Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Today, Balkissock Lodge B&B was awarded a Certification Mark from the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere “in recognition of high quality standards in delivering environmental and sustainable development benefits to the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere

DSC_0743

The award ceremony was held at Culzean Castle and speakers included Dr Beth Taylor (Chair, UK National Commission for UNESCO), John Thomson and Ed Forrest both of the GSA Biosphere and the awards were presented by Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop who fondly remembers childhood holidays in Ballantrae and splashing about in the river Stinchar.

DSC_3514

Two other micro businesses were also awarded a certification mark today: Adventure Centre for Education (ACE) based in Girvan and Salad Brew based in Borgue in Dumfries and Galloway.

DSC_3564

After speaking to Dr Taylor, I understand that this accolade makes Balkissock Lodge not only the only B&B with a biosphere certification mark in Scotland but possibly in the whole world!

Cordelia Galley 2018 (c)

If you wish to check availability and book securely online direct with the owners please click here.

If you wish to find out more about Balkissock Lodge B&B please click here.

Advertisements

The cost of B&B

It’s a false assumption by some guests that B&B owners just rent out a room and that all money made is ‘profit’ therefore when looking for somewhere to stay, anything over £25 pppn is viewed as expensive … I mean, just how expensive are those sausages?!!

Sadly, this is fuelled by some new online travel booking sites that offer rooms in peoples’ homes at very low costs. But when you run a B&B as a bonafide business there are a number of additional expenses that some owners that advertise on such websites don’t have. Indirect costs such as holding food hygiene certificate, indemnity/business insurance, accountancy fees, credit card facility payments, advertising fees, laundry fees,  etc. can easily add up to £3000-£4000 per year and that’s before you add direct costs such as food and commission.

I’ve invested over £4000 in the past three years improving the environment and facilities here at Balkissock Lodge including redecoration, new larger TVs in both bedrooms, new single mattresses, all new bedding, new carpets, new soft furnishings and new ensuites (to be fitted some time this year) but have only raised prices approx. 10% in 10 years!

I aim to provide guests with a very warm welcome with home baked biscuits and cakes, good quality food from independent, local and regional producers, home baked bread, home made preserves, etc. all of which cost far more than supermarket equivalents and take more time to source, make and prepare.

Having made gains into improving the efficiency of the business last year (pre-ordering breakfast to avoid waste, for example) and having thoroughly analysed last year’s tax return I only have two choices: to remove many of the extras that make staying at Balkissock Lodge B&B so special for many people or raise prices to reflect the quality of service and facilities and to sustain on-going maintenance/improvements.

About half of my guests stay for just one night before or after getting the ferry from Cairnryan to Belfast/Larne. My B&B owner friends will agree with me when I say that one-nighters are the least financially viable which is why many B&Bs have a minimum two night policy. Sadly, a huge proportion of my guests say “I wish we’d booked for longer” (or words to that effect) so perhaps I should have a minimum two-night policy too!

I have therefore decided that I must raise prices to make profit on the one-night bookings but with substantial savings of up to 20% off for those guests who choose to stay longer.

This does not affect any existing bookings.

Cordelia 2018

If you’d like to check availability for accommodation and book securely online at the best prices available please click here.

ScotSheep

The National Sheep Association (NSA) held their biennial event, ScotSheep, on Wed 30th May 2018 at Kings Arms Farm, Ballantrae. The event was hosted by Robert Dalrymple and opened by John Scott MSP, owner of Balkissock Farm near Ballantrae.

The weather was fabulous and everyone I spoke to thoroughly enjoyed their visit. Whilst the majority of the attendance was no doubt farmers and their families there were a few, like me, not directly connected to farming. In addition to over 200 trades’ stands, sheep dog trials and sheep shearing there were hundreds of sheep from about 50 different breeds from Ireland and the North of England as well as from all over Scotland. It was great to see the Ayrshire Market stalls there too.

Whilst not exactly a ‘once in a lifetime’ event, as it’s held in a different location each year, it may be some time before it returns to Ayrshire & Arran.

More information about ScotSheep and the NSA can be found on their website.

We were also privileged to host two Presidents from different sheep clubs in England and Wales who attended the event and stayed with use here at Balkissock Lodge.

Cordelia Galley

Balkissock Lodge B&B

(C) 2018

GDPR

I have prepared this document in response to the introduction of the GDPR.

