Buying Local: Best for our Community and Environment

Waterhead - Green Business Award Winners

Waterhead – Green Business Award Winners

When thinking about ‘going green’, many people automatically think all this involves is turning off lights and taps and walking rather than driving.  However working closely with Green Tourism over the last few years has revealed so many different ways of being green, and making small changes that can make a huge difference.

The area I have found to be the most interesting and rewarding is the concept of ‘buying local’.  We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful and resourceful areas of the country and even the world.

How does buying local help you go green, you may ask?  Well being green can manifest itself in many different ways, and the things that are taken into consideration in this instance are;

  • The more local the less transportation needed for delivery, reducing our carbon footprint
  • Supporting the local economy and smaller family farms
  • The produce reaches us being as fresh as possible, being better for the guest’s health as it has lost little of its nutritional value
  •  Buying local means our guests are eating foods that are in season
Local Art at Waterhead

Artwork in our lounge from local artist Julie-Ann Scott

Buying locally means you can create relationships with local businesses, and actually see where your food is coming from, and can even order bespoke products for your individual hotel or even individual guests. The lake district not only offers fantastic quality meat, fruit and vegetables, dairy, beers, sauces and chutneys, breads and cheeses, but also offers an impressive array of locally produced arts and crafts, including well-known artists, photographers and poets.

Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread

Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread

Here at the Waterhead we try and make the most of all the wonderful produce we have on our doorstep, as we believe one of the main reasons people come to visit this part of the world is to sample everything it has to offer.  Guests with a sweet tooth will love local favourite Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread, which features in all our bedrooms, and Kendal Jacksmith’s flapjacks which are served with hot drinks in the bar.  Our lounge also doubles as an art gallery featuring paintings from local artist Julie-Ann Scott, which guests can admire while enjoying a glass of own brew of local Haweswater Gold lager, or Hawkeshead beer.

Local produce on Waterhead's hyper-local menu

Local produce on Waterhead’s hyper-local menu

Our current ‘hyper-local’ dinner menu is inspired by the history of the lake district and the 18th century spice trade coming through Whitehaven which created the modern-day local favourites, which we have re-created using local produce wherever possible. Our wonderful location in the heart of the Lake District really does make buying local a pleasure.

Author

Guest post written by Lindsay Price, Deputy General Manager at Waterhead.

Groundforce Lancaster

As part of Lancaster House’s commitment to local charities, members of the hotel team recently swopped their chef’s whites and uniforms for Gardening gloves and Wellington Boots for Heysham-based charity Primrose House  The local residential care home which provides dedicated 24-hour care for severely disabled young adults had a back garden in desperate need of a Horticultural make-over. 10 years of thorn and weed growth had overgrown a sizeable area and was preventing the residents from enjoying this spacious area.

Lancaster House Groundforce Team

Helen Luszczak, Wedding Coordinator, Dave Jarret, Head of Maintenance, Damien Ng, Head Chef, Emma Underwood, Operations Manager, and Ricky Robinson also from the maintenance department

They were also joined by Tim Bell, General Manager who is Chair of Trustees for Primrose House and a keen supporter and fund-raiser for the charity.

“It was a certainly a very different day for us” Tim comments. “The sheer scale of the gardening challenge was very daunting when we first arrived in the morning, but thanks to some great team work and a few handy tools lent to us by a local landscape gardening firm, we were able to completely clear the area in just 5 hours. Now, the residents and staff can fully appreciate the back garden and enjoy the nice weather we’re hopefully looking forward to this Spring and Summer”

The team were recently awarded Gold status in the Green Business Tourism scheme thanks to efforts and projects such as the gardening day at Primrose House and are looking forward to helping more local charities and projects in the future.

English Lakes achieves Green Tourism Business Awards

We are pleased to announce we have scooped multiple accolades for our commitment to sustainability.

Each of our six, four-star properties has achieved awards for excellence in the Green Tourism Business Awards.

English Lakes management team Back row Cllr Ben Berry, Simon Berry MD, Douglas Dale Operations Director Front row General Managers: Mark Needham Waterhead; Nevil Jeffery – Low Wood Bay; Tracy Smith (Deputy GM) Storrs Hall; Andy Lemm – The Wild Boar; Matt Stanaway – The Midland and far right Tim Bell – Lancaster House

Lancaster House, Low Wood Bay and The Wild Boar, have gained Gold awards – the highest available – for their commitment to sustainable tourism.

Our hotels were praised for their extensive efforts to enhance the visitor experience while reducing their impact on the environment.

“As the assessor for the group I was impressed by the overall commitment to the environment and the Green Tourism Business Scheme,” said GTBS senior grading assessor Stuart Brain. “Since their entry to the scheme the management and staff have worked hard to improve the environmental performance of each hotel.

“The group supports local environmental and social initiatives. On site each hotel has undertaken significant measures to reduce water and energy consumption as well as using fair trade products they are also committed to using local suppliers where ever possible.  Overall, a strong performance from a forward-thinking group with the potential to become leaders in British sustainable tourism.”

Staff training initiatives were also highly commended along with the hotels’ willingness to ‘give something back’ by supporting a variety of environmental and social projects.

English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues were praised for their commitment to using local food and produce. The Wild Boar Inn Grill & Smokehouse being singled out for their concentration on local meat, vegetables and beer together with an on-site purpose-built smokery.

Nevil Jeffrey, Manager of Low Wood Bay, who co-ordinated the hotels’ entries into the awards said:

At all units within English Lakes we have a dedicated Green Champion Club

‘We are very pleased with the results of the accreditation. Each of our hotels has worked incredibly hard to ensure that we are as environmentally and energy efficient as possible.

“The awards acknowledge the hard work of all of our staff and the commitment of our guests to greener tourism also. We will continue to work hard to make further improvements and ensure our impact on the environment is as small as possible.”

The Midland, Storrs Hall and Waterhead each achieved a silver award for their efforts.

Waterhead, in Ambleside, was praised by the assessor for its use of local food ensuring “guests get a taste of the Lakes”. The Midland, in Morecambe, was praised for its staff being well informed and trained in sustainability, and Storrs Hall, in Windermere, was also praised for its reduction of waste in energy and water, as well as having an extensive vegetarian menu.

The English Lakes Group was given an overall Silver Award and was lauded for the enthusiam and strong management within the company, its reduction of waste, giving back to social and environmental projects – such as more than £100,000 to Nurture Lakeland – replacing water bottles with water coolers, good recycling and the use of some LED lighting, among other initiatives.

You can find out more information about our commitment to the environment, sustainable tourism and our policies on our website.