Ecotourism

is defined as

 

“…responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.”

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)

Crann Og Eco Farm – Gold Certified Ecotourism Operator

Certification Policies & Information

Ecotourism

is defined as

 

“…responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.”

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)

Crann Og Eco Farm – Gold Certified Ecotourism Operator

Ecotourism Ireland - Crann Og's Commitment

Our Values

Sustainability is the key word in all our activities. We conserve nature by educating by example, creating an interactive experience of nature, from our organic farm life to the surrounding environment. A little different from the crowd, we offer a unique and interactive experience for our visiting guests as we provide the space and time to reconnect with nature, or as we have coined the term, ReNature.

The evidence is in, thanks to many research programs around the world, the modern technology based lifestyle, artificial and overstimulated, is not good for our health, our children in particular.  We have long recognised this and have created a venue and experience whereby people from all walks of life and all ages can reconnect with nature, rediscover the wisdom and health to be found in the natural environment.

Our approach toward ecological conservation is summed up beautifully by this quote from Sir David Attenborough:

” No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no-one cares about what they’ve never experienced.”

Leave No Trace

We educate our visitors to respect and preserve nature.  The ‘Leave No Trace Seven Principles for Outdoor Ethics’ help us to achieve this by conveying acceptable standards for activity in nature.  It is essential for us that our guests understand these principles and we make it part of our mission to instill respect and care for nature as an extension of one’s self.

Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle

It is a requirement of the Eco Tourism Ireland certification program that ecotourism venues employ strategies to minimize waste and where possible abide by the principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. At Crann Og we take great pride in our Waste Minimization strategy, recycling and composting. We are experts at building something from nothing and have built many of our structures from recycled pallets and many materials other people regard as waste. This is further enhanced by our Purchasing Policy to reduce the wastes we have to manage.  We are not the most glamorous ecotourism venue, but for sure we are one of the most innovative having created the experience from what nature has provided and what we have found.

Environmental Care and Management

At Crann Og we are striving for excellence in the delivery of our experience and services and the promotion of environmentally sustainable tourism. To this end we have enacted a strategy to manage our actual and potential impacts on the environment. As we are situated on the edge of a Special Area of Conservation, this is an additional reason why we see it our duty to be effective environmental stewards. Our strategy is founded on our commitment to improving our performance as outlined by our environmental policy statement. The policy statement is a summary of our detailed Environmental Management Plan. To fully appreciate our commitment to manage the natural area and minimize our impact and that of our visitors, please review also our detailed Environmental Impact Management Plan.

Special Area of Conservation

Bordering us is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).  This SAC has been identified by The Woodland League as a remnant of The Great Forest of Aughty.  The Woodland League and Dr Cilian Roden of GMIT, have been very kind in donating their time and advice to assist us in making an application to NPWS in 2015 to form an interpretive trail in a small part of Drummin Wood.

Conditional consent was granted by the service, though there are many preparatory measures required before this is complete.  We hope to have this completed by spring 2017.  We are very grateful to the service, rangers and all those who have offered their assistance and support in this project.  We hope to have more news about it in the very near future.

Policies & Codes

Ecotourism - Crann Og's Commitment

Our Values

Sustainability is the key word in all our activities. We conserve nature by educating by example, creating an interactive experience of nature, from our organic farm life to the surrounding environment. A little different from the crowd, we offer a unique and interactive experience for our visiting guests as we provide the space and time to reconnect with nature, or as we have coined the term, ReNature.

The evidence is in, thanks to many research programs around the world, the modern technology based lifestyle, artificial and overstimulated, is not good for our health, our children in particular.  We have long recognised this and have created a venue and experience whereby people from all walks of life and all ages can reconnect with nature, rediscover the wisdom and health to be found in the natural environment.

Our approach toward ecological conservation is summed up beautifully by this quote from Sir David Attenborough:

” No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no-one cares about what they’ve never experienced.”

Leave No Trace

We educate our visitors to respect and preserve nature.  The ‘Leave No Trace Seven Principles for Outdoor Ethics’ help us to achieve this by conveying acceptable standards for activity in nature.  It is essential for us that our guests understand these principles and we make it part of our mission to instill respect and care for nature as an extension of one’s self.

Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle

It is a requirement of the Eco Tourism Ireland certification program that ecotourism venues employ strategies to minimize waste and where possible abide by the principles of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. At Crann Og we take great pride in our Waste Minimization strategy, recycling and composting. We are experts at building something from nothing and have built many of our structures from recycled pallets and many materials other people regard as waste. This is further enhanced by our Purchasing Policy to reduce the wastes we have to manage.  We are not the most glamorous ecotourism venue, but for sure we are one of the most innovative having created the experience from what nature has provided and what we have found.

Environmental Care and Management

At Crann Og we are striving for excellence in the delivery of our experience and services and the promotion of environmentally sustainable tourism. To this end we have enacted a strategy to manage our actual and potential impacts on the environment. As we are situated on the edge of a Special Area of Conservation, this is an additional reason why we see it our duty to be effective environmental stewards. Our strategy is founded on our commitment to improving our performance as outlined by our environmental policy statement. The policy statement is a summary of our detailed Environmental Management Plan. To fully appreciate our commitment to manage the natural area and minimize our impact and that of our visitors, please review also our detailed Environmental Impact Management Plan.

Special Area of Conservation

Bordering us is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).  This SAC has been identified by The Woodland League as a remnant of The Great Forest of Aughty.  The Woodland League and Dr Cilian Roden of GMIT, have been very kind in donating their time and advice to assist us in making an application to NPWS in 2015 to form an interpretive trail in a small part of Drummin Wood.

Conditional consent was granted by the service, though there are many preparatory measures required before this is complete.  We hope to have this completed by spring 2017.  We are very grateful to the service, rangers and all those who have offered their assistance and support in this project.  We hope to have more news about it in the very near future.

 

Policies & Codes

Crann Og Eco Farm – Leave No Trace Codes of Conduct

 

Plan Ahead and Prepare

Know the regulations and special concerns for the area. Visit in small groups. Repackage food to minimize waste. Travel on durable surfaces and existing trails and paths. No camping in Drummin Woods SAC.

Dispose of Waste Properly

Pack it in, pack it out.” Pack out all trash & leftover food. Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.

Leave What You Find

Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them. Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species. Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.

Minimize Campfire Impacts

Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry.
Use only designated fireplaces at Crann Og Eco Farm, do not light fires in the woods. Use only wood supplied by Crann Og, do not collect firewood from the woodlands.

Respect Wildlife

Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed animals. Control pets at all times, or leave them at home. Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.

Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience. Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud noises.

 

Ecotourism Policy

 

Management and Planning

Our sound management and planning include waste minimisation and environmental impact management plans. We are committed to monitoring and adopting new standards in environmental and ecotourism management, and criteria for legal compliance.

Business Ethics and Responsible Marketing

Our ethical business practices commit to natural area management, environmental sustainability and the provision of environmentally sound experiences. Our marketing is accurate and presents realistic expectations through our website, social media platforms and email based promotions.

Customer Satisfaction

Guests are encouraged to complete our Visitor Satisfaction Form. This feedback is acted upon where practicable and made available to Eco Tourism Ireland and summarised on our website.

Natural Area Focus

Presenting the natural attributes of the region which includes the Drummin Woods (Special Area of Conservation), the Burren National Park and Geopark, the Coole Park Nature Reserve and the Gort river.

Environmental Management

Crann Og Eco Farm are committed to protecting the Drummin Woods SAC by ensuring that all staff are trained, and visitors informed of the Leave No Trace Codes of Conduct.

We promote energy efficiency within the business through the turning off of lights and electrical equipment when not in use, and maintenance of machinery, vehicles and equipment so that they operate efficiently. We operate solar panel water heating, solid fuel stoves and collect rainfall run-off for gardens and animals. Drinking and utility water is supplied from our fresh water well. Guest showers and sinks are fitted with econo-taps and all guest toilets are dry composting toilets

Our comprehensive recycling program includes community and visitor wastes and refuse. We use only recognised biodegradable cleaning products and provide reputable eco-label hygiene products for guests. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and continue to implement measures to reduce the use of energy, water and fuel. We practice and encourage car pooling, cycling and walking.

