The Atherton pub on the junction of Wigan Road, Lovers Lane and Schofield Lane is run by Coral Heyworth and Phil Harris. And it's officially the borough’s most eco-friendly inn. There’s a recycling centre on the car park, like many pubs, but there’s much more to its green credentials. The council’s environment champion, Cllr David Molyneux, called in for a pint and a chat.
“This is an excellent way to run a business with the future in mind,” said Cllr Molyneux. “Phil and Coral offer a traditional pub with all the trimmings, but they’ve cut their carbon footprint – and that’s no small beer.”
The pub’s kitchen uses locally sourced products, including free range eggs from the farm next door; they also compost their food waste and have electricity monitors for the lights and fridges.
Coral’s background is in environmental management and Phil was a countryside ranger. They saw a business opportunity to become as green as possible while saving money in the process.
“We want to be a responsible part of the community," says Coral. “We’re proud to be one of the first ever pubs to achieve a grading from the Green Tourism Business Scheme.”
A recent win at the prestigious government-backed ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ awards was important to the ethos of the Masons Arms. Phil is appalled at the amount of food waste people throw away without realising: “It’s enormous – we got the compost bins in last year and our only waste now is the odd bit of plastic wrapping.”
With attractive floral displays and its own kitchen garden, the pub is a positive example of the buy local and In Bloom projects which the council has been leading on across the borough.
And at a time when many pubs are struggling, he was impressed by their business focus and future plans. “I’ll raise a glass to them,” he says.