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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Hotel set for its greenest season yet

A Lake District hotel which has gone green is preparing for its busiest time of the year. Overwater Hall at Ireby near Bassenthwaite Lake receives most of its guests during September and October – and has been extending the eco-friendly measures which it says are proving popular with holidaymakers.

Overwater hotel photo
Owner Adrian Hyde with timber destined for his hotel's wood fuel burner

The hotel already uses a biomass boiler to produce all its heating and hot water.

The boiler is fuelled by wood chips made from discarded wood from local timber yards, rather than oil.

It has now installed low-energy lightbulbs in many parts of the hotel, and its chefs have introduced a policy of refusing produce which comes packed in plastic or polystyrene, and avoiding wherever possible food transported from abroad by aeroplane.

The hotel’s owners have also been granted planning permission to erect a wind turbine in the grounds, which will provide all the electricity for its fridge freezers and lighting.

They say this will cut its electricity bills as well as reduce its carbon footprint at the same time.

They hope the turbine can be erected next year.

Stephen Bore, co-owner of Overwater Hall, said the hotel was popular with retired people or couples with grown-up children who tended to avoid the Lake District during the summer school holidays and were able to go away at other times of year.

And he said many guests were attracted by its green policies.

“All the guest bedrooms and public areas use low-energy light bulbs,” he said.

“The chefs now refuse to receive food wrapped in packaging which cannot be recycled.

“If suppliers send us plastic packaging we send it back with the driver.

“We are also trying to use seasonal food from the UK so we know it hasn’t been flown here.”

He added: “Our best time of the year is always September and October, and I think some people definitely come because of our green measures.

“They often ask to see the biomass boiler, as it has become a bit of a talking point.”

Mr Bore added that it was important for all businesses and households to start taking eco-friendly measures.

“Eventually, everyone will have to become more green, and we have got to start somewhere,” he said.

“We are not going to save the planet with our measures, but if people don’t start to change then nothing will change.”

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