ECO-FRIENDLY Stirk House has won a top Lancashire award for its environmental and community projects.
The Gisburn hotel and spa earned the sustainable business award for small and medium enterprises in the Lancashire Business Environment Awards 2012, which are managed by Groundwork Pennine Lancashire.
In addition to the energy and waste reductions Stirk House has achieved on site, the hotel has also converted its grounds into a haven for local wildlife including a World Owl Trust resource centre and hotels for bees.
Head chef Chris Dobson, who was a finalist in the ‘Environmental Champion’ category, said: “We were judged on everything we do across the board.
“We have 20 acres of land and we had to decide whether to turn it into formal gardens or something more rustic and low-maintenance.
“We’ve put in plants to encourage wildlife, and we work with the World Owl Trust. We have owl boxes, bird boxes and a good habitat for bees. We’ve even seen a rare white crow in the grounds.”
To reduce the effect of packaging and transport, Stirk House is also promoting good honest Ribble Valley tap water over bottled water.
Chris explains: “When our diners want water, we offer tap water free. It’s just as pure as bottled and probably has more minerals, but if they prefer bottled we have Bowland water.
“We work with our suppliers to keep waste and packaging to a minimum, and we always support local suppliers.”
Hacking Caravan Park, Billington, was a finalist in the same category as Stirk House, and Yummy Bums reusable nappies and laundry service at Barrow was a finalist in the Environmental Innovation Award for SMEs.
More than 300 members of the Lancashire business community attended the awards ceremony at Ewood Park, Blackburn.
The award organiser, Groundwork Pennine Lancashire, is a social enterprise that helps people and organisations to live and work in a greener way, using a team of health, safety and environmental consultants, landscape architects and contractors, a community and youth engagement team and sustainable education work. The awards were judged by the event sponsors and members of the business community.