart of our environmental ethos. We’re aiming to use less resources, upcycle materials and be more aware of our consumption. Additionally we want to leave the land around us in better condition than we found it.
Birch Cottage and the Off Grid Horsebox are part of our commitment. We hope you will be pleasantly surprised to find that this doesn’t mean making big compromises. We’re a Green Tourism Gold accredited business, one of just a handful of gold standard self catering businesses in Northern Ireland, and we take that commitment seriously.
All our bedding, towels and tea towels and curtains are organic and also fair trade.
We use e-cloths and minimise the use of eco friendly cleaning products, as well as using oxygen based laundry bleach.
Off-grid renewable energy
The farm – including Birch Cottage – is powered entirely by renewable electricity, generated on site using solar and wind power. Hot water for washing and heating is powered by the sun, and by woodstoves, fuelled by timber cut in our own woodlands. Water from baths and sinks is cleaned on-site, and for the adventurous, we do provide a composting toilet although a rainwater flush toilet can be found in Birch Cottage.
We’ve completed both cottages using chemical free, natural materials, sourced as locally as possible. We also love to recycle and many of the materials have been reclaimed and given a new life. You’ll find that even paints and finishes are non-toxic, and in many instances, food safe (though we don’t encourage people to lick the floors).
We farm organically using no pesticides or herbicides, encouraging natural pest and predators cycles. Our ponds are full of frogs, the chickens eat pests and we delight in finding ladybirds for any aphid problems.
We compost our kitchen waste and all garden waste and mix it with our chicken and horse bedding and manure. This is then used on our vegetable and fruit areas and also in our pots.
Thousands of native trees have been planted on site, many of which are fruit bearing. We also encourage biodiversity by allowing areas of the farm to go wild; by creating new habitats such as ponds, and by minimising verge and hedge trimming. The farm is home to many rescued and unwanted animals and you are encouraged to meet them during your stay.
We also offset our visitor’s travel by planting additional native trees every year, as travel to the site contributes significantly to our ecological footprint.
We are proud to be one of the first Green Key sites in Northern Ireland (maybe even the first!).
Green Key is a voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 2,900 hotels and other establishments in 57 countries.
The Green Key award is the leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. This prestigious eco-label represents a commitment by businesses that their premises adhere to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education.
A Green Key stands for the promise to its guests that by opting to stay with the Green Key establishment, they are helping to make a difference on an environmental level. The high environmental standards expected of these establishments are maintained through rigorous documentation and frequent audits.
Here at Lackan Cottage Farm we are proud to be one of few Green Tourism Gold award holders in Northern Ireland.
Founded over 20 years ago, the Green Tourism scheme is one of the most rigorous certification programmes of its kind, and is endorsed throughout the UK.Green Tourism has three substantive roles:
• to analyse the performance of businesses against over 150 sustainability indicators
• to offer support and advice about how businesses can better their performance
• to provide a badge of honour for those businesses making practical steps to reduce their impacts and improve their efficiency
Depending on their level of achievement tourism operators can be awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold award
Lackan Cottage Farm is proud to be the first accredited LAND (Learning and Network Demonstration Centre) of permaculture on the island of Ireland.
The Learning And Network Demonstration network is a vibrant network of permaculture sites. These include suburban gardens, smallholdings, rural farms, city farms, forest gardens, and amazing allotments.
Sites are set up to show permaculture in practice to visitors and volunteers in a safe, accessible and inspiring way..
Some of the best places to see permaculture in action are the 80+ excellent demonstration projects that are part of the LAND Network.
Over 40,000 people have visited LAND Centres in England to learn more about what permaculture means and how we can live lightly on the earth whilst caring for humanity in a fair way. The network is expanding further, with national networks emerging in Wales, ScotLAND and now in Northern Ireland and Ireland, where we hope to encourage the growth of a similar network. The map of UK Land Centres can be found here.
100% of our power is generated on site using solar pv and wind
We manage woodlands for fuel and recreation and have planted over 1500 new trees.
Our home grown food is organic, healthy, fresh and available on site.
Heated by the sun; built using natural, local and ethical materials, and lovingly hand made.
Sustainability in action
Click on the images below to find out about what we’re doing here on the farm
We’d love you to arrive under your own steam, but if you can’t we’ll plant a tree for you in our woodland to help offset the impact of your journey.