As an organisation, English Lakes take our responsibility to the environment seriously. This is about striking the right balance between short-term economic interests and the long-term health of the local environment. Over the last sixteen years we have worked in close association with Nurture Lakeland to minimise the negative impacts of tourism, whilst maximising the positive effects of tourism on the local economic, social and environmental causes.
Nurture Lakeland is a charity set up to protect the landscape and environment of Cumbria and the Lake District. They represent 1,200 individual businesses of all sizes. Money donated supports a vast range of projects. The beauty of the local landscape and wonderful wildlife are enjoyed by millions of visitors each year, but the effect of this footfall does have an impact upon the environment which must be addressed and this costs money. One simple and effective way that Nurture Lakeland encourage is Visitor Giving, spreading the cost of the vital work as broadly as possible, proving that if everybody gives a little it does, indeed, go a long way.
Visitor Giving at English Lakes
At English Lakes we invite each guest to give a voluntary donation of £1 at the end of their stay. Most folks are happy to contribute in the knowledge that the money raised is working hard to protect and maintain the landscape for future generations.
The money raised is used to support a whole host of projects across Cumbria, delivered by many committed organisations who are working hard to protect our beautiful landscape, support our local communities and promote our wonderful heritage.
Here are just two of the projects that we have been supporting through our Visitor Giving scheme. Last year a team of employees from across English Lakes went to visit both projects to see exactly how our contributions are affecting the environment.
Barkbooth Lot is situated near the head of the Winster Valley and includes rough fell land, oak woodland and meadow.
In the last year, the nature reserve has seen an impressive 250m of wall restored, running around the boundary of Barkbooth. As well as this, part of the pond in the woodland was dredged to allow for some open water in the reserve. Wall, fence and path maintenance are all ongoing tasks year-on-year.
The roadside trees in the reserve have been cleared, and wildflower seed and plug plants were sown and planted in Howbarrow Meadow to try and increase species diversity. Over the last year, bird boxes have been cleaned out and monitored over the breeding season. Dragonflies have also been monitored. Further species surveys are to be undertaken to ensure that species diversity at Barkbooth is flourishing.
Dubwath Silver Meadows
Dubwath Silver Meadows is a wetland nature reserve next to Bassenthwaite Lake and is one of the best havens in Cumbria for seeing wetland flora and fauna. It also plays a useful role in protecting the quality of the lake by offering natural flood water storage and improving water quality by depositing silt and nutrients before the water enters the lake. A cleverly designed recycled plastic boardwalk extends almost the complete circumference of the site and is accessible to pram pushing parents and those in wheelchairs, making it a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.
Depending on the time of year you visit, this is also home to the rare small pearly bordered fritillary butterfly. A team of bird watchers/listeners recently recorded almost fifty different bird calls in one early morning visit to the site including Whitethroats and Willow Warblers and the evocative call of the Lapwing. This is also an key wintering area for Snipe which can be seen around the edges of the pools. Wildlife statistics are regularly collected and fed back to help compile national database of wildlife around the country.
English Lakes – Environmental Policy Statement
"We are committed to doing everything in our power to protect and sustain our local, natural and global environment for future generations" Nevil Jeffery, Green Champions Manager.
Each of our five, four-star properties has achieved Gold certification for excellence in the Green Tourism Business Awards. Accreditation allows us to benchmark our green performance and to set targets for the future. The process has also encouraged many of our team members to get actively involved in responsible tourism.
- Minimise our carbon footprint
- Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill
- Extend our sustainable sourcing
- Help improve local businesses and our local community within our supply chain
- Take steps to encourage both our guests and employees to lead healthier lifestyles
- Educating our guests on car free transport and exploration around our hotels and adhering to the Countryside Code.
- Green Champions, employees from across the company, meet regularly to formalise and promote new ideas and working practices.
- We record energy usage every half hour allowing accurate monitoring of our energy consumption and energy saving initiatives.
- Sophisticated lighting management systems reduce wattage by 50% in public areas.
