Environmental Policy: Putting the Environment First
At Mingarry Lodges we are passionate about the environment and we aim to minimise our ‘footprint’ whilst maximising on site biodiversity. To this end, we take great care to promote the sustainable use of resources, both in the management of the grounds and in the products and services we provide for our guests' enjoyment. We also encourage guests to engage and connect with the wildlife and local environment whilst at Mingarry Lodges through information, education and hospitality. We also actively promote conservation at the local, regional and national level.
Our Environmental Philosophy is based on the three Rs, Restore, Reuse, Recycle. We aim to think and act in an environmentally responsible manner.
Management of site for Biodiversity
Our aim is to increase the local biodiversity in the grounds of Mingarry Lodges through increasing habitat heterogeneity of the site, and by managing the grounds in an environmentally sensitive manner.
We have a large pond and two smaller water bodies in the grounds of the Old Chapel House, providing an aquatic habitat for nymphs for dragonflies and damselflies and as a breeding site for common frogs, toads and palmate newts. We also have log piles, deadwood and insect 'hotels' on site to provide habitats for a myriad of insects and soil invertebrate species
The grassland verges on the driveway up to the lodges are managed for wildlife flowers, including greater butterfly orchid, fragrant orchid, heath spotted orchid and northern marsh orchid.
We have recently planted a native species hedge around the boundaries of the Old Chapel House using saplings grown locally. It is hoped that in time will provide nesting sites for small birds as well as a food source for resident and migrant birds in Autumn and Winter.
Butterflies are encouraged through planting of specific food plants and nectar plants and through the sensitive management of the grassland habitat. Butterflies recorded on site include chequered skipper, green hairstreak, pearl-bordered fritillary, small pearl-bordered fritillary, green fritillary and Scot Argus. Notable day time moths include narrow-bordered bee hawkmoth; a bumblebee mimic that is a real joy to behold. We also do not use any pesticides or artificial fertilisers on site.
Engagement and Education
We provide our guests with bat detectors (on request) to explore the local bat fauna. We also have a moth trap to allow guest to experience and encounter the nocturnal Lepidoptera fauna.
We have put up multi species nest boxes and bat boxes in woodland behind the lodges.
We also have a large number of bird feeders on site supporting resident and migrant populations of seed eating passerines. A number of the feeders and bird boxes are fitted with cameras allowing guests an insight into the secret world of birds and assorted Highland wildlife.
Re-use, Recycling and Composting
We encourage the recycling of paper, cardboard, plastic, tin and aluminium cans, tetrapacks, glass etc. Recycling bins are provided in each cabin and there is a bin for recycling glass in the car park.
Sewage and waste water from the cabins are also effectively treated using our onsite Klargester biological water treatment plant which minimises the impact of effluence on the local environment.
We compost all vegetable and garden waste from both the cabins. Each cabin has a kitchen compost bin for vegetable scraps. Composting at Mingarry Lodges not only reduces landfill waste but our compost bins also provide an ideal habitat for the resident slow worm populations.
The cabins are supplied with Ecover/ecological cleaning materials, such as Ecover dishwasher tablets, Ecover kitchen surface cleaners, Ecover washing liquid and Ecover conditioner etc. We also use green products when cleaning the cabins.
We encourage our guests to explore the local area on foot and bike. We are participants of Walkers Welcome Schemes and provide OS maps, walking guides and leaflets to facilitate the exploration of the local region. Cyclists are also welcome and bikes can be secured undercover on the veranda or left by the side of the cabin. Alternatively guests can hire bikes locally.
We are encourage the use of public transport wherever possible; we are on a public transport bus route to Fort William and there is train station nearby at Lochailort.
We have equipped the cabin with energy saving appliances wherever possible
Lights are fitted with low energy light bulbs, where possible.
Thermostatically-controlled electric central heating allow guests to minimise unnecessary energy use, whilst still being cosy in the cabin
We also monitor energy use and water use to help us to minimise our environmental impact.
We also provide our guests with information on how to reduce their own impact on the environment including the efficient use of energy and water whilst on holiday.
Buying locally and using local services
We promote local food producers in our cabins and encourage the use of the local shop in Acharacle which stocks local produce, free range eggs and organic fruits and vegetables.
We also encourage guests to patronise local restaurants which use local produce in their cuisine.
We also aim to use local tradesmen and services where possible. We also try to use FairTrade produce wherever practical, as well as environmentally friendly products.
Supporting Local Tourism and Environmental Organisation
We are members of the Visit Scotland Quality Assurance Scheme and promote ourselves on local websites supporting walking, wildlife and slow adventures. We are also supporters of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Butterfly Conservation, RSPB, WWF and Historic Scotland.