Green is the new black - take an eco-chic break this summer
Mar 4 2011 Posted by Lewis Shields
In 2011 no-one has an excuse for not going green, even when on holiday. At Pitchup.com holidaymakers can search for eco-friendly campsites all over Britain and Ireland. Whether it’s a campsite which runs on solar or wind power, has recycling available, has a David Bellamy award or grows its own food, it can be found at Pitchup.com.
Here’s our pick of five top eco-friendly campsites around the country:
Certified by Sustainable Travel International, North Lodge is an organic low-carbon smallholding right on the edge of the Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park. Co-owner Jane, who’s been an energy expert for over 20 years, says the aim of the site is to keep environmental impact down as much as possible, as well as attract campers who want authentic and affordable camping. From the low-pressure shower to the gardening and dog-training courses to cars not being allowed on the camping field (guests get wheelbarrows to move their stuff from vehicle to field, as well as their own recycling and compost boxes), Jane, Martin and collies Bow and Luke are doing all they can to win the Pembrokeshire Tourism Sustainability Award this month.
Opening in April 2011, The Yurt Retreat is an adults-only site under an ancient hill fort, run by brothers Paul and Andrew on their family’s organic dairy farm near Crewkerne in Somerset. Paul says they want to provide luxury camping accommodation in a green environment – the four yurts, made from canvas with a timber lattice, are fully furnished with double beds and wood burners, and the farm itself uses solar energy and has its own borehole for water. The Retreat is even planning on offering green wedding receptions using the converted 17th century barns on the farm, so couples can get party the night away around the communal firepit – no matching bridesmaids’ dresses required.
From the brochure printed on recycled paper to the low-energy lighting throughout the park, The Quiet Site near Penrith is an eco-friendly haven. The site has been awarded a Gold David Bellamy Conservation Award and operates almost fully as a carbon-neutral company, offsetting any unavoidable carbon emissions with a programme of local tree planting. Solar panels are used to heat most of the water, and the bar, toilets and children’s room are heated by a boiler using sustainable wood. Even the cleaning products are biodegradable, making this one of the greenest sites around.
4) Penhale Caravan and Camping Park, Cornwall
A working organic farm producing mainly wheat and barley at Fowey on the Cornish south coast, this four-star campsite provides pitches for tents and touring caravans as well as offering caravans for hire. Recently Penhale started selling its organic winter vegetables to visitors and is now expanding this to include summer produce, alongside the eggs from the farm’s 300 free-range hens. Renewable energy is used throughout the site and recycling is available, giving Penhale a Bronze David Bellamy Award. The site is set in a designated area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
5) Saughy Rigg Farm, Northumberland
Just half a mile from Hadrian’s Wall and within Northumberland National Park, Saughy Rigg Farm has two camping pods for visitors and a mostly organic menu with fresh local produce run by husband and wife team Cath and Brad, with daughter and son in law Sian and Sean looking after the bar and restaurant. Cath says the eco-friendly theme came naturally to them when setting up the site two years ago because of their own ethics. It’s also very popular with guests and reduces the site’s carbon emissions by not using fossil fuel (a biomass boiler uses locally sourced waste timber). The farm also has a ground-source heat pump and solar panels providing most of the heating and hot water onsite, and as much waste and rubbish as possible is recycled.
Winner of Best Travel Information Site at the 2010 Travolution awards, Pitchup.com is the most comprehensive website in the camping and caravanning sector. Launched in July 2009, the site features 5,000 campsites and holiday parks in the UK and Ireland, including many in hard-to-find locations. The website enables users to search and book using more than 80 search criteria to fine-tune their holiday requirements, and features mapping technology to make getting there simple too. The site also lists accommodation near nine National Parks, hundreds of beaches, 17 World Heritage Sites and the main UK festivals and can view nearby Good Pub Guide pubs, National Trust properties and National Cycle Network routes. Website owners can also add custom Pitchup.com listings to their site.
Issued by Flagship Consulting
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