Data security has always been of paramount importance and my previous data systems were robust however I have undertaken a data protection impact assessment and in the interests of full transparency details and procedures are outlined here.

Each section explains why we request the information, how we use it and what happens to that information after it has been used.

 

What is GDPR?

  • On 25th May 2018 the Data Protection Act will be replaced.
  • The Data Protection Act will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
  • The GDPR covers all data that is held electronically or on paper.

 

 Data that is held by Balkissock Lodge B&B:

 

Names, nationality and passport details:

  • B&Bs are legally required to collect and store the names and nationalities of all guests over the age of 16.
  • B&Bs are legally required to collect the following information of all guests who are not British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens with the exception of Diplomats, their family and staff:
    • passport numbers
    • place of issue
    • forwarding destination including address if known
  • This information is collected when you either:
    • book online via our website (via Freetobook) (Note 1)
    • book online via an online travel agent (OTA): I only currently use Booking .com (Note 2)
    • or when you complete the Registration Form on arrival.
  • You are asked to check/complete this information when you check-in and sign the registration form to verify its accuracy.
  • Balkissock Lodge B&B is legally required to store this information for a minimum of 12 months and for it to be made available for inspection by a Police Officer or ‘duly authorised person’ at all times.
  • Balkissock Lodge B&B stores the paper registration forms that contain the names, nationalities and passport details in a secure location.
  • The information is not transferred to any electronic device: ie this information is not held electronically by Balkissock Lodge B&B.
  • The information is not passed to any other person or organisation but is available for inspection by a Police Officer or ‘duly authorised person’.
  • The nationality and passport information is not used for any other reason by Balkissock Lodge B&B.
  • The registration forms are kept for a minimum of 12 months and for practical reasons to the end of the following financial year when all unrequired data and information is generally destroyed together (note 3).
  • The information is destroyed by shredding and/or burning.

 

Home address, contact telephone number and email address: 

  • B&Bs are not legally required to gather this information but it is requested for the following reasons:
    • Home address:
      • Required to process credit/debit card transactions.
      • To post receipt prior to visit or left items upon request.
    • Contact telephone number:
      • To contact you if an urgent issue arises.
      • We will not contact you by telephone unless absolutely necessary and we’ve been unable to contact you via email.
    • Email address:
      • For general communication regarding your visit: to confirm booking details, ascertain arrival times, enquire about dietary requirements for example.
      • To contact you after your visit (a thank you email) to ensure that everything has been to your satisfaction.
      • To send out e-newsletter upon request (Note 4).
    • Balkissock Lodge B&B stores the paperwork that contains addresses, telephone numbers and email address in a secure location.
    • Addresses and telephone numbers are not transferred to any electronic device: ie this information is not held electronically by Balkissock Lodge B&B except where it is held with our secure booking system and has been inputted either by yourself or by me if I have taken the booking via telephone or email.
    • Email addresses are not transferred to any electronic device other than in the two following instances:
      • Emails are often sent directly to guests (eg ‘welcome email’) in which case my email system will remember the details of the conversation.
      • A guest or member of the public asks to be added to the e-newsletter distribution list (Note 3).
      • Please note that if you email Balkissock Lodge B&B voluntarily then your email address will be automatically remembered by the email system.
    • Addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses will not be passed on to any other person or organisation unless specifically requested by the guest with their permission (for example if I have no availability, I will ask the guest if I can forward their enquiry to other B&B owners who may have availability).
    • Addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses are not used for any other reason by Balkissock Lodge B&B (Note 4).
    • The registration forms that this information is written on are kept for a minimum of 12 months and for practical reasons to the end of the following financial year when all unrequired data and information is generally destroyed together (note 3).
    • The information is destroyed by shredding and/or burning.
    • Emails are deleted after the guest has visited and after I have emailed my ‘thank you’ email.

