Sustainability & Hospitality

A little word about our sustainability & hospitality thinking…

These six acres have come together over our 40 year stewardship to accommodate the Woodman’s Hut, Duck’s Nest, Lambing Bothy, the Lazy Duck Hut Hostel, Camping Ground, the original cottage and main house. There never was a master plan. Rather we followed a simple organic progression employing a keen eye and ear ever open to the hopes and needs of our guests. Thanks to the many local and international folk who have helped and encouraged us along the way. We aim to live gently on this ground and invite you to join us.

If you stay here in this woodland clearing you might notice that, over the years, a further eighty or more younger trees, alder, birch, rowan, cherry, larch, crab apple, apple, plum and aspen have been planted. We take great care with recycling, composting, with the cleaning products we use and supply to guests, with the lighting and heating methods that we choose and have adopted other practices aimed at minimising our footprint in the environment, striving towards a sustainable future. We also play a small part in helping to preserve two rare breeds native to these islands. Our forebears who settled and part cultivated this ground over one hundred years ago, the traveller folk MacDonalds and later the craftsmen builders McGillivray we hope would approve.

Many of the waterfowl you will linger by on the pond are direct descendants of those we brought here first in 1995, including the Aylesbury ‘early domestic breed’. We care for three acres of the seventy acre ‘ancient pine forest’ surrounding us to the north. Here also is a small flock of Soay ‘rare breed’ sheep, originating on the St Kilda archipelago forty miles west of the Isle of Harris, in the Atlantic Ocean. These goat like sheep now graze the field where Scots pines once stretched almost to the cottage gate.

L. Duck’s visitors come to celebrate anniversaries, make romantic, life changing proposals, to spend very simple yet special time together. They also include random batches of winter freelance instructors, skiers and snowboarders, mountain bikers most of the year, bird watchers any time, path builders, ecologists, family groups and small activity gatherings from all over the UK and beyond. Just a few admit to having happily resolved the challenge being on the margins of their comfort zone. We are happy for them. Some are also artists and musicians, environmentalists and fair traders and we love that which they bring.

The Woodman’s Hut we built for twosomes in 2011, The Duck’s Nest, wood-fired hot tub and sauna in 2013. The Lambing Bothy and Well Being Studio, hosting various holistic therapies, were created in 2016. Then, finally emerged The Lookout, a Volunteer Helper all year round hut for two. Since 2004 Lazy Duck has hosted over one hundred international Volunteer Helpers. These enterprising folk from every continent, have the opportunity to make a real contribution, to achieve some smallholding, environmental and hospitality skills as well as substantial personal growth.

At the Lazy Duck there is space for elemental living, personal reflection and a ‘recharging of batteries’. Since 1974 we have had the idea that this place is one to be shared with others four seasons round. This is how we have chosen to do it.

David & Valery