Interpretation and Education

Crann Og is a small community of permanent residents demonstrating the principles of sustainable living. By example we educate our visitors in the core elements of environmental sustainability, conservation, upscale recycling, waste minimisation, water conservation, organic food production and down-sized lifestyle.

Information is provided about the significance of Drummin Woods SAC as a pristine example of an ancient Irish woodland. This includes the conservation and restoration of the natural environment, the protection of flora and fauna, and preservation of any feature of archaeological, historic or scientific interest. The need to protect this environment by appropriate behaviour and adequately managed tourism is communicated.

Contribution to Conservation

Crann Og is committed to the preservation of the Drummin Woods SAC and continues to encourage local and visitor’s awareness of it’s rarity and importance to the regional ecosystem. We are working towards a program of education and training for regional guides focussing on the comparison of the Drummin Woods, a pristine ancient Irish woodland, with the Burren National Park and it’s unusual limestone pavement landscape. A juxtaposition of two landscapes of differing biodiversity within the same region.

Working with Local Communities

We have a strong commitment to support local business, local community, sporting clubs, other ecotourism operators, local schools and artisans of the region. Where practicable, 100% of all supplies and services are supplied by Crann Og Eco Farm or local businesses.

 

Waste Minimization Strategy

 

Our waste minimization action plan complies with our Environmental Management Plan and general codes of conduct, as it reduces waste, and recycles most materials often resulting in upscaled recycling for food production, fertilising and building construction.

I. Reducing Waste

Dry composting toilets: dry matter used to nurse young trees, nitrogen rich urine is separated, diluted and used to fertilise fields and willow stands.
• Separated urine is also used in trials creating nutrient rich compost compromising horse manure, straw and urine.
• Vegetarian, home grown food is utilised, so as to mitigate carbon expensive meat products and wastes.
• Buying products with minimal packaging is a priority.
• Supplementary food purchases are organic where possible, limiting chemical and other additives entering our waste recycling system.
• Growing most of our own food reduces waste related to transport and packaging of food.
• Gifts for friends, guests, and visitors are home-made, home-grown, and/or alive.

II. Reusing Waste

Cardboard is re-used in the garden for mulching.
• Pallets re-used for building structures, fences, gates and furniture.
• Organic food waste is used to feed chickens and horses.
• Eggshells are reused for pest control in vegetable gardens.
• Left over wood (slobs) from the local sawmill are used for heating, building raised vegetable garden beds, wall structures, outdoor furniture and cladding.
• Excess willow from the weaved fences is reused for basket making and building fencing, as well as for selling to guests and public.
• Horse refuse is composted and used in gardens.
• General compost is used as mulch for gardens.

III. Recycling Waste

Recycling facilities for plastics, cardboard, paper, glass, cans and tin are accessible to all that come to Crann Og in our Recycling Station.
• All organic waste is composted (food scraps, garden weeds/plant materials, human waste, etc.) and recycled back into soil.
• Rain water is collected and used at the camping site kitchen facilities, to water gardens, feed animals and feeds into a pond that houses aquatic life (which is used as a teaching tool for children and guests).

Purchasing Policy

At Crann Og we practice sustainability as far as practicable. To this end we employ the following supply, purchasing and reuse approach:

  • Organically produce most of our vegetables, eggs, apples, pears and berries.

  • We collect our own seeds, and swap seeds and seedlings with neighbours and friends.

  • Hay and straw is purchased for our horses and sheep from local farmers.

  • Our organic kitchen wastes are fed to chickens, their feed supplemented by locally sourced feed.

  • No fertiliser or pest control chemicals are used or purchased as we practice permaculture methods in the maintenance of our gardens and food production.

  • Horse, chicken and duck manures are incorporated into our comprehensive composting system and reused in our gardens and orchards.

  • Urine is separated from solid human wastes, then diluted and reused to fertilise fields. ‘Human-ure’ from our dry composting toilets is used to fertilise trees.

  • Organic whole foods are bought from Open Sesame Health Food Shop in Gort.

  • We are members of a local food co-op, buying bulk supplies from Suma Whole Foods and from Independent Irish Whole Foods.

  • We use only recognisable biodegradable cleaning products.

  • The use of paper products in promotion of our activities is minimised, focussing mainly on internet based promotion. We recycle paper wastes from our administration activities.