 

Credit/Debit Card Details:

  • Balkissock Lodge B&B does not have a credit/debit card terminal and all card payments are made via our booking system Freetobook (note 1) who use SagePay (note 5) to process financial transactions.
  • Your card details are requested upon booking in order to make payment for your accommodation, food or any additional items that you select and are handled as follows:
    • Bookings made via telephone or email will be booked in to the Freetobook system and then a secure payment link will be emailed to you so that you can pay the deposit/balance securely online direct via the SagePay payment gateway. Your card details are tokenized (encrypted) and I only see the last four digits if I need to use the stored card for a further payment (the balance for example).
    • Bookings made via our own website are processed via Freetobook using the SagePay payment gateway. Your card details are tokenized (encrypted) and I only see the last four digits if I need to use the stored card for a further payment (the balance for example).
    • Bookings made via Booking .com may be handled in two ways depending upon what type of card you use; either:
      • Booking .com will take payment and provide it to Balkissock Lodge B&B as a “virtual card” which belongs to Booking .com not you. This is often done when you use a card that I do not take such as American Express.
      • Or Booking .com will take your credit card details and store them securely, making them available to me when I need to use them. The data is password protected and I manually transfer the information from Booking .com to SagePay via Freetobook.
    • I do not write down card details on to paper or anywhere else.
    • I do not store any card details other than via Freetobook/ SagePay as outlined above.
    • I do not pass on card details to any other person.
    • I will not ask you to give me your card details over the phone.
    • I will not ask you to send your card details in an email.
    • I am the only person at Balkissock Lodge B&B authorised to handle the card payment system.
    • Balkissock Lodge B&B is PCI DSS (payment card industry data security standard) compliant.

 

E-newsletter

  • Balkissock Lodge B&B sends out an e-newsletter each month.
  • People must sign up for this e-newsletter in one of the following ways:
    • Provide your email address during your visit and ask to be signed up to the distribution list.
    • Email me at any time and ask to be added to the distribution list.
  • You can unsubscribe at any time by emailing me and asking to be removed from the distribution list.
  • The e-newsletter is sent out by email in blind carbon copy (bcc) format so that everyone receives it but individuals cannot access other people’s email details.
  • Your email address is stored on my email system to facilitate this process and my email system is password protected.
  • Balkissock Lodge B&B will not pass the email addresses to any third parties nor use them for any other reason but to send out the e-newsletter.
  • I have a paper list of email addresses and the dates that everyone signed up to the e-newsletter.
  • This list is not stored electronically (other than the distribution list on the email system itself).
  • Please note that I’m looking into using a simpler system such as mailchimp to do this.

 

Social Media 

  • I operate several social media accounts for both Balkissock Lodge B&B and some tourism ones for the local area (Ballantrae, SWScotland and AB&BA).
  • I engage with many people on a daily basis via these accounts.
  • I post photographs and information relating to the business, the locality, places of interest, events, etc.
  • I never spam anyone with direct sales messages.
  • I will follow back any account that has been kind enough to follow me except in the following two instances:
    • An obvious sales account that just constantly spews sales (I will also unfollow any that do so too).
    • Any ‘private’ account.

 

Guest book and reviews on websites:

  •  Guests that are kind enough to leave reviews are thanked personally (if I see the review that is).
  • All reviews are copied and uploaded to the ‘guest comments’ page of the website so that they can be viewed all together in one place.
  • Comments are often copied and shared on social media.
  • Guests full names are not used but will be credited with their comments in the form of: ”Debbie and Rob, USA, July 2018” or “Mr Brown, UK, June 2018” depending upon how they have signed the comments.
  • As the comments are placed in public places eg: on a review website, or the guest book, I am not required to seek additional consent to use/share this data however if you object to your comments being used please let me know in writing where you have seen it and I will remove it.
  • Please note that I have no control over how some review sites use the text and information that you post there.

 

Additional Information:

 

Access to your information:

  • You have the right to request a copy of the information Balkissock Lodge holds about you.
  • If you would like a copy of this information please email me at balkissocklodge@icloud.com.
  • There will be an administration fee of £5.00 for this service.

 

Cookies:

  • Cookies are text files placed on your computer when you view a website.
  • Cookies collect information about where you are located and what you view.
  • Balkissock Lodge B&B’s website “A Scottish Country House” is owned by WordPress who collect such data.
  • This date allows me to see which pages have been viewed and from where in the world people are looking. It gives me data such as how many views per day or per month etc.
  • I cannot access your location nor identify you nor know which pages you have been browsing.
  • You can set your browser not to accept cookies. See http://www.aboutcookies.org for more information.

