Responsible Tourism and Food in the Lake District

Being a responsible tourist or being a responsible tourism business doesn’t stop by turning the odd light off here and there or recycling a plastic bottle. Yes, carrying out energy saving processes and recycling is important but lets delve deeper and think about responsible tourism in the context of food.

Food is becoming a reason for travelling. It is a decision maker in where to stay for a growing number of tourists and one of the main reasons is to sample the local produce in that area.

Cumbria and the Lake District, who would have known a few years ago that this region is starting to become as famous for its food as its fells! From restaurants to hotels, cafes and food outlets, the regions food sector is winning awards for its cooking and produce, after all, Cumbria now has the UK’s best restaurant L’Enclume and the 2 Michelin stars it holds. At the core of L’Enclume is local produce.

westmorland hotel tebay services

Westmorland Farm Shops at Tebay Services, their own butchery and delicious local food

Local produce and the sourcing, cooking and eating of it is responsible on so many levels. Seasonal produce responds to nature and is food at its best. Sourcing locally means low transportation costs so lower emissions and it is also responsible in terms of supporting and sustaining local businesses. As many chefs are talking about now, what grows together, goes together and this is very exciting environmentally, sustainably and so important, tastily!

The Westmorland Hotel in Penrith have gone that bit further towards lowering their carbon footprint and supporting local businesses. The biggest being the rearing of the meat used at the hotel, Tebay Services and  their Farm Shop themselves. Being farmers before venturing into the hospitality sector has proved a winning combination and has created responsibility and sustainability in many forms. The animals are reared to the highest of standards and the meat only has to travel a handful of miles to be butchered and prepared. The Westmorland Farm Shop doesn’t just stock their own produce but also one of the biggest ranges of local Cumbrian produce from cured meats to cheeses, chutney’s, cakes and jams.

So it is fantastic that food is doing its part in responsible tourism and especially is a region such as Cumbria and the Lake District. Farming is a key industry there yet as with so many industries needs support but this is not hard with the produce coming out Cumbria and the Lake District being s0 unbelievably delicious!

By Jenny Andrew



Langdale Highly Commended at Green Tourism Conference

As part of Green Tourism Week last week, the first ever Green Tourism Conference was held.

The final part of the conference was the awarding of the Goldstar awards recognising the greenest businesses in the UK over the last year. With 13 categories as well as the Goldstar People’s Choice award where members of the public voted for their favourite and greenest business from a shortlisted selection.

Green Tourism Conference

Green Tourism Conference 2013 at Bristol Science Centre

Langdale Hotel & Spa in the Lake District was amongst the shortlisted businesses in both the Goldstar and Goldstar People’s Choice. Unfortunately, Langdale did not receive the People’s Choice this year but was triumphant in receiving a Goldstar Highly Commended in the hotel category having already been rated gold by Green Tourism in the grading system.

green tourism awards

Bronze, silver and gold Green Tourism Accreditations

More and more businesses are joining Green Tourism in a bid to be recognised as doing their bit to help conserve the environment and to be more sustainable. In the case of Langdale Hotel & Spa, it is an excellent year on year recognition of their progression and continuation to lower carbon emissions and their wish to help preserve the Lake District at the same time.

langdale hotel travel

Langdale Hotel and their Electric Cars to Hire

Langdale’s new Brimstone Hotel continues the same ethos and as being a part of the Langdale Estate, utilises the same eco friendly resources and facilities as the rest of the resort.

For more information on Sustainable Langdale, visit their designated web page here http://www.langdale.co.uk/environment/index.htm



It’s Green Tourism Week!

Green Tourism week has officially commenced!

Starting today and running through until November 10, Green Tourism week is “the chance to highlight the bottom-line benefits of green-mindedness to tourism businesses and to raise awareness of green issues relating to tourism.”

With everything from small events right through to the main conference day on November 8 at the Bristol Science Centre, all things green, sustainable and tourism are the topics in hand.

green tourism week

Green Tourism Week On Now!

