Lackan Cottage FarmAn off grid smallholding and permaculture demonstration site, based on 6.5 acres near the Mourne Mountains. We also offer training and accommodation.
Our aim is to substantially meet our energy, food, water and waste requirements from our smallholding. Furthermore, to provide a healthy and ecologically sound environment in which visitors can learn from our experiences. We show how it is possible to live in a more sustainable manner without compromising their standard of living. We’re the first accredited Permaculture LAND centre in Ireland.
Our Ecological Footprint
At Lackan Cottage Farm, minimising our ecological footprint is at the heart of our environmental ethos. We’re aiming to use less resources, upcycle materials and be more aware of our consumption. Additionally we want to leave the land around us in better condition than we found it.
Birch Cottage and the Off Grid Horsebox are part of our commitment. We hope you will be pleasantly surprised to find that this doesn’t mean making big compromises. We’re a Green Tourism Gold accredited business, one of just a handful of gold standard self catering businesses in Northern Ireland, and we take that commitment seriously.
All our bedding, towels and tea towels and curtains are organic and also fair trade.
We use e-cloths and minimise the use of eco friendly cleaning products, as well as using oxygen based laundry bleach.
Off-grid renewable energy
The farm – including Birch Cottage – is powered entirely by renewable electricity, generated on site using solar and wind power. Hot water for washing and heating is powered by the sun, and by woodstoves, fuelled by timber cut in our own woodlands. Water from baths and sinks is cleaned on-site, and for the adventurous, we do provide a composting toilet although a rainwater flush toilet can be found in Birch Cottage.
We’ve completed both cottages using chemical free, natural materials, sourced as locally as possible. We also love to recycle and many of the materials have been reclaimed and given a new life. You’ll find that even paints and finishes are non-toxic, and in many instances, food safe (though we don’t encourage people to lick the floors).
We farm organically using no pesticides or herbicides, encouraging natural pest and predators cycles. Our ponds are full of frogs, the chickens eat pests and we delight in finding ladybirds for any aphid problems.
We compost our kitchen waste and all garden waste and mix it with our chicken and horse bedding and manure. This is then used on our vegetable and fruit areas and also in our pots.
Thousands of native trees have been planted on site, many of which are fruit bearing. We also encourage biodiversity by allowing areas of the farm to go wild; by creating new habitats such as ponds, and by minimising verge and hedge trimming. The farm is home to many rescued and unwanted animals and you are encouraged to meet them during your stay.
We also offset our visitor’s travel by planting additional native trees every year, as travel to the site contributes significantly to our ecological footprint.