ECO Tourism

Environmental Policy Statement

We at Joseph McHugh’s Bar & Restaurant acknowledge that our business has an important role to play in protecting and enhancing the environment for future generations and will in our endeavours strive to help secure the long-term sustainability of the hospitality and tourism industry.

Working Together

We collaborate with all stakeholders to collectively develop the Geopark as a sustainable tourism destination. We are actively involved in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Greenpark Code of Practice and attend network events in establishing referrals to build our network of events.

A Cared-For Landscape

We actively participate in conserving our natural and cultural heritage. We have adopted the Leave No Trace principles. We support initiatives involving the preservation of surfaced paths to protect against erosion of the cliffs edge that’s had a positive effect on the increase of vegetation and the facilitation of a more viable environment for hares and birdlife to breed in increased numbers. We are also affiliated with the Liscannor Coursing Club’s community initiatives in managing the hare population.

A Well-Understood Heritage

We offer quality information and interpretation to communicate our stories and the unique character of our place to guests. We keep up to date with cultural developments and continue to actively promote aspects of our local heritage to visiting tourists. We provide links on our website of events taking place and offer the facility for visitors to access this information with maps, leaflets, brochures and posters of the Geopark initiatives throughout their visit. It is also our intention to attend Heritage Training Workshops to further our knowledge and for our staff to gain a better understanding of the area they are promoting.

Vibrant Communities

We work to ensure that tourism makes a positive social contribution so that it benefits our community as well as our guests. We promote local community events related to sport, music, and art. We make our premises available for community events, local meetings, and voluntary fundraisers Our premises are reviewed to ensure its safety and accessibility to as many diverse groups as possible. Our Beer-Garden provides a unique setting for all cultural events who wish to avail of it. We contribute and coordinate the St. Patricks Day Parade annually.

Strengthened Livelihoods

We contribute to the local economy by maintaining and supporting local employment, by sourcing services and produce locally wherever possible, and by engaging with other businesses in promoting our region as a sustainable tourism destination. We support other local pubs, hotels, guest houses, restaurants and other local attractions. We have sourced local services, suppliers, tradesmen and women in our refurbishment of our premises in 2015 which continues to employ 15-20 people in both full and a part time capacity, and feature local artists and musicians throughout our business.

Sustainable tourism management

We work to an Environmental Action Plan, which includes targets for improvement that are reviewed annually. We have effective systems for monitoring and adequately managing our waste, water, and energy. We are committed to taking the necessary measures to inform and promote good practices in reducing travelling energy waste to visitors. We have adopted an energy conservation plan by installing low energy LED light bulbs throughout our premises, and have a wood burning stove as the main source of heating in the main bar area. We source where possible organically grown produce, and continue to monitor to improve our water, waste and green purchasing practices.

We are committed to continuing and striving towards delivering sound environmental practice across all areas of our entire business operation. We have an annual environmental plan that realistically sets out our objectives, targets, and planned actions. To help us get closer to achieving this we will be compliant with all legislation in order to minimise our waste and reduce, reuse, and recycle the resources consumed by our business.

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About the Burren Ecotourism Network (B.E.N.)

B.E.N. is a network of tourism businesses with the objective of establishing the Burren as a premier internationally-recognised sustainable tourism region ensuring the future economic and social growth and sustainable development of its communities, environment and heritage. It seeks to support continued training, mentoring and accreditation in sustainable tourism for its members and for businesses interested in joining the Network.

The Network aims to be a recognisable network of enterprises in the Burren, who have achieved independent accreditation, demonstrate ecotourism ‘best practice’, positively discriminate in each other’s favour, provide ‘one voice’ representation on issues impacting the Burren (where appropriate), and inspire conservation activism.

The Burren Ecotourism Network and the management organisation of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark have enjoyed a special relationship since 2008. The two organisations work in partnership, having agreed in late 2012 to pool their resources in pursuit of their common objective. Both organisations are committed to the promotion of responsible tourism that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. They work together to promote ‘The Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark’ as a leading sustainable visitor destination, celebrated for high standards in visitor experience, conservation and learning.

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Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark Destination Profile

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark

In 2011 the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher gained Global Geopark status, already spectacular neighbours, their coming together formed a destination of natural wonders. Making up over 530 square kilometres the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark offers diversity that is second to none. This rich and alluring landscape of staggering sea cliffs, limestone karst terraces, fertile valleys, vibrant villages and welcoming communities offers some truly inspiring experiences.

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark not only has outstanding natural and culture heritage but a management organisation that supports its people and organisations to work together to ensure a cared-for landscape, a better-understood heritage, more sustainable tourism, a vibrant community and strengthened livelihoods.

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