The Green Tourism Business awards will be held at the conference on  Friday where the much anticipated Gold Star awards will be presented. The highest number of Gold Star awards will be given out on the night than ever before from B&B’s to visitor attractions, tour operators and green tourism destinations. The winner of each category will be those “businesses that have demonstrated the highest levels of green ambassadorship, innovation and cost savings over the last year.”.

A further award the People’s Choice award will also be presented on Friday. From a selection of shortlisted businesses and tourism providers, the People’s Choice award is voted by the public. The voting closes at midnight tomorrow, November 5th and businesses countrywide have been shortlisted. It is particularly exciting for the Langdale Hotel & Spa in the Lake District who are amongst the nominees. The voting is a quick and easy process done through the Facebook by clicking on this link https://www.facebook.com/Greentourismweek?sk=app_343236642414878.

langdale hotel lake district

The Langdale Hotel & Spa in the Lake District

The Lake District is striving to become greener in terms of travel and transport and has been very successfully growing it’s green credentials over recent years. Having a Lake District business shortlisted for such awards is great for the region but if past visitors and residents of the Lake District and Langdale can get behind them and vote, it can only raise the profile of the Lake District as a green tourism destination even further.

A full list of events at the Green Tourism Awards can be found on their website here http://www.green-tourism.com/business/green-tourism-week/

By Jenny Andrew



Take the CO2 out of a Holiday through Walking or Cycling

A walking or cycling holiday can significantly lower the amount of use of a car and trying to use a car less is good in more ways than one. Prices of petrol and diesel are high and fuel costs have to be factored into the price of a holiday, that is a fact of life now.

Not everyone can go on a car free holiday, sometimes it just isn’t practical but being conscious of the amount a car is used when on holiday and taking measures to lessen the amount it is used can be quite rewarding both in terms of the environment and the pocket.

Holidays should be special and a break from the grind of a daily car commute is surely a good thing. Choosing a walking or cycling holiday means less time in a car, more time in the open air and really helps to clear the mind of stresses and strains and both are far better ways in which to take in the scenery and the landscape than within a four wheeled, metal box.

But it is the lowering of CO2 emissions that is really quite important to bear in mind right now. With more people than ever owning cars and taking to the road, carbon emissions are on the rise. Here’s a few facts for you……a car produces 271 g CO2 per passenger-kilometre, a bus cuts these emissions by almost half whereas cycling per kilometre produces just 21g of CO2. And to top it off, more cars means more noise and more fumes and in beautiful, quiet, rural parts of the United Kingdom, this really stands out.

InfoGraphic-CO2-Cycling-Study-1

Designated cycle routes such as Hadrian’s Cycleway and the Sea to Sea route utilise country lanes and quiet roads, interspersed with sections of traffic-free path, promenade and riverside path. As they are designated routes, they are well signposted and approved for cycling and allow riders to cycle through real, open countryside, varied landscapes and with a few hills thrown in for good measure! But with hills comes the reward of the view from the top and the descent.

handrians cycle route

Hadrian’s Cycleway (image c hadrian-guide.co.uk)

So why not have a thought about your 2014 holiday and look to make it a walking or cycling one and experience the countryside and say no to CO2!

By Jenny Andrew

Notes:
Use the knowledge of experts and go for an organised self guided walking and cycling holiday. Their knowledge includes the best forms of public transport is required and sustainable cafes, b&b’s and hotels along the route. Combined with a full itinerary and support, a stress free and highly enjoyable holiday can be had. Mickledore Travel, based in Keswick have extensive knowledge of not just the Lake District but also various walking and cycling routes throughout the UK including coast to coast walking holidays and provide comprehensive holiday packages.



The Sustainable Attributes in the Construction of Brimstone Hotel

As the Brimstone Hotel was a new construction, it was possible to build and implement sustainable practices, processes and products into the real foundations of the hotel.

