Our aims are to contribute to sustainable tourism in Scotland,
and to improve the experience for visitors by reducing as far
as possible Sithean's
environmental impact in terms of energy consumption, waste production
and visual impact, and to encourage
and protect local biodiversity.
Sithean has been constructed using environmentally benign materials
where possible, and promoting materials which can be re-used and
re-cycled. We have used hemp insulation, and the house is clad
with European Larch, which does not need to be chemically treated.
The walls are built using unfired earth bricks for thermal mass
and moisture control, covered with earth plaster to give a very
natural textured surface. This gives a sense of intimacy and cosiness
in contrast to the openness of the space in the living area. The
design of the house minimises energy usage and loss, maximises
passive solar gain potential and makes the most of the natural
daylight. We sought professional advice on environmental efficiency,
and an architect who specialises in green building technologies.
The house has been carefully designed to have minimal disturbance
on the natural contours of the site, allowing visitors to feel a strong
connection to the environment surrounding the house. In 2013 we extended the decking area which now has a spiral ramp up to a table and benches (made from wood reclaimed from the old pier at Craignure on Mull). The views from the elevated picnic area are stunning. We have also just made and placed two benches in gorgeous spots on the farm. One is ten minutes away from Sithean, and is on 'The Cow Park Wander', a route we have way marked. Sitting on the bench you have a bird's eye view across to Mull in the West, Loch Etive and peeping into Glen Coe to the North East. The other bench is further out in The Fisher's Glen and offers spectacular views across to Ben Cruachan.
"Sit in such a way that you feel light, relaxed, happy, and free" Thich Nhat Hanh
and Ross, rare Rum Highland Ponies
Low energy light bulbs are fitted wherever possible, inside and
out, and appliances are all A-rated. There are natural indoor
and outdoor drying facilities. The underfloor heating
is controlled by zoned thermostats, and there is a wood-burning
stove with a supply of local windfall wood. All windows are double
glazed and the house is fitted with solar panels.
Mute swan with cygnets on Loch Angus
The water supply to Sithean is natural spring water, treated to
the necessary standards. We avoid chlorine bleaches and use only
eco-friendly products, provided for guests' use. We have installed
low-flush toilets and water efficient appliances and waste water
is treated via septic tank and reed beds. Guests are encouraged
to recycle and compost using the bins provided.
Guests staying at Sithean will find environmentally friendly cleaning
products, hand soap and shower gel, and
recycled toilet paper. We also supply organic fair-trade tea and ground coffee to welcome our visitors. The business uses recycled
stationery wherever possible and advertising is done
electronically to save on paper. Our purchases are sourced locally