Hawthorn Lodge B&B, Belturbet, is a Four-Star Failte Ireland Tourist Board Approved property, which is a Booking.com Travel Sustainable property. A family-run business, welcoming guests from all over the world for over twenty years. The property features landscaped gardens and several ponds, including a wildlife pond, bug hotels, wildflower areas and fruit trees that overlooks the stunning Lough Arden.
Hawthorn Lodge B&B, Belturbet, is nestled in the middle of the peaceful, tranquil countryside, near the village of Milltown. (Milltown village features a pub, grocery shop, church, community centre with a children’s playground and a meditation garden across the road).
If you decide to take a stroll down the country lane from Hawthorn Lodge, over the hedgerows you can see to your right the breathtakingly beautiful Drumlane Abbey and Round Tower overlooking Garfinny Lough. Drumlane Abbey and Round Tower is approximately a ten-minute walk from Hawthorn Lodge B&B, Belturbet.
As we are very passionate about food sustainability, in 2019 we attended Failte Ireland’s Taste of Place programme pledging our commitment to promoting and sourcing local and Irish food and beverages.
Also in 2019, we became members of the Created in Cavan Food Network, whereby we promote, and use produce from other members of the Created in Cavan Network. We also have Created in Cavan produce for our guests to purchase during their stay with us.
We are passionate about food and have several raised beds, planters and have dedicated polytunnels and workshops, whereby we grow our own organic seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs especially for our guests to enjoy. Thus, creating a real field to fork experience and no pesticides used! We find the guests love nothing better than to explore the raised beds and polytunnels and see for themselves exactly where their food comes from.
Facilities: All our guest bedrooms are ensuite with a private shower and w/c. We have two family rooms that can accommodate up to three persons. We have two twin rooms available that can accommodate up to two persons. All guest bedrooms have the following:
• Flat screen TV’s.
• Tea and coffee making facilities.
• Luggage rack.
• Hair dryer.
• Irons and ironing boards are available upon request.
• Dressing gowns are available upon request.
• Complimentary toiletries – shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. (These single-use plastic toiletries will eventually be phased out).
• Family rooms feature a walk-in dressing room and closet.
• Twin rooms feature a fitted wardrobe.
The guest’s lounge has an open fire and has a flat screen tv and DVD player, whereby guests can enjoy streaming programmes on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Please note, Netflix and Amazon Prime is unavailable in guest’s bedrooms. All rooms have free superfast broadband Wi-Fi.
How did the Business Sustainability Training Programme benefit you and your business?
Participating in the Business Sustainability Training Programme has benefitted our business in a number of ways. Here are two examples of what actions we have taken as a result of completing this course, as listed below:
• Reducing the use of single-use plastics – Reviewing the amount of single-use plastics that we use within our business, we decided to look at ways in which we could achieve this. With this in mind, we decided to no longer give guests plastic bottles of water and instead replaced these with glass jugs of water in guest’s bedrooms. Just implementing this one change has led to a significant reduction in single-use plastic, saving bottles from going into recycling and has allowed us to save money.
We have also given attention to the number of single-use toiletries that we use. With this in mind, when our current stocks are depleted, these will be replaced with wall-mounted dispensers.
• Action plans – Undertaking the course has made us more visually aware and challenged our behaviours as to how our everyday actions can have a dramatic consequence not only from a financial perspective, but at what cost there is to the environment. The course conducted and led by Tina O’Dywer at The Tourism Space has provided us with the necessary knowledge, skills and tools, such as the action plans to create a framework and allowed us to set goals in which we can achieve to help our business and the environment. This is a course that no business can afford to miss!
We now have action plans in place based on the following areas:
• Energy conservation.
• Biodiversity Enhancement actions.
• Water management and conservation.
• Waste management.
What is the main sustainability focus of your business?
The main sustainability focus of our business is reducing and recycling food waste. We have implemented a series of green action plans to achieve this, by doing the following:
• Pre-Printed Menus – We initially introduced pre-printed breakfast menus in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result of introducing our guests to the pre-printed menus, we have found that we have significantly reduced the amount of food waste being prepared and cooked unnecessarily. Hence, food not going to landfill. The pre-printed menus have been a significant guide in portion control. Therefore, we can gauge how much food we need to prepare and cook. The pre-printed menus ensure that food is freshly cooked to order.
As part of our action plans, the pre-printed menus are now printed on recycled paper and are added to our Hotbin, cold compost bins and wormeries. Therefore, it is recycled to make compost!
In terms of excess food waste such as left-over food, kitchen scraps, etc. we looked at several methods whereby we could utilise food waste and make use of it by turning it into compost. Therefore, having attended gardening workshops, we decided to utilise our food waste by doing Bokashi Composting and Hotbin Composting: excess food scraps, such as teabags and vegetable peelings are also utilised in our wormeries, so nothing is wasted. We also have several cold composting bays to utilise garden waste, cardboard, etc.
• Bokashi Composting – Derived from the Japanese term of “Fermented Organic Matter”. Whereby, food waste is added to a special bin and a special Bokashi bran is added to the food waste. Air is compressed out of each layer of food waste and a sprinkling of bran is added, creating a “lasagne” effect. The liquid from the bins is used as plant feed, to use on our raised beds, planters and polytunnels.
• Hotbin Composting – Allows us to add cooked foods to the bin and is not like any other cold composting traditional methods. The Hotbin is like an insulated “wheelie-bin” that will heat up when food, brown materials such as cardboard, sticks and green materials, such as weeds, grass clippings are added. Therefore, when the contents of the Bokashi bin need emptying after two weeks, it is added to the Hotbin. Concluding that no food ever goes to landfill! Hence, saving money on bin collections.
• Growing Our Own Produce – We are passionate about food and where it originates from. We pride ourselves at Hawthorn Lodge on growing our own organic fresh seasonal fruit, vegetables, and herbs to lovingly create our dishes for our guests to enjoy. Thus, creating a real field to fork experience, whereby, no pesticides are used.
Hawthorn Lodge B&B
A wide range of outdoor activities available, i.e., canoeing, and more.