 

The right to be forgotten: 

  • This is a new feature as a result of the introduction of the GDPR.
  • You have the right to ask to have your details to be removed from my system however this does not override any legislative requirement such as:
    • Names, passport numbers, destination information which must be kept for a minimum of 12 months.
    • Financial records and associated records must be kept for a minimum of 7 years.
  • From the information provided in this document you will see that any information that I hold on you is already destroyed when they are no longer required for the necessary purposes of trading.

 

Notes:

  • Freetobook are PCI DSS and GDPR compliant see website for details: https://www.freetobook.com
  • com are PCI DSS and GDPR compliant see website for details: https://www.booking.com
  • Please note that financial records and any associated data must legally be kept for seven years.
  • Specific exceptions to this will apply when someone asks to be added to the distribution list for the e-newsletter. See “E-Newsletter” section for details.
  • SagePay are PCI DSS and GDPR compliant see website for details: https://www.sagepay.co.uk

 

Cordelia Galley

Owner: Balkissock Lodge B&B

Responsible for data control

May 2018

This document will be updated and when required.

Environmental Policy & Business Ethos

incorporating

“What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?”

We are lucky enough to live in a truly beautiful area, next to Britain’s first Dark Sky Park and in the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere.

I signed Balkissock Lodge B&B up to the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire (GSA) Biosphere UNESCO Charter in 2015 because I knew that we already met their criteria and in 2018 we became the very first B&B to be awarded a sustainability quality mark for businesses operating in the GSA UNESCO Biosphere.

This policy was written to balance two crucial aspects of running a B&B:

  • Providing a high standard and quality of service.
  • Lessening the business’s impact upon the environment including food waste and fuel consumption.

Previous guests have asked how they can help maintain my environmentally friendly status so I’ve added a few suggestions to the end of each section for guidance (in italics) where you can help.

  1. Laundry
    1. Sheets and pillow cases:
      1. The sheets and pillowcases are washed after every visitor has left or in the event of a long stay, every five days.
      2. Any stains are pre-treated.
      3. The sheets and pillowcases are washed at 20C in Ariel Professional.
      4. The sheets and pillowcases are air dried outside when possible but are placed in the dryer in inclement weather.
      5. Sadly, in the event of ‘bird strike’ they need to be re-laundered.
      6. The bottom sheets in general are not ironed unless they are badly creased.
      7. Pillowcases are generally ironed.
    2. Quilt covers:
      1. The quilt covers are washed after every visit.
      2. Any stains are pre-treated.
      3. The quilt covers are washed at 20C in Ariel Professional.
      4. The quilt covers are air dried outside when possible but are placed in the dryer in inclement weather.
      5. Sadly, in the event of ‘bird strike’ they need to be re-laundered.
      6. The quilt covers are only ironed if they are badly creased.
    3. Pillow and mattress protectors:
      1. Pillow and mattress protectors are washed regularly but not necessarily after every visit.
      2. Any stains are pre-treated.
      3. Pillow and mattress protectors are washed at 20C in Ariel Professional.
      4. Pillow and mattress protectors are air dried outside when possible but are placed in the dryer in inclement weather.
      5. The pillow and mattress protectors are not ironed.
    4. Cushion covers:
      1. Cushion covers are washed when necessary.
      2. Any stains are pre-treated.
      3. Table and cushion covers are washed at 20C in Ariel Professional.
      4. Table and cushion covers are air dried outside when possible but are placed in the dryer in inclement weather.
      5. Cushion covers are only ironed if they are badly creased.
    5. Towels:
      1. The towels are washed after every visit.
      2. If visitors are staying longer than one night, any dirty or wet towels, or those placed on the floor or on the floor of the shower are removed and replaced with clean towels.
      3. Any stains are pre-treated.
      4. The towels are washed at 20C in Ariel Professional.
      5. The towels are air dried outside when possible and placed into the dryer to fluff if necessary.
      6. The towels are dried in the dryer in inclement weather.
      7. The towels are not ironed.
    6. Table cloths and napkins:
      1. The tablecloths and napkins are washed after every use.
      2. Any stains are pre-treated.
      3. The tablecloths and napkins are washed at 60C in Ariel Professional.
      4. The tablecloths and napkins are dried in the dryer
      5. The table cloths and napkins are ironed only if badly creased.
    7. Tea towels, kitchen cloths and aprons:
      1. The tea towels, kitchen cloths and aprons are washed after every use.
      2. The tea towels, kitchen cloths and aprons are washed at 60C in Ariel Professional.
      3. The tea towels, kitchen cloths and aprons are dried in the dryer.
      4. The tea towels and kitchen cloths are not ironed.
      5. Aprons are ironed only if they are badly creased.

