Our approach to sustainability
Sustainability has always been central to our ethos here at Fuchsia Lane Farm, we are the current custodians of our land and business and when we trace our family connections on this part of the earth back to the late 1700s, we cannot but think about the responsibility towards subsequent generations. During the Great Famine in Ireland in the late 1800s there was a soup kitchen on the land, where people received sustenance. We also have a ‘ring fort’ on the land where, according to tradition, homeless people who died during the famine were buried. These connections to the past keep us grounded and aware of the importance of our impacts and how these can resonate beyond the generations.
Our original self catering cottages are restored traditional farm buildings that date back to 1840 or earlier. These were converted using local labour, salvaged materials and in sympathy with tradition. Our other cottages were built with high levels of insulation making them easy and economical to heat in wintertime.
We are conscious of energy usage, and we meter electricity usage and have installed ‘smart’ electric heaters in the Granary, Stables and our group space, the Haybarn Hub. We can set these remotely and ensure that heaters are not left on at times when not needed. All hot water cylinders operate on time clocks. We have recycling and composting facilities at all cottages.
Guests can avail of our free bikes, we have created walks that bring you through our farmland and woodland spaces. On the land we have created spaces for biodiversity and wildlife to flourish and participate in a farming programme that rewards us for climate change mitigation measures. We are particularly passionate about the power of nature to be a restorative space and we have a 20 acre wild meadow comprising species rich grassland that has not experienced any chemicals or soil inversion practices in more than a generation. When one walks this area in summertime it is rich with butterflies, insects and wild flowers. It is not an exaggeration to say that when we walk here, we acknowledge the footsteps of those who have gone before us.
Our cleaning products are biodegradable and refillable and we have our own laundry facilities where we wash our towels and linens on short low temperature cycles. We air dry as much as possible.
We are currently participating in a EU programme on Regenerative Tourism which is allowing us to learn from industry experts and this is enabling us to introduce measures that can have a positive impact on the business, the guest experience and the environment. We are also part of a network where we are exploring the Inner Development Goals which looks at how one can embed personal change that can lead to more sustainable lives, communities and organisations. We have held several gatherings on this topic here and look forward to more.
We use an EV and have an EV charger for guests. We also use an electric bike with a small trailer for linen supplies etc to the cottages during changeovers. We have just applied to install a large Solar PV array on the roof of our haybarn which will allow us to export excess generation.
We have won awards for Responsible Travel, received recognition from the Royal Dublin Society for Innovation and were finalists in the Sustainable category in the Irish Self Catering Awards.
Sustainability is a journey and we are now moving on to Regeneration, which means ‘adding more back to nature’. We invite our guests to be part of this learning.