At Westward B&B with Caledonian Glamping we are passionate about creating a sustainable business and committed to reducing our carbon footprint whilst protecting this unique, beautiful local environment.
Renovation in an eco-friendly way.
Part of Cannich's heritage, Westward is one of the handful of original buildings in the village dating from the early 1900's (you can just see the roof on the left-hand side in the picture below, peeking out from the trees! ) .
We aimed to restore it sympathetically, salvaging, reclaiming and recycling many original features and materials -saving on landfill and the energy required to produce new housing.
We have added extra insulation to improve heat retention. We close the older side of the house during winter months as it is not energy-efficient to keep it heated.
Having completed the house we are now able to develop new glamping Eco Huts, which Ali is designing and building himself.
They are timber-framed and the logs have been sourced locally (you can look up the hill opposite our house and see where they came from!). Ali has milled the wood on-site and constructed the frames by hand in his shed. They have been built to modern regulations and have turf roofs which give great insulation, blend in with the surroundings and create habitats for insects and other wildlife.
We are developing a wildlife garden and planting native species as hedging in the land surrounding the house and huts. We are sowing a wild meadow whilst leaving areas undisturbed to provide plenty of food and habitats for pollinating insects, minibeasts and birds. Badgers, foxes, pine martins are some of the larger wildlife that occasionally visit.
We have kept pigs for a few years to help clear the ground where the huts are based. They did clear some nettles and brambles, but unfortunately did not seem fond of thistles! However, the seeds from these plants are much appreciated by the little siskins that visit.
We use 100% renewable electric through our suppliers Green Energy and Octopus. We have replaced our lightbulbs with LED bulbs and purchase energy efficient appliances when it is time to buy new.
Carbon Offsetting -Trees for Life
Glen Affric is a National Nature reserve, home to one of the few remaining sites of Ancient Caledonian Pine forest and is protected as one of Scotland's most outstanding natural environments. It is part of a wider programme to reinstate a much wider area of Caledonian forest. Trees for Life are partners in this restoration work.
We have donated a Grove of Trees to Trees for life and make regular donations through trees for life to enable more trees to be planted.
It may not seem an issue here in Scotland, where we get a fair amount of rain! But clean water is a precious resource and we encourage our guests to save water where possible and have fitted airflow shower heads in our showers.
Water butts are used to gather rainwater for the garden and polytunnel.
To save on energy and cost we launder all our bedding and towels on site, air -drying whenever possible.
Washing lines have been strung up in various places so even in wet whether it can be hung out!
We are consciously trying to minimize our plastic waste. For example we use refillable toiletries in all our guest bathrooms, serve jam in ramekins, have switched to plastic-free teabags and using filter coffee rather than pods.
We also use our own compost in our gardens.
Guests are encouraged to recycle wherever possible.