 What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?

  • Please excuse some creases in the bed and table linen.
  • Please excuse occasional peg marks on the bed linen, towels and table linen.
  • Please excuse occasional water marks from a leaky iron.
  • If you require fluffier towels please do ask, there are likely to be some in the laundry cupboard).

 

  1. Kitchen cleaning
    1. The kitchen is cleaned to a schedule that meets Food Safety Assurance Systems.
    2. The benches are sprayed with Dettol spray before and after breakfast is prepared.
    3. Paper towels are used for drying where necessary.
    4. Washable cloths are used where possible.
    5. Carex hand wash is used.

 

  1. Room servicing, rubbish and re-cycling
    1. Room servicing:
    2. Bins in the bedroom are emptied daily.
    3. Beds will be made unless guests have a large amount of personal items laid on them in which case I will not disturb them.
    4. If the personal items are only night clothes they will be laid under the pillow and the bed made up.
    5. Cups and glasses will be removed and replaced with clean ones.
    6. Shower cubicles will be dried to prevent condensation.
    7. Wet towels will be replaced with dry ones.

 

  1. Kitchen waste:
    1. Raw food waste such as strawberry stalks, pomegranate skins and similar items are placed onto the garden compost heap.
    2. Eggshells are placed onto the garden compost heap.
    3. Excess cooking fat is drained into a container and used to light the coal fire.
    4. Breadcrumbs, left over toast and bacon rind are fed to the garden birds.
    5. Waste food that cannot be composted nor fed to the birds are put into the kitchen bin.
  • All cereal boxes and other similar paper/card items are placed into the household re-cycling bin.
  • All juice bottles, milk cartons and all similar items are washed and placed into the household re-cycling bin.
  • All empty tins, from baked beans, prunes etc. are washed and placed into the household re-cycling bin.
  • Any items that cannot be recycled in any other way such as greaseproof paper used to wrap sausages are used to light the fire rather than go to landfill.

 

What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?

  • Please place wet towels on the bottom of the shower tray so that they can be replaced with dry ones.
  • Please don’t put wet towels on radiators to dry as this causes condensation which lifts wallpaper.
  • Any towels which you wish to reuse can be placed on the rail; if they’re damp, I put them into the dryer for 10 mins to dry.
  • Only use as many towels as you need.
  • Place recyclable items either in the waste bin in the bedroom or beside it so that they can be sorted into the correct recycling boxes.
  • Place items such as tampons, condoms, etc into the covered bin in the bathroom (do not flush these down the toilet).
  • Please excuse the huge compost heaps around the property!

 

  1. Central heating
    1. The central heating works from an oil fired boiler and is normally on ‘timed’ to ensure that the rooms are warm in the evening and morning.
    2. The central heating is not normally switched on during the day to avoid excess Kerosene usage especially since, in general, guests tend to be out of the property.
    3. The central heating system is set to a medium temperature to optimise Kerosene usage.
    4. I will always check if guests are warm enough and the heating will be turned up to a higher temperature if so.
    5. The central heating is not routinely left on overnight except when the outside temperature is expected to drop below 5-8C.

 

What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?

  • Please avoid leaving the outside door open to prevent heat loss especially when you’re packing/unpacking the car.
  • If you are feeling chilly PLEASE DO let me know. I’m a naturally warm person and in general I don’t feel the cold and the central heating in our private home is rarely switched on even in winter.
  • If you’re too warm please do turn your radiator down/off (if you’re the only guests in let me know and I can turn the heating off centrally).
  • If you’re too warm please feel free to open your window HOWEVER please ensure your window is closed during the night (we have stoats in the area who enjoy the challenge of getting indoors!!) and never leave it open when you are away for the day to ensure the security of your personal items. The windows have a catch so that it can be ‘locked’ in an open position to allow air flow.

