Award winning North East pub named among most eco-friendly places to eat

The polytunnel where BAttlesteads Hotel in Wark, Northumberland, grows its own foodAN AWARD winning pub’s owner has thanked the people of Northumberland after it was named one of the five most sustainable restaurants in the region.

Battlesteads Hotel in Wark, near Hexham, has been named a “three star sustainability champion” for a second year by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Pub boss Richard Slade said: “Sustainability is a word we hear banded around often, but true sustainability is seen through commitment, hard work and a dedicated drive to make positive changes to your business.

“We’re delighted to have maintained our Three Star Rating and through initiatives such as our ‘Responsible Visitor Charter’ and promotion of our environmental policy, we can help inform guests of the big steps we are making so our business makes a small one on the environment.

“ But this isn’t an award you can win on your own, and huge thanks must go to our fantastic local suppliers, our invaluable staff and the Hexham and Northumberland community at large, who we continue to engage with and who have offered us great support over the years.”

Originally built as a farmstead in 1747, the stone-built Battlesteads prides itself on using only fresh, local produce in its meals, much of it grown on site, while its bar offers a organic, Fairtrade wines and four cask ales – including two from local microbreweries.

But to become a three star champion, Battlesteads – which each year runs a summer beer festival – had to receive a rating of over 75% from the SRA’s independent judge for its sourcing of food, protection of the environment and engagement with the community.

Mark Linehan, managing director of the SRA, said: ‘Attaining an outstanding Three Star Sustainability Champion award for the second time is an exceptional achievement for Battlesteads.

“The restaurant demonstrates outstanding standards across all areas of the business, exemplified in its total commitment to sourcing quality local and seasonal produce.

“Consumers tell us they want to eat in restaurants that share their values and Battlesteads is meeting that demand, setting an example for other restaurants in the area to follow.”

The SRA award is just the latest in a long line of recognition for Battlesteads, which recently has won gongs including a Green Tourism Business Scheme gold award in 2012 and 2013, the Your Northumberland Guide Best Sunday Lunch in Northumberland in 2011, Best Accommodation for the Environment in the 2011 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards and Great British Pub of the Year 2010 from The Morning Advertiser.

Other North East restaurants to receive three star recognition included Blackfriars in Newcastle, and fish and chip shop Coleman’s of South Shields.