- PIR (passive infra red) occupancy lighting controls in back office corridors/store rooms and public toilets. These controls reduce energy consumption by switching lights off when people are no longer in these areas.
- New efficient gas boilers, controlled to deliver heat only where needed, have been installed at Low Wood Bay and Lancaster House. In October 2012 a bio-fuel energy system which uses locally sourced wood chips was installed at The Wild Boar Inn.
- Open fires are used during cold or winter periods and estate wood is used for fuel, reducing transportation of ready cut logs.
- Watercoolers have been introduced in all our conference rooms, reducing transportation and glass bottle waste.
- All glass and over 75% of cardboard is recycled.
- The Ecopure refillable drinking water system at Low Wood Bay reduces our bottle waste by 12,000 bottles per annum.
Did you know: The Low Wood Bay site recycles 26 tons of rubbish a year. That is the weight of 4 killer whales!
- Energy management systems are successfully used in 75% of our bedrooms to control heating, lighting and power.
- We use low-energy bulbs where possible.
- We change bed linen after the second night unless requested.
- All our tea trays are stocked with Fair Trade certified products.
- Kettles are of 1 litre capacity or less to save energy boiling water that is not required.
Did you know:
If everyone in the UK installed three energy-saving light bulbs, we would save enough energy to power all the UK’s street lighting for a year.
- Baths and showers are fitted with aerated fittings to reduce the amount of water used.
- The majority of our toilets are fitted with save-a-flush devises which hold water in the cistern ensuring water is not wasted during flushing.
- To reduce detergent and water usage, we only change towels when requested.
- Our toilet rolls are certified100% British recycled.
- We provide large eco-pump bottles of bathroom toiletries to minimise wastage.
Did you know:
Aerated fittings can SAVE 20 litres of water per 4 minute shower.
- We have an online and telephone booking system which enables us to send all correspondence via email, reducing paper and postage miles.
- Guests are able to view bedrooms, sample restaurant menus, facilities and full live bedroom availability for up to 12 months ahead on our website, reducing print materials.
- All used paper is either re-cycled or shredded for lighting our open fires.
- Wood on our open fires is from local felled trees.
- We have bike racks and a secure room available for the storage of guests’ bicycles. We promote the electric bike network as an alternative method of getting around the area, www.electricbicyclenetwork.com
- During summer season, Low Wood Bay offers a WATERBUS service to Ambleside directly from the hotel and we strongly recommend Mountain Goat Tours www.mountain-goat.com and Windermere Lake Cruises www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk allowing guests to leave the car and explore the area the ‘greener way’.
Did you know:
We save 11 trees a year by emailing confirmation letters to our guests.
Food & Beverage:
- We use only British meats
- Our fresh fish products are from sustainable resources
- We use locally sourced products wherever possible.
- We use a local brewery to offer a selection of real ales both on draught and in bottle form.
- All our wines and spirits are sourced locally.
- To the best of our knowledge, all of our products are GM free products.
We buy locally sourced products – they are thousands of miles fresher!
On our doorstep:
- English Lakes, with the help of our guests, have contributed over £125,000 to Nurture Lakeland conservation projects in the Lakes and North Lancashire.
- We have planted 2,000 native trees including Oak, Ash, Scots Pine, Rowan, Hazel and Douglas Fir at Low Wood Bay.
- 90 bird boxes have been installed to protect rare song birds.
- Barn owl boxes have been installed at Low Wood Bay and The Wild Boar
- Dormouse boxes have been placed within the Wild Boar estate.
- We keep nature diaries. If you spot an interesting animal, insect or bird around the hotels, please let us know to enable us to keep track of our local wildlife.
- We carefully maintain 72 acres of ancient woodland at The Wild Boar as a place of wildlife education and recreation.
- The team at Lancaster House volunteered to give the garden at a local residential care home a horticultural make-over http://blog.englishlakes.co.uk/2012/04/10/groundforce-lancaster
"It is a pleasure to work with English Lakes in the campaign for sustainable tourism in the whole area. The contribution they make to conservation is outstanding".
Sue Savage, Director, Nurture Lakeland
Innovation and The Future