Making the sustainable attainable by Christopher James
Lets assume youre a conscientious traveller, you want to protect the landscape andput something back when you visit. The green credentials of your accommodation provider are important to you.
Chances are its true. A survey by Visit England this year revealed that 55% of visitors take a particular interest in breaks where they can see that their visit is benefiting the local community. A similar number think its important that an accommodation provider does their bit for the environment.
A fitful nights sleep might have more to do with your choice of accommodation than the quality of your mattress.
If youre staying in Cumbria then help is at hand. A dedicated team in the heart of the lakes together with a growing membership of 280 accommodation providers across Cumbria are on a very important mission.
To inspire businesses and individuals to contribute to the conservation and enhancement of the Lake District and Cumbria, for current and for future generations.
Nurture Lakeland is a local charity with a board of trustees drawn from Cumbrian businesses, the Tourism Sector and conservation organisations including the Lake District National Park and National Trust.
Its working with visitors and tourism businesses to fundraise for local conservation projects and promote environmentally sustainable tourism.
Fundraising for conservation is nearing the 2m mark and the promotion of sustainable practices is benefiting its members with over half gaining green awards.Tiffany Solender, Nurture Lakelands corporate fundraiser,A lot of people want to contribute and put something back when they visit. A big part of our success comes from making that process easy for visitors and providing a simple method of donating.
Many members run an opt out scheme. A small fee – as little as 1 – is added to room bills listed as a contribution to a local conservation project. Guests are given the option of ticking a box to opt out of the donation when making their initial booking.English Lakes Hotels, a successful hotel group of six hotels, including the Low Wood on Windermere and the famous Wild Boar, have just achieved a fundraising milestone in raising 100,000 in donations through the opt out scheme.
Simon Berry, owner of English Lakes Hotels,We are delighted that along with our customers we can make such a positive difference to the local environment. Its critical that tourism businesses, like us, help protect our greatest asset the stunning landscape of the Lake District.
The next time you take a walk along an upland fell path, theres a good chance thatits being maintained by a Fix the Fells team. Looking across the clear waters of Derwent Water you might be oblivious to the work of the Love your Lakes campaign championing phosphate free cleaning products and helping to eliminate blue-green algae.
Youll see Herdwick sheep grazing on the fellside; you might visit Whinlatter for a glimpse of a Red Squirrel or Bassenthwaite to see the Ospreys.
Projects to protect wildlife, the environment and provide support for rural communities and farming all receive vital funding from Nurture Lakeland.
A new individual membership scheme offers invitations to behind the scenes events and updates on news and projects so you need never be in the dark again about the breadth of activities that Nurture Lakeland supports.
Together with fundraising opportunities, Nurture Lakeland provides business members with the help and information they need to make their companies more sustainable.
Reducing energy use, buying local produce, recycling or providing guests with local transport information can all reduce businesses costs and increase visitor numbers.A Visit England survey has revealed that if it came down to a choice between two similar hotels, over half would actively seek out accommodation thats doing its bit for the environment.
Sue Savege, Director of Nurture Lakeland,All of our members take sustainability seriously and over half now have environmental accreditation with many of them winning national awards for their efforts to become environmentally friendly. Its vital for the modern tourism business. Visitors are making accommodation choices every day based solely on a businesses green credentials.
To help visitors with their accommodation choice, Nurture Lakeland has launched an online green business directory listing members and the projects that they support.In Cumbria at least, achieving that inner calm that comes with an ethically aware, responsible and sustainable trip neednt mean changing your lifestyle; it could just mean changing your bed.
To find out more about Nurture Lakelands fundraising projects, business and individual memberships or to access their green directory, visit: www.nurturelakeland.org
You can also search for a place to stay throughNurture Lakelandwho have a list of fantastic accommodation providers that are doing their bit for the environment.
These businesses are members ofNurture Lakeland, interested in sustainable tourism and may be fundraising for conservation projects in the area.