  • No bottled or scheme water is used at Crann Og. Rain water is collected from all roof surfaces and used to water animals and gardens. In addition all water for human consumption and ablutions is sourced from our own well.

  • Heating is by solid fuel stoves and supplemented by vacuum tube solar panels. Waste wood not suitable for upscale recycling is burned for heating.

  • Waste wood from a local sawmill and tree fall on the farm supply our main house solid fuel stove.

  • Water heating is by vacuum tube solar panels, supplemented by solid fuel stove.

  • Where practicable we will repair appliances and often collect and recycle what is often destined for landfill by others.

Responsible Marketing

Ethos

At Crann Og personal integrity and public transparency are highly valued qualities. It is our intention to provide customers with accurate information concerning our services and products so as to generate realistic and achievable expectations regarding their experience of nature and our brand of Ecotourism.

It is also our intent to infuse within our visitors a passion to connect with, conserve and protect the environment, and activities aimed at sustainable development and tourism in general. To achieve this goal, Crann Og commits to the following measures:

Ecotourism General Information

  • A definition of ecotourism will be displayed in a prominent position on the website and in individual package promotional material where practicable.

  • Links to additional information about the area and other attractions will be made available on the website.

  • Links to additional information regarding ecotourism will be included on the website. Where possible additional material such as books and articles will be made available at the Crann Og venue.

  • Links to web resources about ecotourism organisations and issues regarding sustainability in Ireland and abroad will be made available on the website.

  • General operations at Crann Og will be based on “Leave No Trace” guidelines for low impact tourist activities. Such guidelines will be communicated to customers as part of the experience and general services at Crann Og, and be made available in tourist accommodation facilities.

Promotion and Marketing

To inform our customer expectations, current and regularly updated photos of the activities and venues included within the experience are posted on the Crann Og website and social media platforms where appropriate. This will include, but not be limited to activities, organic gardens, animals and woodlands. Photos will be added each subsequent season to reflect the continued and developing product experience.

Furthermore:

  • Activities and locations within the experience will be adequately communicated to customers, as will numbers of participants and equipment, clothing and personal supplies required for those activities.

  • All promotional and marketing material will take into account best operating practices to ensure minimal impact.

  • All promotional and marketing material representing the Crann Og products and services avoids the presentation of operating practices that contradict minimal impact behaviour.

  • In promoting ecotourism oriented experiences at Crann Og, only images of Crann Og and activities hosted here will be used. No images or representations will be used from external venues, events or sources.

  • Images, video and audio representations of Crann Og and ecotourism experiences hosted here will not be altered in any way, except those required for normal production purposes. In all cases, customers will be able to replicate images used to promote our products and services during their visit, dependent on seasonal conditions.

  • Qualifying statements will inform customers of potential irregularities and natural phenomena that may affect their experience, and measures that are necessary in this event.

  • Interpretation will be assisted by both Flor Burke and Marion Edler, with the help of various publications and charts from: The Irish Wildlife Trust, The Irish Peatlands Conservation Council, The Field Studies Council.

  • Additional volunteer and vocational staff will assist Flor and Marion where required, in delivering the experience to the satisfaction of customers. All such staff will be adequately trained to deliver the experience and services in accordance with the various environmental, impact management and ecotourism policies and guidelines.

Environmental Policy Statement

 

Crann Og is committed to minimal environmental impact in the operation of its Ecofarm and Ecotourism activities. We have sound eco-practices in operation and are committed to a process of monitoring and measuring our impacts and developments within Ecotourism, with a view to continual improvement as economics allow. We conduct our business and activities in accordance with Eco Tourism Ireland Member Codes of Conduct and guidelines published by The International Eco Tourism Society (TIES).

Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people” (TIES).

To this end Crann Og Eco Farm, through staff training, visitor education and valid interpretation, are committed to taking the following actions:

  • To achieve sound environmental and sustainable practices across our entire operation and range of activities.

  • To conduct our operations and activities in accordance with our Environmental and Impact Management Plans and Purchasing Policy.

  • To comply with all relevant legislation.

  • To minimise our waste and reduce our water consumption where practicable.

  • To Reduce, Reuse and Recycle the resources consumed by our business where possible. Our onsite waste management and composting systems exemplify this.

