Sustainable future at the Little Owl Café, St Aidan’s nature Park

As a café on an RSPB nature reserve, we too care about the environment, we do everything we can to ensure we are being environmentally friendly and sustainable. We have a policy to which all suppliers and all our products have to meet a high standard and certain criteria, such as using RSPO approved palm oil, free range eggs, FCS approved etc. and produced local with local ingredients where possible.

We are always looking for ways to reduce our waste and keep costs down, after all, we are a charity.

How we serve you

Our drinking cups are compostable and recyclable. Cupkind are an eco company who care about the environment, they have no plastic liners and are FSC-certified.

 We moved away from single use plastic cutlery to compostable cutlery, which was more sustainable, but we thought we could do better! A volunteer came up with the idea of having metal cutlery. This is a lot better for the environment and reduces waste and costs.

The bags and plates we use for food are all Vegware, which is packaging made from renewable plant-based materials. This includes our plates, food bags and lids.

We use a Merrychef to heat up your food. We used to have single use parchment sheets for cooking, but now we have a few reusable sheets, this reduces waste and costs.

Your food and beverages

For the food we buy, we only want the best, we have guidelines to adhere to, to make sure our products are sustainable, environmentally friendly and local, where possible.

All our drinks cans and cartons are recyclable. If you bring your own cup for a hot drink, you get 20p off the drink price. (Photo 3) We can fill up water bottles for free. We now sell RSPB branded locally sourced bottled water, the bottle is reusable up to 10 times and recyclable. 

The coffee beans we buy are RSPB own brand and are ‘bird friendly’, this means that the beans are grown in local communities in Honduras. (Photo 5). Volunteers often take home the coffee grinds to use in their garden and we use them on our own planters around the café.

 We have a lot of local food suppliers, the beautiful cakes and traybakes are made by Jodie’s Bakes in Leeds, Yorkshire Crisps and Yorkshire Flapjack, Lottie Shaw’s provide some of our traybakes too. The hot food we sell is made in Bradford.

Yorkshire Tea now has no plastic in their tea bags, this is a huge step in helping the environment. The tea bags are certified plastic free and #Teapigs are members of The Ethical Tea Partnership. (photo 7)


Once you are done with your food and drinks, we ask that you recycle responsibly.

Our bins are clearly marked in the cafe and outside. We are actively showing customers which bins to use if they are unsure. (Photo 8)

As much as we can, we make sure things are put in the right bins.

Come and support us in the Little Owl Café at RSPB St Aidan’s Nature Park, the café is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm (last orders 4.30pm).

Have a look at our menu below: