Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Organic Centre Courses 2008

The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim has just published their new courses and training programme for 2008.

The programme seeks to offer practical advice and enjoyable opportunities for the increasing numbers of people interested in organic gardening and horticulture courses. As oil prices continue to rise, we are likely to see profound changes affecting transport, food production, housing and energy sources. We strongly believe that our courses can help to prepare for these changes. We try to give course participants the skills, knowledge and confidence they will need to make changes leading to a more sustainable lifestyle. Our courses will also help reinvigorate local communities through training and other supports.

Highlights of the 2008 programme are

The Complete Organic Garden Course in Leitrim, Clare and Wicklow, starting in February 2008.

Advanced Gardening

Gardening in small spaces

Learn how to live the good life

Cooking with the Grass Roof Café

Please find attached training and course programme. If you need any more information please don’t hesitate to contact me at the centre.

Hans Wieland

Training and course co-ordinator



Christmas Goodies

Christmas Gift Vouchers

From Ard Nahoo
Stuck for a gift idea? Why not give something that will really be appreciated. Ard Nahoo Gift Vouchers can be given for a number of day retreats, treatments and chillout breaks, or a cash value.
The Stressbuster €90
Relax and unwind with an Uisce Hour (a session in our indoor/outdoor wet area, including Detox Box Sauna and Hot Tub) and then indulge in a massage of your choice. Your day includes detox tea and healthy snacks.

The Detox Treat €75
Repair your body after the festive period with a session in our Detox Box followed by a massage. Includes detox tea and healthy snacks.
Uisce Hour €30pp
Soak away your cares with a session in our Uisce Area, complete with detox box, steam room and hot tub. Lay back in the bubbles and gaze upon Loch Nahoo. Minimum of 2 people per session.
Yoga & Relaxation Retreat €90
Balance body and mind with a yoga session in our stunning new studio, along with a restorative Uisce Hour. A delicious organic light lunch will be served, along with detox tea and healthy snacks throughout the day.
Chillout Weekend €300
The ultimate gift! A chillout weekend break offers our Eco Cabin for the weekend, sleeping 2 - 4. Included is an organic welcome pack to make your stay as comfortable as possible. You can book in for treatments or an Uisce Hour, or use Ard Nahoo as a base to explore the beautiful local area.
Retreat Vouchers
Why not treat a loved one to a retreat? In Spring 2008, we have numerous retreats planned. A gift voucher for one of these weekend breaks would be the perfect way to bring in the new year.
Yoga & Relaxation - 22nd - 24th Feb €350pp
This weekend retreat focuses on asana practice, pranayama (breath work), relaxation techniques and visualisation. There will be plenty of free time to soak in the hot tub, or to explore the local area.
Mammas & Pappas - 7th - 9th March €395pp
An exciting new retreat preparing prospective parents for childbirth and beyond. With groundings in yoga, the weekend will cover acupressure and breathing as well as birth rehearsal. Pregnancy is an exciting but daunting time, and our retreat is aimed at calming those nerves in a safe and supportive atmosphere.
Eco Retreat - 10th - 13th April €410pp
Our certified Eco Retreat is really something special. Connect with your inner self as well as the surrounding beauty of nature. Enjoy herb walks, daily yoga, guest teachers and native exploration. The weekend promises great food, likeminded company and the chance to truly transform yourself.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Launch of Greenbox Ecotourism Label


Ireland’s lead in the €5 billion global ecotourism sector was further enhanced this week when The Greenbox Company publicly launched its innovative Ecotourism Labelling System and also acknowledged the first ecotourism holiday and short break packages to be accredited by the system at a special awards ceremony. The launch took place at Fáilte Ireland’s annual National Tourism Conference on 27th November, which this year took the theme of “Tourism and the Environment 2007, Current Climate, Future Trends”. In total twelve individual businesses operating in the Greenbox region were awarded their certificates by Shaun Quinn, CEO Fáilte Ireland and Mr David Sollitt, Executive Director of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES).

Work on the label began in autumn 2006 by a panel comprised of Greenbox Staff and Greenbox Network member businesses, as well as representatives from Sligo Institute of Technology and The Western Development Commission (WDC). Over a number of months a set of criteria was designed that would reflect the efforts of existing ecotourism operators in the Greenbox region, who were already providing experiences for guests that were “based in nature, providing interpretation and information, environmentally friendly, contributing to conservation and local communities, responsibly marketed and culturally respectful”. Criteria were also chosen that would reflect the uniqueness of the region, particularly in a cross border peace and reconciliation context.

The standard was piloted in Spring 2007 by a number of tourism businesses and involved the provision of a training and mentoring programme for those embarking on the certification process. In the Autumn the first applications were assessed and approved by an independent panel comprised of representatives from Fáilte Ireland, National Standards Authority of Ireland and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The development of an ecotourism sector in Ireland is regarded as an important strategy in addressing recent issues including the trend towards shorter urban breaks which has posed significant challenges for rural areas. The North West in particular has experienced a 19.4% decline in international visitor numbers between 2000 and 2004. Ecotourism by its nature tends to be more rural and visitors tend to spend 8-14 days per trip. Based on international figures, the Irish market has a potential value of up to €51 million a year.

Speaking at the event Greenbox CEO Mary Mulvey said “ Today really marks a watershed in Irish tourism and a way forward to develop a new type of tourism based on strongly held environmental principles and closely linked to learning, conservation and local communities. The Greenbox has developed a practical and user friendly Ecotourism Labelling approach which is designed to meet the need of small businesses. The ecotourism packages created to date have been very well received by tour operators and the responsible travel media”.

A cross-border initiative, the Greenbox is Ireland’s first integrated ecotourism destination. In 2006-2007 the Greenbox Capital Development Programme encouraged €4 million of private sector investment in the ecotourism sector. The organisation has grown to cover a network of more than 150 attractions, activity providers, guest houses, health farms, organic operators and leisure centres throughout Fermanagh, Leitrim, West Cavan, North Sligo, South Donegal and North West Monaghan. For more information click on to www.greenbox.ie for a flavour of the Greenbox ecotourism breaks that will be available in 2008.