The fragile nature of the landscape surrounding us is something we are all very aware of. Swinton Park enjoys a wonderful setting, and it is our aim to operate the hotel in the most environmentally responsible manner possible.
In 2006, the hotel installed a wood-chip boiler, which is used to provide all our heating and hot water requirements. This avoids the use of oil and, as it uses a renewable energy source, it is a carbon neutral operation. The hotel and family owned estate were awarded “Best Business Initiative” for this renewable energy project at the 1st Yorkshire and Humber Microgeneration Awards in 2007.
In 2012, Samuel’s at Swinton Park was awarded the status of “Three Star Sustainability Champion” by the Sustainable Restaurant Association. The award followed a survey of 14 areas of sustainability with a focus on the three key areas of Sourcing, Society and Environment. The overall score was 84%, which was the SRA’s highest score in 2012 in the whole of the UK, with the restaurant achieving 100% in some areas.
Working in partnership with waste management firm F D Todd from Thirsk, the hotel’s glass, paper and cardboard are separately recycled, and ALL residual waste is used for a “waste to energy” scheme. This means that the waste is treated at the Thirsk plant and then shipped to Rotterdam (utilising empty container space) where it is incinerated to create hot water for local manufacturing plants and also electricity that is fed into the grid. Each ton of treated waste creates 12,000KJ of energy, and FD Todd are expecting to ship 35,000 tons in 2012 – and the outcome for Swinton Park is that NONE of its waste reaches a landfill site.
Swinton Park has also been awarded the coveted Green Tourism Business Scheme award. The scheme is the largest green accreditation scheme in the world and the only one currently recognised by the VisitBritain tourism authority. The hotel was also awarded Green Business Award 2009 at the Yorkshire Rural Awards.
We have also installed our own laundry, using the latest O-Zone technology to wash at lower temperatures using the minimum amount of cleansing agents, water and energy (30% less than conventional laundries). This has also eliminated the need for our laundry to be transported across the country to be laundered as it once was.
Our four acre walled garden grows over 60 varieties of fruit, herbs and vegetables, which supplies the hotel kitchen and cookery school with fresh seasonal produce throughout the year, and it also helps keep our carbon footprint for food deliveries to a minimum. The restaurant menu focuses heavily on local produce, and the majority of our ingredients are either sourced from the walled garden, surrounding estate or Yorkshire countryside.
In the bedrooms, environment measures have been taken such as the use of recycled pencils, our own re-usable water bottles (Harrogate Borough Council do not recycle our glass) and energy efficient bulbs.
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Thank goodness the sun has now come out and we seem to have finally put winter behind us! The Parkland has burst into bloom with clouds of blossom and a colourful carpet of daffodils and bluebells around the trees.
The Walled Garden is also getting going, with bright tulips swaying in the breeze and home grown asparagus bursting forth. Asparagus is at its most delicious when eaten closest to home, so dishes featuring home-grown asparagus are now on all our menus, including the bar and lounge. The garden furniture is out and soon it will be time for afternoon teas on the lawn and evening drinks on the terrace at sunset. English summertime at it’s best.
Please click here if you are making plans for 2013 and want to see our Events and Activities Calendar to book a cookery course, themed lunch or family event. Our inspirational Themed Lunch and Dining Experiences page includes Wine Appreciation Lunches, with talks and tastings led by our new sommelier David Borwick, together with our Gardening Lunches, which include a talk and tour with garden designer Susan Cunliffe-Lister.