Far Wild

Sustainability: Lawrence McBride, Director at Far and Wild

Provide a brief background on your organisation

Far and Wild is an adventure activity and tour provider based in Derry~Londonderry covering the North West of Ireland. Our ethos is to develop people through deepening connection to nature and the education that arises from that. We work with all age ranges, with local people and visitors to the region alike. As a social enterprise we have a commitment to improve the quality of adventure provision and the dividends it brings to people’s lives- a big part of this is environmental awareness and future care.

Outline the reasons your company are working towards improving sustainability credentials

Our founding social aims when establishing ourselves as a Community Interest Company in 2011 were to develop people and sustain the environment, so we have always been working in this field. We have constantly researched and improved how we deliver on these town components, which have become closer aligned the more we learn and evolve our vision.

List five things that your business had to adapt to become more sustainable.

1) Connecting people with nature, our main aim, is the first and essential step to understanding we are part of nature, and protecting our futures involves caring for our environment. Our coaching model has evolved into more of a facilitator role than one of educators, learning as we have that nature provides the lessons directly to participants

2) Giving back to nature is important and we started to offer opportunities to plant a tree/s with every adventure activity purchased on farandwild.org about 4 years ago in partnership with community tree growers in Ireland

3) We have lightened our own footprint by adapting our storage base so that rainfall run-off is used in washing our equipment and we function without the need for electricity

4) An increasing number of our guides are Leave No Trace accredited and have evolved the practical ethos of LNT to include other accreditations (e.g. WISE- minimising disturbance for marine life)

5) All of our activities are non-motorised on principle and we have added a range of new services e.g. bike, long-boarding, BMX Scooter, in-line skating tours that reflect the ethos of sustainable transport.

Have you received an international recognized accreditation or are you working towards this and how do you think this will benefit the organisation in the future

Not at the moment. Our own research in collecting data and undertaking training into the benefits of outdoor learning as a means to supporting environmental sustainability is our main focus.

What is your advice to a business aiming to improve their sustainability performance and work towards accreditation?

This advice may change depending on the type of business seeking to improve their practices. We believe that by simplifying what you do as much as possible, you can do a lot. We focus on the local environment and the benefits it brings, so that people appreciate more what is on their doorstep and feel the need to travel big distances less.