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Saturday 13 Aug, 2022

Ballygarry Estate Hotel & Spa
Co. Kerry

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Ballygarry Estate – changing mindsets to allow for a sustainable future in hospitality
Transitioning from a country house hotel to an estate property of 100 acres
 Wed 6th July 2022

At Ballygarry Estate Hotel & Spa in Kerry, plans for a sustainable & environmentally friendly future are almost complete. The recent transition from a country house hotel to an estate property of 100 acres underlines their commitment to growing the property to allow for a sustainable future in hospitality. This transition has seen the hotel rewild 80 acres and plant 29,500 trees, in addition to building an apiary, an insect hotel and habitats for wildlife, plus integrated wetlands which treat all waste water from the hotel. A solar farm is also planned for this autumn.

The aim is to offset more carbon than is produced by the hotel, along with the Estate and team transportation to and from work combined - with an end result of having no negative impact on the environment. The hotel currently offsets all its gas usage & only buys renewable energy.

The Ballygarry team have also collaborated with The Native Irish Honey Bee Society (NIHBS) in declaring a conservation area for the native Irish dark honey bees, which unfortunately is a species that is currently under threat. The positive co-operation between Ballygarry & the NIHBS ensures that the estate apiary is a safe haven for those unique bees by planting 1.5 acres of wildflower meadows.

Padraig McGillicuddy, proprietor of Ballygarry Estate said “Having accomplished many of our goals for the property, the estate journey was very fitting & allowed us to further align with our core sustainability values which are very personal to us. Sustainability is about more than moving plastic bottles out of hotel rooms, it is about creating an ethos, a culture within a team & migrating mind-sets to work towards a minimal impact on our environment. Moving from single use plastics & minimising carbon footprints are a given, we need to do more.”

Ballygarry is in the final phases of designing a solar farm which they hope will make the estate entirely carbon neutral. It will also give back positive carbon through the plantation of reed beds. The property recently launched two estate walk trails which include a 2.5km and a 5km loop, with plans to launch a 7.5km loop in spring of 2023 once the developments have progressed further to total 180 acres of onsite access. They also plan to align with Kerry County Council’s Green Way Project so that once launched, guests can walk/cycle from the hotel to the Wild Atlantic Coast.

These estate walks are open for the public to enjoy. Those who walk the grounds can explore the breath-taking wildflower meadows, bluebell woodlands, landscaped gardens or meandering walking trails either by foot or using the on-site bicycles. This summer will see the addition of a bird watching hut, a star gazing shelter followed soon after by a healing well for feet bathing.

Find out more about sustainability at Ballygarry Estate Hotel & Spa here.

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