Our family loves life in Glenfinnan, in Scotland's beautiful western Highlands. We try to live in an eco-conscious way, reducing unnecessary consumption, and recycling and reusing things. The idea behind Back Track Bothies was to be able to give our guests a simpler, greener life in this amazing place.
Being 'green' and ethical is a path with many difficult choices along the way, whether it's hunting for veggies that aren't wrapped up in plastic, or buying Fairtrade so that you know your new T-shirt wasn't produced with child labour. Things take more time, are more inconvenient, and may cost more, but we think it's worth it.
We are not perfect, but we reckon every little bit we do helps the planet, and some of the folk less priviliged than we are. We are always learning, and we are still making those difficult choices. We try to be as eco-friendly in our business as we are at home. It's not an easy path to follow and stick to, but the pros far outweigh the cons for us.
From our reed bed (waste water treatment) system and our green roofs, to our 'composting' loos and recycling area, renewable electricity, natural sheep wool insulation, and encouraging guests to arrive/get around by public transport, we try to do our bit for the planet.
We have furnished the Bothies with ethically sourced fixtures and fittings where possible, recycling or repurposing used items to be as kind to the planet as we can.
All our cleaning products and showerare environmentally-friendly too. We leave a supply for guests to use during their stay.
We love hot tubs, but not the vast amounts of water and chemicals that go along with them. So instead we have a Swedish-style outdoor bath with a wee woodburner (hot logs, made from compressed sawdust, are provided for this) which heats the water in 120-180 minutes. There's no 'tap end', so it's big enough for two to relax and gaze up at the trees and stars.
We are proud that the only concrete at Back Track Bothies is an old shed base which we inherited when we originally bought the site, plus a little at the bottom of our big fencing posts and drainage culverts.
We are delighted to have signed up to the Tourism Declares Climate Emergency
Here is a blog written about us by River to Sea Scotland, who we recommend to our guests for canoe/kayak adventures, and stayed with us off-season:
'Keep close to nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean' - John Muir
We wanted to build with as little impact on the environment as we could, so we asked a local craftsman, Norman at Clark Pods, to hand build our bothies and keep our carbon foorprint low.
Most of the furnishings and fittings are new-to-us, or made locally to our design.
The bothies stand on sleepers recycled from the West Highland Line at Glenfinnan, and the aggregate is from nearby Banavie.
Their clever design has a 'high' side with triangular top windows at each end - cue lots of light and stunning views of the surrounding woodland and mountains.
Lots of tea and toasties cooked on the fire pit were consumed on site during this build...
We love to feel good about our suppliers, so your stay is guilt-free. That's why we choose ethical, organic, local, sustainable (environmentally and socially) and Fairtrade goods and services wherever we can. Use of plastic has been kept to a minimum. We also recycle and re-use where possible. Here are just some of our lovely suppliers, click on a pic to read more...
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