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Eco-friendly Northumberland hotel launches sustainable mushroom farm

Award-winning eco-hotel Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant is increasing its sustainability credentials even further with the addition of a new wild mushroom farm on site.

Housed in a converted shipping container in the hotel’s gardens, the temperature and humidity-controlled farm allows the hotel to create the perfect conditions for growing wild mushrooms all year round.

Battlesteads has worked with Snowdonia-based Yr Ardd Fadarch (Welsh for "The Mushroom Garden") to create the mushroom farm, which maintains a steady temperature of 13ºC and humidity level of 85% to provide optimum growing conditions for the mushrooms.

Built in March, Battlesteads trialled growing grey oyster and shitake mushrooms first, and, after that proved a success, has moved onto growing both yellow and pink oyster mushrooms.

The home-grown mushrooms are now being used by head chef Eddie Shilton in the Battllesteads restaurant, featuring in dishes such as a demitasse of wild mushroom soup and a shitake and oyster mushroom tagliatelle with wild garlic pesto.

Richard Slade, owner of Battlesteads, said: "Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and we are always looking for new ways to produce more of our own home-grown ingredients on-site and reduce the food miles of our restaurant. We already grow 95% of the herbs, salads and green vegetables used in the restaurant in the Battlesteads gardens and polytunnels, and now with the mushroom farm we are able to offer the types of wild mushrooms usually only harvested in the autumn all year-round. It makes a big difference to the quality of our restaurant dishes too – fresh ingredients always taste the best, and it doesn’t get much fresher than coming from 30 seconds outside your door!"

Battlesteads is widely recognised as one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the country, having won numerous awards for its sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint to just one fifth of the industry average.

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