Our Environmental Policy
Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre, a family business, recognises that we have an important role to play in protecting and enhancing the physical & cultural environment both generally and locally in the Burren Region. We have sustained, since 1976 a sound tradition of welcoming to, educating about and interpreting the Burren Region personally for our diverse groups of visitors. We along with our full time employed staff achieve this year round - underground through fully guided cave tours and overground through narrated Flying Displays and Cheesemaking Demonstrations and also one to one hawk walks. For us, being members of the Burren Ecotourism Network acknowledges the great work laid down by the generation that came before us and, as the number of stakeholders within the Burren Region grows, strengthens the common goals between all of passing on the values shared to us by our parents on to our children.
Ecotourism is defined as"responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well being of local people." (TIES,1990)
Over the last three generations and into the future we constently strive to help secure the long-term sustainability of Ecotourism in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark.
To this end Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre through staff training, visitor education and valid intrepretation are committed to taking the following actions:
To achieve sound environmental practices across our entire operation.
To produce an Annual Environmental Plan setting out our Objectives, Targets and planned Actions.
To comply fully with all relevant legislation.
To minimise our waste and reduce our water consumption where possible. Indentifying, fixing and preventing leaks is just one of the ways we do this.
To Reduce, Reuse and Recycle the resources consumed by our business wherever practical. Our Onsite Waste Management and Composting Systems exemplify this.
To invite our customers, visitors, suppliers and contractors to participate in our efforts to protect the environment. Staff awareness of and drawing from The Leave No Trace Seven Principles helps us to achieve this.
To provide all employees with the training and resources required to meet our objectives. All our emplyees engage in a comprehensive induction course prior to starting work with us.
To constently and consistently engage with and support our charitable partners within the The Burren and nationally. We are patrons of The Burren Gaels Ladies football club, providing sets of jerseys for players when needed. We provided financial support in the set up of The Kilfenora Timeline, a community based fund raising project and continue to provide volunteering assistance when required. We have provided space for and audio wall on behalf of the Memories of Clare Charity. We facilitate awareness of regional and national Raptor Reintroduction Programmes as part of our flying displays at the Bird of Prey Centre. We also actively fund raise for these programmes.
To openly communicate our policies, respecting the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark Sustainable Code of Practice, to interested parties likes our staff, visitors, suppliers and charitable partners within the Burren and nationally. These are available when visitors arrive on site and are also on our website www.aillweecave.ie
To monitor and record our environmental impacts on a regular basis and compare our performance with our policies, objectives and targets which are listed in our detailed action plan.