  • To practice Upscale Recycling methodologies in the maintenance and construction of our facilities, furnishings and equipment.

  • To invite our customers, visitors, suppliers and contractors to participate in our efforts to protect the environment. Promotion of the Leave No Trace Seven Principles for Outdoor Ethics.

  • To provide all community members, staff and volunteers with the training and resources required to meet our objectives.

  • To openly communicate our policies, to interested parties like our staff, visitors and suppliers. These are displayed to visitors on-site and on our website www.ecostayireland.com

  • To monitor and record our environmental impacts on a regular basis and compare our performance with our policies, objectives and targets which are listed in our detailed management plans.

Environmental Impact Management Plan

 

At Crann Og, we strive to keep our activities and operations as environmentally sustainable as possible. We have assembled an Environmental Impact Management Plan to identify and reduce the impact of our activities on the environment.

This Impact plan serves as a summary and frame work for our environmental management and should be read in conjunction with our detailed Environmental Management Plan and EcoTourism Policy. These documents address environmental impacts across the full range of our activities.

A. Accommodation

A1. Use of Energy

Impact: Both in the development and delivery of the ecotourism product.

Minimized: By solar hot water for guests self-catering kitchen, showers and sink water, and residential water heating.

A2. Creation of Waste

Impact: Packaging and food left overs, waste materials from small scale construction.

Minimized: Bulk buying from whole-food shop, composting organic waste and feeding left overs to animals. Scrap wood used in heating.

A3. Use of Water

Impact: Strain on well aquifer with increased usage.

Minimized: Guidelines in use for use of showers, rainwater harvesting in place for gardens and animals. Econo-taps fitted to showers and sinks, dry composting toilets throughout guest facilities.

A4. Use of Detergents and Disinfectants

Impact: Possible harmful effects of detergents and disinfectants to plants, septic tank and ground water.

Minimized: Only recognised eco products used for detergents and disinfectants, no grey water into septic tank, this ensures biological activity in septic tank undisturbed. Dry composting toilets in place for all guests reduces aquifer depletion, and provides natural ‘human-ure’ available for tree planting and maintenance program.

A5. Impact on Wildlife/Biodiversity

Impact: Destruction of plant life and disturbance of animal life by increased footfall.

Minimized: Existing paths maintained and signposted and visitor traffic limited to same. Deer paths left unhindered and local badger colony avoided. Bird feeders and bat boxes in place and provision made for nesting swallows. Tree and plant cuttings used for habitat creation in hedgerows and border zones for hedgehogs. Pond built for a frog colony and complimentary aquatic species.

B. Activities

B1. Use of Energy

Impact: Energy consumption for lighting and heating.

Minimized: Low energy bulbs used, heating by solar and locally sourced solid fuel for range and stoves, with high insulation from natural products where practicable. Cleaning of solid fuel appliances, maintenance of lighting and strict control of electrical appliance use.

B2. Creation of Waste

Impact: Toilets, packaging, glass, food waste, garden waste.

Minimized: Dry composting toilets in place for staff and tourists. Categorised recycling bins and glass collection in operation at recycling station. Composting facilities in use for garden and some kitchen wastes. Chickens and horses fed majority of kitchen organic wastes.

B3. Use of Water

Impact: Additional water consumption for tourist showers and catering.

Minimized: Strict code of use in place for solar heated showers. Showers and sinks fitted with econo-taps. Extensive rain water harvesting employed to reduce well water consumption for gardens and animals.

B4. Use of Detergents and Disinfectants

Impact: Interfere with septic tank biological activity, potential contamination of ground water.

Minimized: Use only eco washing up liquid, soaps and shampoos. Grey water processed by willow stands.

B5. Impact on Wildlife/Biodiversity

Impact: Disturbance of flora and fauna by increased human activity and footfall.

Minimized: Existing paths maintained and signposted and visitor traffic limited to same. Deer paths left unhindered and local badger colony avoided. Bird feeders and bat boxes in place and provision made for nesting swallows. Tree and plant cuttings used for habitat creation in hedgerows and border zones for hedgehogs. Pond built for a frog colony and complimentary aquatic species.

C. Environmental Action program

C1. Reporting System

Impact: Failure to notice actual or potential environmental impacts or incidents.

