Protecting Larchfield Estate for Future Generations

Sep 04 2019

‘We see ourselves as custodians….passing through and preserving the heritage of Larchfield, our family home, for future generations’ Sarah & Gavin Mackie

Larchfield Estate from above - just some of the 600 acres in total

As part of our core aim to preserve the heritage and to pave the way for the future of Larchfield Estate, we strongly believe in and actively endeavour to protect our environment and support the local community. From tree planting, to creating stunning landscapes for wildlife and guests to enjoy, and working to become as eco-friendly as we can, we have put a diverse range of measures in place to help address environmental concerns in recent years...

-Planting c1000+ trees annually
-Placing lots of nesting boxes around the estate grounds
-Planting wildflower meadow to protect and encourage the habitation of local wildlife including butterflies and honey bees
-We have 5 of our own bee hives, helping to protect and cultivate the local honey bee population
-Recycling glassware, cardboard and majority of paper used on the estate
-Installing 12 KW solar panels to provide power for our main barn
-Replacing light bulbs with environmentally friendly LEDs
-Installing motion sensors for our lights in each room, reducing the wastage of energy when we are not open for an event
-Ensuring dedicated food waste provision
-Closely monitoring energy and water usage monthly
-The use of dual flush toilets, try to reduce use of chemicals where appropriate with eco-friendly alternatives
-Encouraging buses for group transport for events
-Utilizing a biomass boiler, burning wood harvested from the estate to heat our buildings
-The use of locally sourced produce from artisan producers in our catering and accommodation breakfast hampers

This year's wildflower crop
Butterflies in the walled garden

The Larchfield Community 

We work closely with our local community, hosting educational groups and charitable events, and in 2018 we were involved in raising c£41,000 for local charities. Earlier this year, we were delighted to host the annual Lisburn Castlereagh City Council Mayor’s Ball in aid of NI Cancer Fund for Children, and this 5th November we will host our very first Christmas Fair with local family the Kinnairds. This year, the Kinnairds' chosen charity is ‘fightED’, a County Down based charity who help families experiencing eating disorders. Whilst it may seem crazy talking about Christmas in September, it is never too early to start prepping and hunting out those unique gifts for your loved ones - we do hope you can come along and help support this fantastic charity. 

We strive to support local business as much as possible – and with so many amazing events suppliers, and food and drinks companies in Northern Ireland, this has become so easy for us to do! By recommending local suppliers to our clients and providing some wonderful local produce in our breakfast hampers in our cottages, we also help our guests explore and experience the very best of Northern Ireland whilst here at Larchfield. Our hampers include: Abernethy butter, Clandeyboye Yoghurt, Drayne’s Farm milk & eggs, Brambleberry Jams (using fruit from the Estate) & homemade bread, Just Live A Little granola and Noel McAlister & Sons apple juice - (we have tried and tested them all, and they are super yummy!). 

Breakfast hamper in our 1800's stone cottages - lots of amazing local produce!

The Future!
As we start to look towards next year, 2020 will see the introduction of a larger wildflower area and the development of our ‘wetlands walk’, increasing the perfect habitat for local wildlife and conservation. The creation of this new area began just last week and we are so excited to seeing this part of the estate grow and develop over the coming months. Keep an eye out on social media for updates! 

Stage 1 of the upcoming wetlands walk... digging!