Sticklebarn - serious about sustainability

We’re serving up something a little different at Sticklebarn in Langdale; super tasty, planet friendly food and drinks, all in the name of a great cause – looking after the Lakes.

Food touches every part of our lives. The choices we make about where our food comes from, how it is produced and prepared has the power to support a healthier future for people and the planet. As a conservation charity we care deeply about this.

We are continually looking to find ways to embed sustainability into all aspects of our operation at Sticklebarn including the way we handle waste, the equipment we use in the kitchen and the way we source our ingredients.

Our efforts have not gone unnoticed; in 2018 Sticklebarn received a 2-star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association. The SRA’s sustainability rating recognises eating establishments as one, two or three star. Sticklebarn is the only pub in the Lake District to gain a two star rating, which means we scored over 60% in ten areas within three themes of sourcing, society and environment.

" We are so pleased to have achieved a 2 star rating with the Sustainable Restaurant Association. It’s great for the team to be recognised for their passion, determination and commitment to being as sustainable a pub as possible."
- Charlotte Fuke

Harnessing the power of nature

A key part of our sustainability plan at Sticklebarn is the Stickle Ghyll hydro, a system that uses fast-flowing water to generate energy. The hydro was completed in 2015 and delivered 385,421 kWh in its first year, that’s enough energy to power 90 homes and 7% more energy than anticipated. In 2017 more than half of the pub’s electricity came from hydropower.

By using water flowing down the fellside in the valley, the hydro helps reduce our environmental impact by supplying clean, renewable energy year-round. Any excess electricity is also fed into the National Grid, freeing up funds for our conservation work in the Lakes.

Planet-friendly menu

Great food, with Cumbrian heritage at its heart, is a key part of the Sticklebarn experience and we strive to make our menu as sustainable as we can. We love local and seasonal food because it's better for the environment and tastes better too. All of our meat comes from our local award winning butcher Higginsons of Grange; our Venison is from National Trust land at Cartmel and our Cumberland Sausage is made exclusively for the National Trust to meet the standards of our Soil Association Bronze Award.

Working with Small World Consulting, we have taken the unusual step of calculating the carbon footprint of our menu. We have found this really helpful when developing our menu, we discovered that beef was one on the highest carbon emitters so now we generally only have one beef dish on our menu and are committed to keeping it that way.

We now print the CO2e (carbon equivalent- which takes into account all greenhouse gases) of each dish on our menu, giving diners the option to choose a more planet – friendly meal.

What next?

Using hydroelectricity to power Sticklebarn is a huge leap forward in realising our ambition to become a truly sustainable pub, but there’s still so much more that we can do.

We’re hoping to carry out an Infrared survey of the pub, to help identify areas of excessive energy loss, see where we can maximise insulation and make Sticklebarn more ‘energy tight’.

Sticklebarn will soon have a new heating system, by the way of a ground source heat pump, which will run off our hydroelectricity. One of the main advantages of geothermal heat pumps is their low energy consumption levels; they consume 20-50% less energy than conventional heating or cooling systems.

We have a team which is fully engaged and committed to becoming as sustainable as possible and we look forward to sharing our progress with you.