ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY STATEMENT
The Burren Geopark is one of 3 Geoparks in Ireland and is part of a family of 140 Geoparks worldwide. Geosites and Discovery areas – There is nowhere in the world quite like the Burren. And there are so many unique places nestled within the area. There are eleven Geosites you can visit – areas of outstanding geological significance – each with its own on-site visitor and interpretation information.
The Burren Geopark is also home to 7 Wild Atlantic Way Discovery Points, the Cliffs of Moher also being a Wild Atlantic Way Signature Point.
We recognise that our business has a responsibility to conserve our natural asset in the Geopark here in Clare. We want to minimise our impact on the local environment and actively play a role in protecting and enhancing our local area for future generations. We want to implement measures that enable tourists to behave responsibly in the landscape. By becoming a member of the Burren Eco Tourism Network we can now actively participate in destination conservation initiatives. We are committed to attaining high levels of sustainable tourism practice over the coming years.
We collaborate with all stakeholders to collectively develop the Geopark as a sustainable tourism destination.
A CARED-FOR LANDSCAPE
We actively participate in conserving our natural and cultural heritage. We want to implement measures that enable tourists to behave responsibly in the landscape.
On our farm our cattle and sheep are free to roam on 150 acres which are wrapped around the cliffs of Kilkee on the Loop Head Peninsula. The salt and clover covered pastures on our farm are untouched and are a great contributor to the great taste of the meat we produce. We are proud of the fact that we do not use fertilizers or synthetic pesticides on our land.
Since joining the Burren Eco Tourism Network we have become environmentally conscious on the amount of waste our premises produces each year. We are actively working with our suppliers to reduce energy waste & garbage waste. We have implemented the Love Your Cup campaign. We encourage the use of these reusable biodegradable bamboo cups by giving a free hot drink at the time of purchase and 30c off every hot drink thereafter. We are currently looking at changing our packaging to recyclable and biodegradable where possible.
A WELL-UNDERSTOOD HERITAGE
We offer quality information and interpretation to communicate our stories and the unique character of our place to guests. We have information available throughout the premises on the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark. We speak with our customers who are tourists and encourage them through the Geopark map to visit our heritage sites in North Clare.
We work to ensure that tourism makes a positive social contribution so that it benefits our community as well as our guests. We promote our neighbours who are in business in North Clare by recommending places to see and things to do within our local community. We have made great contacts over the past 2 years with local businesses.
We contribute to the local economy by maintaining and supporting local employment, by sourcing services and produce locally wherever possible, and by engaging with other businesses in promoting our region as a sustainable tourism destination. We actively seek out local producers first when buying in product. We support local fundraisers year round to keep our local community thriving.
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM MANAGEMENT
We work to an Environmental Action Plan, which includes actions and targets for improvement that are reviewed annually. We have effective systems for monitoring and adequately managing our waste, water, wastewater, energy, travel impact and purchases.
• Through training with BEN we have now learned how to effectively record and monitor our energy bills and will strive to reduce energy costs over the coming year
• We installed an energy efficient boiler last year
• We use Panda Power which only uses green energy as our electricity supplier
• Our appliances are only used when maximum load is reached and we turn off anything that is not needed in a timely fashion
• We use one air conditioner to heat the air in the café, we do not heat any other part of the building
• Our office sends out e-statements to our wholesale suppliers reducing the use of paper
• From March to October we grown our own herbs, strawberries, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes in our polytunnel on our farm in Kilkee
• We will encourage tourists through our website to use sustainable modes of transport i.e. the local bus or bicycles to visit the Burren.
Our action plan going forward;
• We would like to use more recyclable & biodegradable containers
• We will research into finding apps/devices that will monitor and cut down on our energy use
• We will assess whether our protected building can house solar panels through the County Council
• We will install plastic curtains on our cold rooms to conserve energy