 

  1. Hot water
    1. Please note that the water is heated in a tank (i.e. it is NOT a ‘combi’ system with instant hot water).
    2. The water is heated morning and afternoon to ensure that there is sufficient for all guests.
    3. The water heater is not normally switched on during the day to avoid excess Kerosene usage although the water should remain hot during the day.
    4. In general the water will always be hot enough however as it is not an ‘on demand’ system, if everyone has a shower at once, the tank will take a while to refill and reheat.

What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?

  • Avoid leaving the taps running unneccessarily

 

  1. Lighting
    1. The bulbs in the overhead lights and bedside lamps are low energy types.
    2. The bulbs in the corridor are standard types due to the dimmer switch.

What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?

  • Avoid leaving lights on in your bedroom when you are in the lounge for breakfast or in the evening or when you leave the building.
  • Please switch off the lounge and corridor lights if you are the last person to retire in the evening.

 

 

  1. Shopping, food & flasks
    1. Shopping trips are kept to a minimum as it is a round trip of approximately 50 miles to Stranraer or 80 miles to Ayr to do the shopping which increases the carbon footprint of the business as well as adding substantially to the running costs.
    2. Items that can be stored easily such as toilet rolls and tinned beans are normally bought in bulk whether at the supermarket or the cash and carry.
    3. Items with a short shelf life such as milk can be bought locally in Ballantrae.
    4. To reduce mileage/time/costs, many items, such as sausage, bacon or smoked salmon, are bought in bulk and frozen.
    5. Flour is bought in bulk and bread is made on-site.
    6. I try to source as much of the produce locally to reduce its carbon footprint.
    7. I get many items delivered by Asda and select the ‘do not use bags’ option.
    8. Guests are asked to pre-book evening meals so that I can plan shopping deliveries.
    9. Guests are asked to pre-order breakfast to reduce kitchen waste.
    10. Milk is no longer offered in small plastic cartons. A flask of cold milk is provided which providing the lid is replaced after each use seems to stay cold for up to 18 hours.
    11. Small bottles of water are no longer provided. The tap water is safe to drink and a large bottle of water is available should you prefer.
    12. I attempt to ensure that all food offered to guests is of a high quality. Many items are sourced locally in the GSA Biosphere eg: eggs (Lendalfoot farm eggs), cheese (McLeland, Stranraer), yoghurt (Rowan Glen, Newton Stewart), sausage (Dalduff, Maybole) but many other items such as cereal and beans are quality branded goods.
    13. I have flasks for guests to use and wooden tea spoons should you require them for your picnic.

What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?

  • Complete the breakfast order sheet so that breakfast can be cooked to order without wastage.
  • I can amend most orders until 24 hours before delivery so I can sometimes accommodate late meal orders.
  • Ensure that I know of any dietary restrictions so that I can cater accordingly.
  • Ask if you require additional fresh milk.
  • Ask if you require additional bottles of water.
  • Please understand if I can not provide a particular food item at short notice as I would have to make a round trip of up to 80 miles to obtain certain items.
  • Ask to have your own flask filled or if you are returning in the evening I have flasks that you can borrow.
  • I have a supply of wooden spoons that may be useful for your picnic.

 

  1. Water supply (natural Scottish spring water!!)
    1. All of the water entering Balkissock Lodge comes from a spring located on Balkissock Hill next to the property. The water is potable (safe to drink) and has passed all chemical and bacterial tests. To meet necessary stringent water quality tests the water is treated as follows:
      1. The water passes through an ultra violet light to kill bacteria.
      2. This ultra violet light operates 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
      3. The ultra violet lamp is replaced every year to ensure that it is working at an optimum level.
      4. The water passes through a string filter to remove all dirt particles.
      5. The string filter is changed every month
      6. The water supply is treated with Milton solution every two months.

What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?

  • Large bottles of water are provided and please ask if you require additional bottles.
  • PLEASE NOTE: the natural spring water is heavy with natural minerals and turns the inside of the kettle black! Please do not be concerned about the colour of the kettle!

 

  1. Sewerage, surface water and drainage
    1. Septic tank:
      1. Balkissock Lodge is serviced by a septic tank that requires a fine balance of waste and microbes to keep it functioning correctly.
      2. All toilets and bathroom waste water at the lodge empty into the septic tank.
      3. Environmentally friendly cleaning products are used to clean the toilets.
      4. Flushing unsuitable items into the tank such as condoms, tampons, baby wipes, etc. result in blockages which are not only costly to rectify but an overflowing septic tank is not only unhygienic and odorous but can damage plants and wildlife (e).