The thought and design of the hotel from day one has put sustainability and efficiency at the very high in the pecking order making this one of the most exciting projects to be constructed in the region. This has more than been confirmed in Brimstone reaching the finals of the Sleep awards against hotels in London and throughout Europe and is still unique amongst them, the very best new build hotels.

artist impression brimstone

Brimstone in its conception

To explain individually each and every environmentally friendly process and product used in the build would take a very long time so below is a list:

• High levels of insulation;
(Walls ‐ 0.19W/m2K, Roof – 0.1W/m2K, Floor ‐ 0.09 W/m2K, Windows – 0.15W/m2K)

• Heat recovery on ventilation systems

• VRV heating / cooling system (with auto switch off linked to windows)

• LED lighting throughout

• PIR lighting controls where appropriate

• Provision for future connection to new Biomass boiler

• All timber sourced from sustainable sources

• Rooms incorporate wood burning stoves (linked by sensors to heating systems)

• All stone and roofing slate is sourced locally from Burlington’s Elterwater quarry

• 90% of contractors and labour force from the Cumbria area

• Large full width windows maximise natural light into the rooms

• Large overhanging balconies / roofs to limit solar gain on main south elevation

• Low water use fittings where appropriate

• High levels of acoustic insulation

• Laundry chute incorporated to minimise use of lift

• The majority of building materials are recyclable

• All rainwater and is collected to feed tarn adjacent Country Club

• Waste management and recycling processes during construction

• Considerate Constructors scheme principles utilised during construction

• Rock removed from the site was crushed for use as road stone

It is very evident that far more thought has gone into Brimstone than a hotel with no environmental thought. With the architects building in provisions for future energy efficient systems such as a biomass boiler to the use of Considerate Constructors to minimise noise pollution and disruption and the use of as much locally sourced materials as possible.

Some guests may not be aware of such sustainable practices that have gone into the build and the way in which the Brimstone Hotel operates or simply such ethics do not bother them. The architecture and interior design has been created in such a way that the hotel does not scream eco which in a way, makes this build even more intelligent.

By Jenny Andrew



Low Carbon Travel in the Lake District

We should all be doing our bit to lower carbon emissions when travelling. This is something that is getting easier and more practical.

The Lake District is stunning being the most visited National Park in the UK and home to some of the most stunning scenery. Keeping it looking this stunning and preserving it for future generations is paramount. The injection of funding from the Department of Transport for the GoLakes Travel initiative is going great lengths to help promote and implement sustainable ways in which to travel around the Lake District and Cumbria through their “Drive Less See More” campaign.

Alternative forms of travel can go a long way to helping preserve the Lake District National Park and Cumbria as a whole both in terms of the Earth’s atmosphere and the atmosphere experienced at ground level. The use of public transport, cycling and electric car’s dramatically cut down on noise pollution for instance at the same time as being ways to travel more sustainably.

lake district low carbon travel

Low Carbon Travel in the Lake District – Cycling, Bike Buses, Electric Car Hire

Cycling, and its popularity over the past couple of years, has made a huge impact lowering the carbon emissions as a result of transportation. More people than ever are cycling and this is particularly evident in the Lake District. Being naturally a great area to cycle around, great routes and scenery and being renowned for outdoor pursuits, this is no surprise. GoSkyRides for example, free guided bike rides, are happening the length and breadth of the county as well as other cycling events such as ones at the Brockhole Centre. Launched this year by GoLakes Travel in conjunction with Stagecoach has been the Bike Bus. The number 800 Bike Bus service has been especially converted to carry up to 12 bikes on special on-board cycle racks.

