We are committed to improving our environmental performance.
We were awarded the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) Silver certificate in 2012. However we have decided not to renew the annual subscription as it has not been clear to us if potential guests book as a result. We are happy to say it has been a useful means of improving our environmental performance. We have attended training seminars provided by GTBS and Antrim Council. The GTBS provide support and technical advice and through them we discovered ways to minimise our impact and provide a sustainable quality service for our visitors.
We are sensitive to protecting our countryside. You are welcome to walk through our native tree plantation and to sample some of our seasonal vegetable or fruit. A variety of herbs-thyme, parsley, rosemary, mint and sage – grow close to your Barn door. There are several Elder trees nearby, traditionally planted for its antiseptic qualities.
Perhaps you can give your car a rest for the day and walk through the fields, avoiding ones with cattle. We would like to share our hopes for the future of our farmland. We have reduced our use of chlorine based detergents and we provide phosphate-free washing products in the kitchen and bathroom. The wood for our stove is well seasoned – reducing smoke and tar deposits, but it does require understanding of the principles to burn properly.
Most of the lighting is low energy and the rest will become so in time. We offer a change of linen once a week, though this can be increased for your own comfort. Bed linen is dried outdoors when possible, or spread out indoors. We aim to manage our business by keeping our waste to a minimum.
Rubbish waste disposal, we aim to reduce landfill and recycle as far as possible within the local Antrim Borough council’s facilities. We have our own compost and there is a compost caddy for vegetable scraps.
Apple Cottage and Apple Barn have been fully insulated to current building regulations and have also been air tested for ventilation losses. The heating is fully controllable and we ask you not to turn up thermostats without good reason. Turn them down again as soon as you can or if you are going out. The wood stoves give off good heat and the wood comes from our own wind fall trees which we are replacing at a faster rate. If you have the wood stoves burning, you will find the central heating will reduce the oil consumption. Cherrybrook has a 6kW array of solar panels which offsets much of our electricity over the year. However the sun is not shining all of the time and we ask you to be as vigilant as usual with electrical appliances.
Turn lights off: When leaving a room, always remember to turn lights off. Before you settle down for the evening please make sure your outside light is switched off.
Dishwashers/Washing machines: Stack/fill economically and only use when fully loaded to maximise efficiency. Go light on the detergents. And if you run the washing machine at 30 degrees not 40 degrees, you will save a huge amount of energy. Avoid the tumble drier if you can and use the clothes airing rack.
Heating: Turn the thermostat down a degree. When you go out make sure you have not left unnecessary heaters on. Don’t leave windows open and heaters on when you are out. There is a separate information sheet on the heating controls.
We are working to make our destination more eco-friendly, but we need your help. We can all reduce our impact on the environment by making choices. As a visitor you have a very important role to play in helping us to conserve our natural assets and become a more sustainable destination. Here are our recommended tips on how you can help:
Reduce energy by switching off lights and closing windows if heating is on. The Energy Saving Trust provides information on what you can do at home. For more info visit the Energy Saving Trust.
Use local products, they give you a flavour of the area and help support local communities. We are fortunate to have some fantastic producers of food, drink and arts and crafts. Ask us about local markets or local and regional produce.
Try to avoid overly packaged goods and say no to that extra carrier bag. You can also support us in our efforts to recycle – please ask us for more details.
The UK has rising costs for water treatment and flood defence so please use water wisely. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and adhere to towel policies or other water saving initiatives. Here are more water saving tips.
Help us to look after the landscape and wildlife by not littering, guarding against fire and using footpaths and cycle-ways responsibly. Ensure you follow the Countryside Code.
There are thousands of businesses in the British Isles working to reduce their carbon footprint through the Green Tourism Business Scheme. Businesses are awarded Bronze, Silver and Gold for their efforts to be more sustainable.
A year in the fields.
January: Snowdrops and mahonia.
February: Early crocus naturalised in grass.
March: Drifts of narcissi and fritillaries, dandelions on the verges.
April: Wild primroses scatter the banks of the lane.
May: Blossom in fruit trees, hawthorn hedgerows and wild bluebells in field margins.
June: Dog-rose, elderflower and occasional wild orchid.
July: Rambling roses, lavender.
August: Purple willow herb and purple loose strife.
October: Damsons and wild plums.
November: Seed heads on thistles, berries on pyracantha and cotoneaster.
December: Frost patterns in the trees highlighting evergreens and bare branched deciduous.