Hotel Owner Hotel Owner July 2017 digital - Page 23

hotel owner SUSTAINABILITY | CASE STUDY SUSTAINABILITY HOTSHOTS 2017 CASE STUDY: Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant, Wark, Northumberland Initially a retirement project for owners Richard and Dee Slade when they took on the property 12 years ago, award-winning Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant has undergone a dramatic transformation to become one of the UK’s top sustainable tourism destinations The sustainability journey begins Battlesteads has built relationships When Richard and Dee Slade bought with start-up artisan producers, becoming Battlesteads Hotel in 2005, the property such a good customer that two have even was very run down and profoundly relocated their operations to be closer to unsustainable; the boiler was 30 or 40 the hotel. In 2015, the hotel was expanded years old and incapable of heating the hotel properly, and the electric showers with five new eco-lodges and an on- installed by the previous owners used all site observatory – both built using local of the limited electricity, frequently causing suppliers, sustainable materials and with blackouts. respect to the local landscape. Wildlife is positively encouraged in After looking at the cost of additional electricity suppliers and being quoted Battlesteads’ gardens – during the building £100,000 to have sub-stations on site, it of the observatory a wildlife pond was became clear that an alternative energy created for water attenuation, a green source would have to be found. To start walled garden attracts many species with, the couple looked at wind turbines, of birds (leading to a special Birds of but the average wind speed in the area Battlesteads book being produced) and the hotel keeps a log for guests to record their was too low. Then they explored ground source heat and solar PV options, but the best decision they could have made neither would be efficient enough and the and has been a direct factor in the award- costs were too high. winning business’ growth and success. wildlife sightings. A 36-panel solar PV tracker has been installed that follows the sun throughout the day and produces 147% more electricity Turning their attention next to a biomass boiler as a heat supply, it became Next steps than a standard roof panel, with a 6.5 year the obvious choice – they had a boiler After investing in the biomass boiler, payback. In 2014, the hotel switched to supplier just a few miles away, and there sustainability was put at the heart of all green energy supplier Ecotricity which has was an abundance of timber for fuel in the Battlesteads’ business decisions. further helped reduce its carbon footprint. local area. Coming from a gastropub background, Richard and Dee wanted to offer the same Community outreach house the boiler, which cost £100,000 and sort of locally-sourced, well-presented, Village pubs like Battlesteads play was installed in 2007. The capacity of the value for money food. Struggling to source an important role at the heart of the boiler meant only 40% was needed to run all the ingredients they needed without community and the hotel runs several the hotel as it was then, allowing room for incurring excessive food miles, they initiatives to support local people. Richard and Dee to expand and build more decided to create their own kitchen garden bedrooms. to grow micro herbs and salads. This has pensioners’ lunch using leftovers from since been expanded with two polytunnels the Sunday lunch recycled into popular sustainability journey was born out of and now 90% of green vegetables, salads dishes such as stews and casseroles. A necessity, but for Richard and Dee it was and herbs are grown on-site. three-course meal is available for £5.50 and It took two years to build a unit to It’s fair to say that Battlesteads’ July 2017 On Mondays the restaurant offers a 23