Championing electric car use in the Lake District has been done for some time now by The Langdale Estate having installed the first electric car charging point in the Lake District back in 2011. The uptake since then was quite slow but thankfully now is on the rise. This has been partly to do with funding initiatives such as that from the OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) whereby private residences, b&b’s and holiday lets are entitled to the supply and installation of a completely free Pod Point electric and hybrid car charging point. After all, it is reported around 5000 people own electric cars in the UK at the moment with the figure rising daily and with businesses such as The Langdale Estate offering electric car hire as well now, a charging point is a very worthwhile addition.

Useful links relating to this post:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-for-low-emission-vehicles

http://www.langdale.co.uk/out&about/electric-car.html

http://www.golakes.co.uk/travel/

http://www.goskyride.com/

About the Author
Jenny Andrew loves living and working in the Lake District with her husband and two Border Collies. She enjoys writing about Cumbria and the Lake District as a travel destination, about local businesses in this region, local events & activities and has a soft spot for all things environmental and green including writing for the greenest hotel in the Lake District, The Langdale Hotel & Spa.



Sustainable Luxury – The Perfect Hotel Combination

It is possible to combine luxury with sustainability within the tourism sector?

Luxury and sustainability can sit quite nicely next to each other and work alongside each other in the tourism industry. This the very tourism industry that for varying reasons impacts greatly on the Earth and the environment within it and which should be doing its bit to preserve our wonderful planet. From the overuse of laundry and water to flights, vehicles and footpath erosion, the tourism sector contributes its fair share the problems we are seeing as a result of pollution and carbon emissions.

But being such a profitable and vast business sector and the way in which the majority of people get to see other parts of this beautiful planet, tourism is essential. Also, when it comes to selecting an environmentally friendly holiday or place to stay, sustainability and eco friendly doesn’t have to mean low quality and budget, far from it these days. Luxury, boutique, eco being the buzz words right now in the world of hotels and accommodation.

brimstone eco friendly hotel

Brimstone Hotel at Langdale

brimstone room interior

Natural and local materials used in the Brimstone Hotel Rooms

Fortunately, there seems to be a surge at the moment of tourism professionals and accommodation and hotel owners out there that realise this and have sought to combine luxury with minimal impact on the environment. Let’s face facts, thinking green in terms of construction and operationally doesn’t come cheap. It should do of course to enable more businesses to implement carbon footprint lowering facilities and processes but such systems are still in their relative infancy hence the higher cost. They also take more care, time and attention to construct and insert. So it really makes sense when a business is already in the luxury market or set to position itself within it, that they put the environment high up or at the top of their list. After all, with the constant rise in fuel and electricity costs, it makes perfect long term cost saving sense too.

There are so many ways in which a hotel can achieve a high green status. A new structure is naturally far easier to implement such systems from the foundations upwards, from its core. Architecturally, through the use of local suppliers, trades people and materials which all help to minimise transportation and which help the local economy at the same time, sustainable materials, low energy heating and cooling systems, low usage water fittings, LED lighting, rain collection and solar panels the list is endless but each and every detail is essential.

 

About the Author
Jenny Andrew loves living and working in the Lake District with her husband and two Border Collies. She enjoys writing about Cumbria and the Lake District as a travel destination, about local businesses in this region, local events & activities and has a soft spot for all things environmental and green including writing for the all new Brimstone Hotel at Langdale, an luxury and eco friendly hotel in the Lake District. Find her on Twitter and Google+.



New Blog, New News and Views from the Ecotourism World

This is a brand new blog with various aims.

Firstly, to let the world know what is so great and so good about sustainable and ecotourism around the world.

Secondly, to not educate people but to hopefully make people more aware of the benefits of envronmentally friendly travel and accommodation.

Thirdly, that ecotourism is not just for “hippies” and “tree huggers”.

Fourthly, to inform readers of the latest eco developments being implemented and carried out by travel & tourism suppliers and providers.

 

About the Author
Jenny Andrew loves living and working in the Lake District with her husband and two Border Collies. She enjoys writing about Cumbria and the Lake District as a travel destination, about local businesses in this region, local events & activities and has a soft spot for all things environmental and green.