Minimized: Staff, residents and tourists are instructed to inform managers of Crann Og of actual or potential issues relating to the environment in a prompt and direct manner.

C2. Action Program

Actual and potential environmental impacts and incidents are remedied by managers and staff of Crann Og in a prompt manner in accordance with relevant environmental guidelines, regulations and other measures as detailed in the environmental and ecotourism policies.

As far as is practicable all potential environmental impacts are managed by on-site staff and managers. Where insufficient knowledge, skills and equipment prevents environmental impacts from being remedied on-site, advice and assistance will be outsourced to the relevant environmental professionals and regulatory authorities where practicable.

C3. Transportation

At Crann Og we encourage our guests to use public transport services to Gort where possible. We advocate and encourage car pooling where possible and especially when hosting third party events.

We offer a Reduce Emissions Incentive to guests arriving by carbon emission reduced or eliminated means. Links to public transport, carbon calculator and carbon offset service providers are provided on our website.

Environmental Management Plan

 

Crann Og Eco Farm is committed to the principles of environmental conservation, sustainability, minimal environmental impact, community building and education in nature. Aligning with these principles Crann Og community members adhere to the commitments listed below as minimum standards, and where practicable, exceed these and incorporate new standards and practices as they become known.

A. Accommodation

A1. Building methods and materials

  • The building works will maximize the use of recycled and/or renewable materials and practices to minimize the environmental impact of such works.

  • Works of excavation and any other disturbance to ground cover are minimized and conducted within the prescribed criteria.

  • Use of appropriate (traditional) building techniques within the heritage precincts and as far as is practicable in all other situations.

  • Use of locally sourced building materials (unless the local sources result in an impact increase).

  • Use of recycled materials.

  • Use of biodegradable materials.

  • Use of renewable energy where practicable.

  • No residual pesticides are used.

  • Use of materials that do not inadvertently produce greenhouse gases.

A2. Light

  • Where natural light is not appropriate, artificial lighting will be minimized to the limit required for safety and visibility of signs and displays and safe usage of spaces, interior and exterior.

  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs are used where practicable.

  • Natural light provides all necessary illumination to all areas of buildings in daytime, except in situations where staff and visitor safety would be compromised.

  • All measures will be taken to limit wasteful usage of artificial lighting and minimise electricity consumption.

A3. Water supply and conservation

  • Showers provided for staff and visitors, no baths used. Showers and sinks fitted with econo-taps.

  • Low water consumption gardens (local plants, drip water irrigation system).

  • Rain water collection from all roof surfaces minimising well water consumption by gardens and animals.

  • Limitation of the water consumption by notices to tourists in shower and bathroom facilities.

  • Towels not supplied to reduce laundering water consumption.

  • Written advice for tourists to minimize consumption.

A4. Wastewater

  • Sewage and effluent is minimized and has no significant impact on the environment. Dry composting toilets used throughout guest facilities.

  • All tourism facilities are connected to a drainage system or have a system of water collection, retention and treatment.

  • A percolation zone in conjunction with a willow garden processes excess liquid wastes.

A5. Noise

  • The ecotourism operations offer visitors the opportunity to experience nature sounds. Guests are instructed to minimise noise and to respect other guests, nature and farm animals and neighbours.

  • Usual noise level from all activities on the site (including telephones, transports, concerts, music, equipments and machinery) will not significantly exceed the background noise in the area.

  • Sound insulation minimizes the noise from plant equipment and machinery.

  • Vehicles are not left running idle for more than three minutes.

  • Music sources (TV, radio sets) are only to be used in camping sites where other tourists are not disturbed.

  • Campsites have special areas for large groups.

A6. Air Quality

  • The ecotourism operations involve minimal to no air pollution.

  • No vehicles are used for transportation if exhaust emissions are obviously (visibly) harmful.

  • The release of solvents (dry cleaning solvents, thinners) and hydrocarbons (petrol, diesel) to the air is minimal.

A7. Minimization of waste and refuse

  • Materials are purchased in a manner to minimize residual packaging.

  • As far as is practicable, residual packaging will be reused and/or upscaled for alternative uses. Where this is not possible, residual packaging will be disposed of in accordance with prescribed recycling methods.

  • Biodegradable packaged products will be purchased as far as is practicable.

  • Only reusable or recyclable containers are displayed.

  • Disposable items are not used (utensils and containers) except under extenuating circumstances and not more often than once/person/stay.

  • Staff and visitors are encouraged to take part in programs for collecting, recycling and minimization of waste and refuse.

  • All guest and visitor facilities are included in the program for waste recycling and prescribed disposal.

  • All litter found is collected and disposed of in the prescribed manner.

  • Where organic kitchen wastes may not be consumed by chickens and horses, all materials are composted along with garden organic wastes.

B. Use of Recreational Facilities for Activities

B1. Minimal impact walking

  • Walking tours are self-guided, or at visitor’s request may be accompanied by Crann Og representative.

  • All members a group of walkers are instructed to keep to existing tracks without exception.

  • A “carry in – carry out” policy is practised for all waste and litter, including food scraps.

  • Where possible guest toilets are used. If there are no toilets accessible, a hole of minimum 15 cm deep shall be made at least 100 m away from the path and the nearest water body.

B2. Minimal impact trail riding and animal tours

  • No animal tours are conducted at Crann Og Eco Farm or in the adjoining Drummin Woods SAC.

  • Travel routes in natural areas are chosen to meet the recommendations of the area manager and applicable conservation measures.

  • Animals are in good condition before embarking.

  • Animals’ hooves, tails and coats are clean (free of seeds and plant material) before entering areas of high conservation value.

  • Animal feed is cleaned, approved by a natural area manager and given using a nose bag only.

  • Where possible the animals are kept on designated tracks and existing roads, keeping to the centre of the track to avoid widening the route.

  • If there are no tracks, the following procedures are used:

    • Riders fan out on grassy or soft areas.

    • Riders ford water courses only at a designated crossing, at a 90 degree angle to the embankment.

    • Designated tie up facilities for animals are used.

    • Animals are penned overnight (rather than tied to a tree) at least 30 m from the nearest water body.

    • Tourists are informed of the codes of practice to reduce the impact specific to the activity.

C. Staff Awareness and Understanding

C1. All operational staff in contact with tourists will have a basic knowledge of:

  • The natural and conservation values of the area.

  • The core principles of ecotourism and how they are achieved through the program.

  • The requirements of the program as part of their duties that minimise the impact of the operation and specific activities (i.e. proper disposal of the cleaning materials, minimizing water or energy consumption, etc.).

  • Appropriate behaviour that staff and visitors must take to reduce environmental impact (e.g.: correct disposal of refuse, no removal of flora, fauna or other nature samples, no feeding of wildlife).

  • Management of waste disposal (knowledge of composting, recycling and rubbish disposal).

C2. Guides and all staff that deliver any form of interpretation are competent in providing information on the natural values and conservation of the area they present.

C3. Guides and all staff that deliver any form of interpretation have knowledge on the measures taken to ensure the ecological sustainability of the program and are capable to explain it to the tourists.

D. Soil and water management

D1. The tourist development (buildings, trails) does not result in irreversible changes such as land reshaping, changes of the watercourses, total clearing, etc.

  • Fences, hedges, barriers or appropriate signage are used to keep traffic in well designated areas according to categories.

  • Disposal of the waste specific to the activities in the area is not allowed if there is any risk of water, air or soil pollution.

D2. No soil erosion occurs or measures for the consolidation and rehabilitation of the eroded areas will be taken.

E. Leave No Trace Conduct

E1. All persons, both staff and visitors are to follow the “Leave No Trace” code of conduct, with guidelines found at https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles:

The leave no trace program is designed to help outdoor enthusiasts value the natural environment, to understand the impact of their activities, and to enable them to make decisions to minimize that impact while still enjoying their activities with freedom.”

The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace as listed below are the foundation principles for the Crann Og Eco Farm site specific Codes of Conduct. Please view the document Leave No Trace Codes of Conduct 2017, Crann Og Eco Farm.

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

  2. Be Considerate of Others

  3. Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife

  4. Travel and Camp on Durable Ground

  5. Leave What You Find

  6. Dispose of Waste Properly

  7. Minimise the Effects of Fire

 

Resource Consumption & Waste

 

This information will be published by 5pm (GMT) on Tuesday 25th April 2017.

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