 

  1. Soak away:
    1. Surface water from the gutters flows into a soak away in the nearby burn.
    2. Waste water or harmful chemicals are not put down the sink nor into the septic tank but are taken to be treated at a local centre.

What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?

  • Please DO NOT flush items such as baby wipes, condoms, tampons, cotton buds, etc down the toilet. They will damage the drainage system and the functioning of the septic tank and will lead to costly repairs as well as risk blocking the tank and leading to it over-flowing into the courtyard and neighbouring burn.
  • Please put any of the above items (or similar items) into the covered bin in the bathroom. There will be additional small waste bags on the shelf should you require them.

 

  1. Garden, wildlife, weeds and animals
    1. The area close to the guests’ windows is kept relatively tidy with tubs of flowers and herbs to add interest throughout the year.
    2. We have almost an acre of garden at Balkissock Lodge B&B so the remainder is left more natural to encourage the wildlife that we enjoy seeing.
    3. The lawned areas closest to the guests’ windows are mowed weekly in the growing season and the large lawned area to the rear of the property is mowed two or three times a year to encourage wildlife and it is also the main area where Maisy is allowed to play.
    4. The birds have feeders throughout the garden and kept topped up with seed or fat balls throughout the year to encourage them to keep returning.
    5. Dogs are welcome at Balkissock Lodge B&B (please refer to separate ‘dog policy’) in the twin room only which allows for one room to be booked by those who are sensitive to animal hair.

What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?

  • Please excuse the weeds … I do not have enough hours in the day to remove them all.
  • We have two vermin control officers (Starsky & Hutch) who are good mousers, catch the occasional rabbit and eye up the birds on a regular basis. They are discouraged from taking birds but please do not attempt to hit them or throw anything at them.
  • The Head of the Welcoming Committee (Maisy) uses the garden to foul in and it is cleaned up on a regular basis. My apologies if she squats in front of your window! Please be mindful of any dog mess that may be in the garden or out in the courtyard from other animals and check shoes before entering the Lodge. Please note that Maisy is very friendly but will bark at anything new or anyone passing or wandering through the garden. If you notice, her tail will be wagging, and she has never been known to injure anyone.
  • If you have brought a dog, please feel free to take him/her into the garden with you but please keep on a short leash if they are known to chase dogs, cats or wildlife please.
  • Guests are welcome to sit on the seat on the pebbled area in front of the guests’ lounge. I’m bust making the garden lower maintenance and hope to have more guest-friendly areas soon.
  • Guests are not encouraged to wander through the garden and do so at their own risk. Please be vigilant as the ground is riddled with rabbit holes and surfaces are slippery even in summer.

 

  1. Smoking
    1. Balkissock Lodge B&B has a no-smoking policy through out the house and gardens.

What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?

  • Please do not throw cigarette ends into the hedgerows.
  • If you let me know that you are a smoker, I can place a bucket of water at the back door to dispose of cigarette ends into.

 

  1. Office paperwork, GDPR & guest information
    1. There are a number of items of paperwork that are required by law or by local regulations in order for me to operate such as keeping temperature records of food items served, or guest details (registration forms) and therefore are unavoidable use of paper.
    2. Those that contain sensitive guest information are kept securely in keeping with new GDPR guidelines for businesses.
    3. There is only one guest folder in the lounge rather than one in each room in order to half the paper and printing requirements.
    4. I only take one of each tourist information brochure to place in the folders to cut down on unnecessary printing and waste of resources.
    5. There are only a couple of main breakfast menu folders which are updated yearly. Guests are asked to complete a separate smaller form that also doubles up as a temperature record once back in the kitchen. It is the one item of paperwork that does not seem to guests as being in-keeping with the policy but it has improved the reduction of waste immeasurably since it was introduced in the summer of 2017.
    6. Junk mail is sorted and recycled.
    7. Old business information such as outdated menus are recycled.
    8. Business correspondence and forms that are no longer required and shredded and burnt on the fire particularly where they contain sensitive guest information.
    9. Guest details are held in accordance with Police and Scottish Government regulations and are not passed on to third parties other than Police by request.
    10. Guest email addresses are used in general correspondence relating directly to their visit and once after their visit to ensure that they had a pleasant stay and to ask if they would like to be added to the e-newletter distribution list.
    11. Guests’ email addresses are not passed on to third parties or used by Balkissock Lodge B&B for any other reasons.

