Without our environment we are nothing, we love where we live - the silence, the clear fresh air, the dark skies, the river and the wildlife. Our aim has always to farm alongside nature, we are always working on a project or 3 to make the farm more sustainable and carbon neutral.
In 2016 our small Hydro scheme became live - this is a run of river scheme that currently feeds into grid, its the perfect little scheme which had little impact during construction (and yes we occasionally do a rain dance). We changed the farmhouse from Oil central heating to biomass and added thermostats and are looking at more ways to reduce our impact.
We are committed to reducing our impact at the farm, with our family and in our cabins, we use recycled products where possible, conserve energy and water, ensure efficient local travel and reduce waste and recycle. We grow our own food in our poly tunnel and fruit gardens, we buy local produce to eat when we can and make conscious decisions about the food we buy from abroad. We are conscious of the chemicals we use that may end up in our beautiful river therefore ensure we use cleaning produce and laundry/dishwasher tablets that won’t harm our rivers. We are grateful to have like minded local companies to work with, Highland Soap provide us with our bodycare produce in the cabins, an organic and sustainable company based in Fort William with a cafe that is definitely worth a visit.
On the farm we are looking at ways of increasing the biodiversity, using regenerative farming to increase the sward and improve the soil health. We are continually fencing the fields - thinking how to make them work better, we are reducing the field sizes to allow our livestock to graze differently and rotating them into new fields more often. This means they don’t get picky and just eat the best grasses. We rotate all the animals around the fields as they all graze differently some high some low some on rushes and bracken, we can improve our land by this method without the need for ploughing and reseeding. It’s slower but better for the soil health.
The woodland is a mixture of Downy Birch, Alder, Sessile Oak, Scots Pine, Aspen, Rowan, Hazel, Willow, Grey Sallow, Hawthorn and Holly depending on the areas planted, these are not woodlands planted for timber but one that will grow with the Glen and our family. In 100 years time it will be here with lots of stories to tell. We are bringing back some of the old Caledonian Forest that Glen Orchy was at the epicentre of. Small sections of this old woodland can be found and visited in the Glen and is definitely worth the walk (look out for our geocaches).
At Glenorchy Farm we are trying to safeguard our environment and help reduce our impact on the climate, this includes promoting responsible tourism. The Woodland Carbon Code to allow our guests, friends and local businesses to be able to offset their Carbon through our growing woodland.
The Woodland Carbon Code issues carbon units which represent measurable amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) removed from the atmosphere by trees as they grow – one unit is 1 tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent removed from the atmosphere. As our trees are babies and not yet storing much carbon we are selling our Pending Issuance Units (PIU), these are effectively a ‘promise to deliver’ a Woodland Carbon Unit in future, based on predicted sequestration. It is not ‘guaranteed’, and cannot be used to report against UK-based emissions until verified. However, it allows companies or guests to plan to compensate for future UK-based emissions. Although not guaranteed the woodland has been been planted more densely than the calculations and we have replanted after year one to help reduce any lose so we are giving our woodlands the best opportunities to succeed.
The Units are held in the UK Land Carbon Registry, managed by IHS Markit. Every 10 years, projects are checked and, if performing well, verified. At each of these points, PIUs delivered are converted to WCUs. We are happy to discuss this further and send you more information if required but the UK Woodland Carbon Coding (https://woodlandcarboncode.org.uk) website has lots of good information of how the system works.
If you’d like to buy some of our woodland carbon (PIUs) please contact us and we will run through the process required. Small amounts can be bought by individuals and we will assign your name to the PIUs on the website, we will send you a certificate of purchase and every year we will put up a plaque naming all the people who have pledged to reduce their Carbon footprint by buying some of our Carbon credits. We also welcome small companies who are looking for a way to offset their carbon on a larger scale who can set up an account with the UK Land Carbon Registry, which will allow you to see all your purchased units on your account.
If you have any questions about your stay or looking for some more ideas of places to visit please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will do our best to answer your questions as quickly as we can.Contact Us