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Environmental Practice and Ethos

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Longueville House Environmental Practice and Ethos

For over 35 years here at Longueville House, we have been naturally aware and tuned into our immediate environment and our day-to-day impact on it. We have in the past and continue to regularly improve and tweak certain practices across our businesses encompassing energy, waste, and water, as we are fully committed to reducing waste to landfill.                                                        

Eco & Biodiversity Events ~

In addition, we annually run a series of on-site ecotourism events for small groups and for Guest’s entertainment while staying at Longueville ~ May Dawn Chorus Walks, Autumn Mushroom Forays, Orchard Blossom Tours, Apple Harvest Tours, Garden Tours, Beekeeping Demonstration and BioBlitz of Longueville.                                                             

We support environmentally sustainable tourism by encouraging guests to walk, hike or cycle while staying at the hotel. We have bicycles (free of charge) for guest's use, plus local walking maps available at reception.                                                        

 

Greening policies and actions taken to decrease waste and increase Biodiversity:

Food & Beverage ~

Our field to fork food ethos supports cooking seasonal ingredients from our gardens, orchards, and farm, principally using our own fruit, vegetable, and pork products. Fish occasionally from the river, mushrooms annually foraged from the woods. For years we have been making our own apple juice, cider, apple brandy, jams, chutney, pickled vegetables, cider vinegar and apple reduction. Nettles, chamomile, mint, and rosehips are annually harvested from the hedgerows on the property, dried, which results in herbal teas for our guests year-round. When the elderflower appears, it is picked and made into elderflower syrup, used in our kitchen and bar.  William also forages on the property and sites nearby.             

The vast majority of our food is sourced from the estate. Thereafter we buy from local producers, in turn reducing food miles. Products such as meat, fresh fish, eggs, and cheeses are sourced locally from high quality, artisan producers.  

 

Outdoors ~                                                               

Since 1986 a total of 170 acres of native hardwood trees have been planted around the property, primarily Oak, Beech, Ash, Alder & Birch.

In 2016 a 5-acre Wildflower Meadow was planted which has resulted in a noticeable increase in wildlife in this part of the property.                                   

We gather seeds such as wild garlic, foxgloves, kale, and oak acorns for planting.                 

In 2017 a 6-acre Fodder Crop (kale & linseed) was planted to feed the birds. This resulted in a huge explosion of birdlife, especially smaller birds. Regular sightings of Buzzards, Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, Pheasant, and the odd barn owl may be seen.                                           

There is a 3-acre vigorous Walled Kitchen Garden on the property with over 1.5 acres under fruit & vegetables, grown with an Organic ethos. This supplies the hotel with food for our guests throughout the year. The knock-on effect is a reduction in airmiles and non-use of plastics.                       

With over 32-acres of apple orchards, we produce our own artisan cider on-site. Some of this cider is double distilled into an Apple Brandy and creates local employment. These two beverage products are sold nationally and internationally.                                                      

Pesticides and glyphosates are not used on our property. Weed killing is done with a gas flame by hand.  

There are two polytunnels in situ since 1995 used to stretch the growing season and provide the house with winter greens.                     

In 2021 we increased our Fruit Orchard, adding pear trees, plum trees, quince, and hazelnut trees.                          

Comfrey – a natural fertilizer is made on-site from our own plants. This fertilizer in turn feeds various potted plants and polytunnel plants. Occasionally seaweed is used for this purpose also.                           

In 2021 a new compost heap was constructed for storage of kitchen vegetable trimmings, garden waste, hedge clippings, animal manure and apple pulp. Over 100 tons of apple pulp is composted annually. It decreases our dependence on purchasing compost – especially peat. Additionally, we make our own leaf mould compost.                 

We have our own well water providing fresh, potable water throughout the hotel. (UV treated with no chemicals added). We bottle our own well water for guests. All glass bottles are reused.                                                                         

Every quarter, we carry out a roadside (both sides) cleanup of litter, from the Killarney Road junction to beyond the entrance gates of Longueville House.         

The houses on-site are heated, and hot water provided via a Wood/Straw Burner/Boiler. The straw and wood come from the property thus eliminating the use of Oil.                           

Quite a lot of wood building material is supplied from the timber in Longueville (furniture & structures). Additionally, we retail wooden chopping boards made from the estate’s timber.   

An on-site stone quarry provides stone for our network of roads, pathways & walks. 

An onsite natural reed bed treatment system is in use since the early 1980’s which purifies all wastewater generated by the hotel.

 

Wildlife ~                                                                                       

In 2006 we installed 12 beehives in and around our apple orchards. The bees in turn pollinate the apple trees and produce honey for the hotel.                                                                

There are 20 Bat Boxes and 20 Bird Boxes installed on trees near the wildflower meadow, to aid biodiversity and help increase our bird population.                                                             

We keep a herd of free-range pigs which help maintain the woodlands and provide pure meat to our restaurant - free from antibiotics and chemicals. At harvest time the pigs are fed apple pulp waste from the cider pressing and some food waste cooked with oat fodder.           

Over the years our tree planting practice has created additional habitat for birds, rabbits, native red squirrels, foxes, and badgers may be sighted on a regular basis.  We are members of Birdwatch Ireland.                                                                                                               

We own and maintain 1.5 miles of The River Blackwater and help to conserve it from overfishing. We have a Ghillie employed who frequently patrols the riverbank. Our guests benefit from private fly fishing for Salmon and Brown Trout on The Blackwater River.

 

Indoors ~                                                                                     

The open log fire in the Drawing room is supplied with seasoned timber logs and kindling from the estate.                                                                                                              

We re-use paper at the front desk and back offices. All organic, dry waste such as office paper, cardboard packaging, newspapers & magazines are disposed of in our wood burner.

We send e-invoices were possible to reduce the amount of paper used in our office.               

Glass, cans, plastic bottles, used light bulbs and batteries are all returned to our suppliers or collected for recycling.

Guest Toileries consist of Irish made, natural ingredients of high quality, are chemical free, and come in refillable glass 500ml bottles.    

We use chemical free cleaning products in our guest bedrooms.                     

All radiator valves have been replaced with thermostatic vales.                       

We are constantly replacing light bulbs used with low energy led and halogen versions.           

When replacing electrical equipment, “A” rated appliances are purchased.           

We support local community fundraising events for local charities.

 

Going forward our focus will be on  ~ 

Further reducing our energy usage.      

Further reducing our food waste.                                                                     

Banning the use of single plastic products.                                                       

Planting more trees and shrubs in our grounds.

 

How our Guests may Contribute ~                                             

Towels left hanging in the bathroom will be left for reuse, others will be changed.                    

Guests are asked not to run water unnecessarily and inform a member of staff if any leaks are noticed.                                                                      

Guests are reminded to turn off all lights and electrical equipment when leaving bedroom.           

Guests are reminded to close the windows if the heat is on in bedroom. A reminder asks them to regulate heating by turning the radiator valve anti-clockwise for on, and clockwise for off. Reception may be contacted if assistance is required.                                                           

Guests are reminded to place glass and plastic bottles, used batteries, newspapers, and magazines in the bedroom waste bin. These will be collected by Housekeeping for recycling. The bathroom waste bin may be used for other waste.

 

Environmentally Sustainable Practices ~                                    

Longueville House is committed to reducing its environmental impact through better efficiencies in the use of energy and the minimisation of waste, packaging, and water usage.

 

Natural Area Focus ~                                                                 

Longueville House sells packages/experiences to its guests that encourage interaction with the natural environment of The Blackwater Valley through walking, birdwatching, botany, and education.  We encourage our guests to explore the property and local area as much as possible.

 

Interpretation and Education ~                                    

Longueville House provides literature and maps on the local area. We are always happy to give further information and make recommendations based on sound local knowledge.

 

Contributing to Conservation ~                      

We are members of the following organisations: Birdwatch Ireland and Cider Ireland.