What can I do to be an ‘environmentally friendly’ guest?

  • Please avoid taking the folders to your rooms if there are other guests in.
  • Please use your mobile phone to photograph the leaflets of any places of interest or events that you may be interested in during the day.
  • Please make use of the plethora of apps that are freely available to help you such as google maps, apple maps for directions, Welcome to Scotland app to locate places of interest, etc.
  • If you do not have a phone with this facility please do ask and I’ll print off a copy of any information that you require.
  • If you require additional information regarding a certain place of interest please do ask and I’m happy to telephone on your behalf to answer your query.

 

If you have questions regarding this policy please do ask. If there are items that you think have been omitted, please do let me know. This is a live document that grows with age!

Please note that this May 2018 edition replaced the April 2015 edition which has now been removed from the website.

Cordelia Galley

Balkissock Lodge B&B

May 2018 (update)

Make a cushion

Have you ever though about combining a stay at a B&B with learning a new skill … or perhaps you and some friends are looking for a relaxing crafting weekend break?

Visit the Silver Daisy page for more crafting options or browse the Stay & Craft theme but here I’m going to highlight one option:

Cushion cover making

Chose from a variety of fabrics and make your own 40 cm x 40 cm cushion cover. The workshop is suitable for beginners and there are no fiddly zips to fit with the envelope style closure that you will use.

sewing a cushion

If you stay locally and wish to attend crafting sessions with friends, please email me to discuss your dates, numbers and requirements. I’m also happy to arrange crafting sessions with afternoon tea for groups of 2 – 8 people (depending upon the craft) when I don’t have any B&B guests booked in.

cushion cover workshop

You will be shown how to do a few basic sewing techniques such as strip quilting, piecing fabrics and appliqué plus other embellishment techniques.

You can opt to do cushion cover making as a single session or you could choose it as one of your options on the Mix ‘n’ Match weekend course.

sewing a cushion

Details about prices and how to book can be found on the Silver Daisy page.

If you’d prefer to bring your own fabric so that you make a cushion cover that better matches your decor then you are welcome to do so. You will need to bring a piece of fabric larger than the following minimum size: 50 cm x 120 cm.

 

Most fabrics can be used but be warned that very fine fabrics are difficult to work with and not particularly suitable for cushion cover manufacture.

If you’d like to visit the Silver Daisy page, please click here.

If you’d like to check availability for accommodation and book securely online at the best prices available, please click here.

Cordelia 2018

Lampshade Workshop

Have you ever though about combining a stay at a B&B with learning a new skill … or perhaps you and some friends are looking for a relaxing crafting weekend break?

Visit the Silver Daisy page for more crafting options or browse the Stay & Craft theme but here I’m going to highlight one option:

Lampshade making

Lampshade workshop

Chose from a variety of fabrics* and make your own 20cm or 30cm diameter lampshade. The 20cm size is ideal for a bedside or table lamp and the 30 cm would be ideal for a larger table lamp or for the ceiling fitting.

lampshade workshop

If you stay locally and wish to attend crafting sessions with friends, please email me to discuss your dates, numbers and requirements. I’m also happy to arrange crafting sessions with afternoon tea for groups of 4 – 8 people (depending upon the craft) when I don’t have any B&B guests booked in.

crafting workshop

You can opt to do lampshade making as a single session or you could choose lampshade making as one of your options on the Mix ‘n’ Match weekend course.

Details about prices and how to book can be found on the Silver Daisy page.

*If you’d prefer to bring your own fabric so that you make a shade that better matches your decor then you are welcome to do so. You will need to bring a piece of fabric larger than the following minimum size:

20cm diameter lampshade: 645 mm x 220 mm

30cm diameter lampshade: 970 mm x 255 mm

lampshade workshop

Most fabrics can be used but be warned that heavy fabrics and those that fray easily are extremely difficult to work with, I use cotton and polycotton quilting fabrics in the workshops.

You may also be interested in sessions run by other crafters in the area who also make lampshades:

If you’d like to return to the Silver Daisy page, please click here.

If you’d like to check availability for accommodation and book securely online at the best prices available, please click here.

Cordelia 2018

%d bloggers like this: