Lough Mardal Lodge, Lough Mardal, Bradlieve, Ballintra, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Enquiries Ph: 00353 86 173 1813 / 023 3360  Email: info@loughmardal.ie

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ECO POLICY

As individuals with a 'grá' for nature and the great outdoors, and the parents of two young children, we believe passionately in the importance of protecting our natural environment. Simply taking a stroll around Lough Mardal is a humble reminder of the wild beauty of nature that surrounds us and how precious it is. Watching the life cycles, the synchronicities and interdependencies instils a sense of wonder and the inevitable recognition that we ourselves are inseparable from nature.   

Someday soon hopefully green tourism, or ecotourism, will simply become standard tourism. As a new tourism-provider we know our responsibilities. We do not claim to tick every eco box but little by little we will be endeavoring to offer a more responsible holiday experience to the ever-increasing number of people who, like us, now wish to live...and holiday...more concientiously.  

 Some of the eco practices at Lough Mardal Lodge: 

  • We offer high quality self-catering accommodation and facilities which have been sustainably built using locally sourced and upcycled materials and with minimal impact on the environment.  The Lodge amenity building was constructed almost entirely with natural materials; locally sourced timber, strawbale walls and mud from the surrounding land. There is a 'living' roof alive with the grasses and wildflowers excavated from the earth around it. Recycled bottles were used to create artistic touches. The yurt platforms were built using recycled tyes.  
       

  • We try to be as Low Waste as possible. As part of this we request that guests do not bring plastic bottles of water. We provide two large glass bottles of our fresh well water per yurt and guests can re-fill these bottles as much as they like for the duration of their stay. We separate and recycle as much waste as possible. All food waste is composted and used on our organic vegetable garden.  
       

  • We ask guests to adhere to a Leave No Trace policy.  Please remember to clear up after any BBQ’s or picnics. 
       

  • Sewage waste from the toilets in the Eco Lodge is processed through a reed-bed wetland, a sustainable system for harnessing natural ecological processes for the breakdown of the organic matter in wastewater.  There are also compost loos available for use.  
       

  • All our water comes from our own well and harvested rainwater  
       

  • We use energy efficient lighting and A-rated appliances. Much of the lighting in the Lodge is operated by motion sensor to avoid lights being left on unecessarily.  
       

  • We try to promote environmental awareness and support local conservation efforts and at all times show sensitivity towards the local biodiversity. eg.  habitats will not be disturbed during breeding season.  
       

  • We grow our own vegetables in our organic garden applying permaculture principles. Other food products are locally sourced and organic where possible. 

  • We endeavor to offer courses and workshops, eg. alternative sustainable building methods, alternative and renewable energy systems, composting, permaculture, etc.  
       

  • One thousand native broadleaf trees have been planted on the land to create new woodland, thereby increasing local biodiversity  
       

  • We keep fee-range hens which produce very tasty organic eggs! 
       

  • The Lodge hosts occasional wellness retreats, eg. spiritual speakers, yoga and meditation  
       

  • A range of activities promoting nature and our environment are offered, eg guided nature walks and foraging trails. Books and information about the natural environment are also available to read in the Lodge.  
       

  • Our purchasing policy is, as much as possible, organic, biodegradable, Fair Trade and locally-produced. We are sourcing eco-friendly and cruelty-free guest amenity products (eg. Toiletries) and cleaning products with minimal (or recycled), plastic-free packaging whenever possible.  
       

  • We adhere to responsible office practices, eg minimal printing, printing double-sided pages, printing on recycled or FSC approved paper, recycling ink and sourcing ethical supplies and computers turned-off or to put to sleep when idle.  
       

  • We rebuilt a traditional Irish old stone cottage that was on the land, which is now a workspace - protecting our cultural heritage 
     


     

Lough Mardal Lodge Needs Your Help

Rhododendron grows wild at Lough Mardal. Although beautiful when flowering in May it is an invasive species and unfortunately thrives at the expense of native plant species, eg heather and mosses. It also attracts many important pollinating insects away from the less showy native plants.  As such it has a devastating effect on local biodiversity.  Rhododendron spreads with such voracity we need all the help we can get in managing it. So if you're out for a walk and pass a young sapling feel free to pull it up!  Every little bit helps!