Being Green

We are committed to sustainability and consider how our business impacts our environment. At Low Kirkbride we constantly strive to improve our green credentials. We achieve this by attending networking events such as the Energise Your Business Event and by seeking specialist advice. Below is a summary of the current green practices adopted at Low Kirkbride Farm, any suggestions or comments for improvement are most appreciated.

We value the natural heritage of the Dumfries and Galloway region and understand the importance of conserving this resource for future generations to come. Our 146 acres of agricultural pasture is grazed by Belted Galloway cattle; Berrichon du Cher, Suffolk, Jacob and Greyface sheep; and three ponies. The land is organic and is not intensively farmed. As members of the Soil Association we manage our land in such a way to encourage the establishment and development of native flora and fauna. In the garden we have Pipistrelle bats, over forty species of moth, bluebells, honesty, lambs ears, chaffinches, sparrows, blackbirds and wood peckers. We have barn owl boxes in our shed and on the farm walk guests can see hares, butterflies, frogs and toads, rabbits, buzzards and red kites as well as the farm animals.

In November 2011 we planted a corridor of two oak, one rowan, one birch and two hazel trees to promote the movement of wildlife across the farm. We have a farm walk for visitors where guests are invited to enjoy the variety of flora and fauna on the farm.

Bridge Chickens Sheep

Reduce, reuse and recycle

We are passionate about reducing waste and encourage our guests to reuse and recycle. We have a recycling centre on the farm where cardboard, tin cans, glass and plastic items are collected and taken to Jock’s Loaning Recycling in Dumfries. In the garden we have our compost heap which we encourage guests to add any compostable waste to. We recycle farm materials too, for example the black plastic used to produce silage is collected and recycled at Solway Recycling near Dumfries. The picnic table situated in the wildlife corner on the farm walk was bought from Solway Recycling and is made entirely from recycled plastic, as are the safe lamb platforms in the large black water troughs.

Get out the car!

The location of Low Kirkbride Farm in respect to public transport routes makes suitable travel options to and from the farm difficult. However we have local maps and walking leaflets available for guests, and bus timetables available should you fancy a wee walk (three miles) to the nearest bus stop.

Chill out and switch off!

We try to reduce light pollution, energy use and carbon emissions by switching off lights when we don’t need them.

Biomass Heating System

In October 2011 we installed eighteen solar panels and in December 2011 we reinsulated the farmhouse loft. In October 2013 we to put in a biomass heating system which runs off wood pellets. The biomass heats the farmhouse, the Cheese House and the Beltie Byre. These measures allow us to contribute towards the Scottish Government’s 2020 renewable energy target and help reduce energy usage and waste at Low Kirkbride. In December 2011 we held a Solar Panel Open Day for the local community. The log burning stove in the Beltie Byre living room uses sustainably sourced wood from land at Morrington. At Morrington we own a small area of woodland where we use wood from trees that have fallen due to natural causes and others such as hazel we coppice.

Throughout the farmhouse, Cheese House, Beltie Byre, and outbuildings low energy bulbs are used. The majority of the white goods are A grade and above and have been chosen for their energy efficiency. Most of the cleaning products used are environmentally friendly, i.e phosphate free with non ionic-surfactants. The water supply to the farmhouse, Cheese House and Beltie Byre is from the Mains, however an off-mains water source supplies the majority of the farm water troughs. A substantial proportion of our marketing is done through the internet, i.e via e-mails, our website and Facebook page, thus reducing the consumption of paper products.

We have a carbon management recording sheet for the farm which allows us to monitor our carbon footprint (water, electricity, coal, oil, gas and wood usage).

Go wild about nature

At Low Kirkbride we are really lucky to have a superb outlook over fields and hills. We have a farm walk which takes you round part of the farm, down to a small stream with a bridge over it. There is a lot of wildlife as well as Belted Galloways, sheep, ponies, ducks and hens. We also have dry stone dykes surrounding the fields and they are also quite fascinating, the different ways the walls are built, each dyker puts their own stamp on them.