The Loch Melfort Hotel mission is to be the greenest Country House Hotel & Restaurant in Argyll.
Since we purchased the hotel in September 2008 we have striven to minimise the harmful effects and maximise the beneficial influences which all our activities have on the environment and are actively aiming to introduce as many environmentally friendly initiatives as we can.
In December 2008 Envirowise, on behalf of the Scottish government, carried out a Green Tourism Business Scheme Survey of the Hotel outlining the measures needed to gain accreditation. We have since carried out many other recommendations, including replacing and re-insulating the Cedar Wing and installing triple-glazed windows as units need replaced.
As proof of our commitment to the environment we have already implemented many measures including:
- Purchasing quality local produce from as close to Arduaine as possible. So turning ‘Food Miles’ into ‘Food Metres’. Our head chef, Peter Carr, also seeks out farmers who undertake the close cycle system where the animals are born & bred on the farm never leaving until ready for the abattoir. All our seafood is really local with langoustines, lobsters and crab landed daily at Arduaine Point by Fisherman Daniel and Calum. Our vegetables and salads are grown by Joanne Manson at West Barravulin Farm, just up the hill past Craobh Haven, or by Ardfern Organics.
- Our Staff are made fully aware of our sustainable ethos when joining the company and are encouraged to suggest new ideas to the Green Team which meets informally on a regular basis to discuss new initiatives. Sub-contractors & suppliers are also made aware of our Environmental Ethos.
- We have resourced Scottish luxury bathroom miniatures and use refillable pump dispensers in our main house lavatories, helping to reduce plastic bottles to landfill by 97%.
- Low energy light bulbs have replaced 70% of bulbs. A specialist consultant has undertaken an inspection & audit on all lighting. Radiators have thermostatic valves enabling staff & guests to control the room temperatures. We have installed light sensors in our Main House wash rooms and downstairs corridor.
- Our water supply comes from a local spring behind the hotel. We use sand and UV filters to produce the freshest and clearest spring water direct to each room. We have replaced the original sewage system, and our organic reed bed sewerage system will be replaced in 2014.
- When toilet cisterns come up for renewal they are replaced with smaller dual flush cisterns. We are working on reducing flush volume from 7 litres to 6 litres in all our toilets.
- Old linen is recycled to friends, family and anyone else who needs it; otherwise it goes into a charity textile bin at Kilninver School. Towels are used in the Kitchen or for cleaning.
- Wild Life – Seals, otters, herons and many different types of marine birds can be seen in the sea water in front of the hotel, along with Buzzards, Osprey and Sea Eagles which circle frequently in the local area.
- To make the garden wildlife friendly we have tried to ensure it offers a variety of habitats. Shelter, places to breed, feed & take water are all available and the pollen from the flowers at the neighbouring Arduaine garden means that birds, insects and butterflies are easy to spot. our bird feeder in front of the dining room keep both birds and guests happy, with plenty of unusual varieties to spot – look out for our very own bat box placed in the woods next to the Cedar Wing. We had to re-house a colony of bats there in July 2011, after discovering them ion our boiler room after a storm blew the roof, and their home, away! They are happily settled now.
- Loch Melfort has its’ own Highland Cattle; Campbell, McDonald and Dougal which are forming the first part of our livestock-breeding programme. Ducks and hens are normally in the fields and ponds in front of the Cedar Wing, but in 2013 met an unfortunate fate with Mr Fox. We will have more in Spring 2014.
- Refurbishment & Restoration – We use natural products whenever possible using local craftsmen & artists. We engage local tradesmen for all our building work and restoration projects and source all replacement products using the recycle, restore, refurbish ethos.
- Loch Melfort Hotel complies with all relevant legislation & regulations that relate to heritage, health & safety & the environment.
We are committed to continually improving our environmental efforts, our prevention of pollution & the restoration of our heritage as well as maintaining and running a high quality Country House Hotel & Restaurant.
Would you like to help? If so, please consider turning off your television at night rather than on standby, turn down your heater if your room is too warm rather than just opening the window – even little things help. Any suggestions, too, are very welcome – we are open to new ideas even if we are unable to implement them straight away…