Green Tourism Award – Silver

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Ross Bay Retreat & Overdale Cottage

A qualified assessor for Green Tourism undertook a Green Check for the above named site. This is a summary of the activities being undertaken on site in relation to the Green Tourism criteria. This Green Check report is a statement on the performance of the business as a sustainable tourism operation.

Current Award Status Silver – (Version V)

Green Tourism Promotional Statement

Ross Bay Retreat & Overdale Cottage is off to a great start, securing the SILVER level of award at first assessment. The owners are clearly very knowledgeable about sustainability issues and have incorporated this into the cottages, while running the farm sustainably as well. The bigger impacts are all under control due to the biomass heating, efficient appliances LED lighting in most areas. The local area with lots of walks and attractions are promoted well (Cream O Galloway) encouraging guests to explore locally . There has been effort made to create lots of wildlife habitats with wildflower planted and a big hotel created – this is complemented with a nature diary and spotting books.

Green Tourism Opportunities

While scoring well there are still some green initiatives to consider in future. Keep telling your green story more , using the Green Tourism logo and plaque and perhaps getting involved in some of the campaigns in the area. Dumfries and Galloway have the Eco Deco waste system but should be improving on this. Ensure to have some up to date waste information for guests to let them know why the system appears to be different in the area. Keep greening the supply chain aiming for more eco cleaning products as well as 100% recycled paper items. Further recommendations have been made throughout the audit report, which should be read in conjunction with the criteria document. Additional supporting information can be found in the members area on the Green Tourism website

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FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS & ACTIONS

Ref

Criteria opportunities

Comment

1.02

Green Policy OR Statement

Very nice biodiversity page on the website. Could develop more focusing on the cottages. E.g. http://www.merlin-farm- cottages-cornwall.co.uk/green-policy

1.03

Establishing a green action plan

Lots of ideas going forward. Could use this report as the basis for an action plan which you can develop over time. Keep a log of actions completed, persons responsible, timescales etc.

1.14

Monitoring Energy Use

One meter for all farm. Could look at trends. Could do some analysis of trends. This could allow targets for reduction to be set. There are simple spreadsheets on GT members area.

1.15

Monitoring Water Use

Water costs are always on the increase. Could record consumption every month or so and use this as a starting point for further reductions.

1.16

Monitoring Waste & Recycling

Could keep a tally of waste and recyclate produced by the business and/or visitors. This could be a starting point for further landfill reductions and cost savings.

2.01

Green profile & use of Green Tourism logo

Ensure to show your green commitment on your webpage and have the plaque on display onsite.

2.02

Promotion of local food/craft retailers and delivery options

Website ha good info on places to eat. . For a good example see: http://www.cottageinthedales.co.uk/holiday- cottages/14/Shopping%20&%20Markets

2.03

Provision of public transport information on website

Could have clear links to local and national transport providers e.g. http://www.traveline.info to allow guests to make an informed choice of how they arrive but also to plan car free or minimal car use days out in the area during their stay.

2.04

Display Information

Blog articles . Some good info on progress so far. Ensure to tell your green story with details of how you have greened the property, local green news and events. This can help raise awareness but also may be an opportunity for press articles.

2.05

Social media linked to Green Tourism

Nice blog articles on green. Could promote more green ideas/actions/stories linking with Green Tourism on your social media sites.

Consider getting involved in some of the Green Tourism campaigns for 2019 and 2020.

Use #livegreen, #greentourism, and #GreenTourismGold, Green TourismSilver or #GreenTourismBronze.

2.07

Creating a Responsible Visitor Charter

You could give your visitors some suggestions of how to be green in the area. To create your own see the example document e.g. http://www.goldenjubileehotel.com/hotel/info/social- responsibility/gjch-visitor-charter/ or https://www.stayatcohort.co.uk/responsible-visitor-charter/

Green Tourism Ver 5 – 2014
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All data and materials provided by the client are confidential and will not be used for any purposes without permission.

3.01

Local social community projects

Supported school netball team and Borgue primary school. Swim club – worth logging your community activities in your green evidence file for next time.

3.03

Visitor Payback (Visitor Giving) initiatives

Consider a visitor payback e.g. £1 per booking towards a local social or environmental projects e.g. Air Ambulance. Wildlife Trust etc. For ideas see https://www.lakedistrictfoundation.org/get-started/ or https://greenmotion.com/green-heart-donation

3.04

International sustainable/responsible projects

Look into international links perhaps twinning some toilets e.g. http://www.toilettwinning.org/

3.08

Fairly traded food & drink

Out of Eden. More Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance branded items for guests could be a good awareness raising feature.

3.10

Information in an accessible format

Suggest developing a full access statement for guests with disabilities. For ideas see: https://cambridgeholidaycottages.com/wp- content/uploads/2015/10/Fullers-hill-Cottages-Access- Statement.pdf or https://www.disabledgo.com/access- guide/university-of-glasgow/kelvin-hall. To create your own see: https://www.accessibilityguides.org/

4.01

Efficient fridges and freezers

All bought post 2014. When you need to replace any equipment look for at least A++ rated or commercial equivalent

4.06

LED Lighting

2 new properties have LED . Other ones are getting changed over. Could change more bulbs to LEDs. Aim for 100% LED coverage in next few years.

4.07

External lighting with suitable controls

Consider LED alternatives. This can work well with timers and motion controllers.

4.19

Photovoltaic and micro hydro systems

Solar panels going live soon. Check next time.

5.01

Showers

Could test flow rate. Aim for around 7lpm per shower. This will be a water saving but also heating saving. For ideas see www.savemoneycutcarbon.com

5.02

Basin and sink taps

Could test flow rate. Restrictors or aerator fittings can reduce flow considerably. Aim for around 5 litres per minute per tap.

5.09

Rainwater and grey water harvesting

Some water butts could help reduce main water usage but also act as an awareness raising tool for visitors.

5.12

Phosphate-free soaps, detergents and bleaches

Some eco cleaners. Some standard – CIF, Dettol etc. Should aim for all cleaning products to be completely phosphate and chlorine free. Could trial several ‘eco’ brands e.g. Delphis Eco.

6.05

Paper products in housekeeping

Pure Soft. Consider 100% recycled paper.

Green Tourism Ver 5 – 2014
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All data and materials provided by the client are confidential and will not be used for any purposes without permission.

6.06

Drinking water from the destination

No bottled water for guests. If the tap water is excellent could make a feature out of this and there being no need to buy bottled water – just refill your bottle from the tap.

6.19

Sustainable timber (hardwoods)

Keep details if you are using any sustainable timber.

6.20

Green energy tariffs

Scottish power. Look for a green electricity tariff where 100% of the electricity comes from renewables. See GT members area of the website for more details. Ecotricity and Good Energy are very popular.

7.02- 7.06

reduce, reuse, recycle

Keep aware of the waste hierarchy and look for other ways to reduce and reuse as much as possible.

7.04

Recycled plastic purchase/plastic reuse and recycling

Eco Deco system. Try to reduce as much single use plastics from the business as possible. Could also link with social media campaigns and Green Tourism. Solway recycling.

7.10

Kitchen waste composting

Could look at a Green Cone or Green Johanna onsite. Ensure everyone is aware of what can/cannot be composted.

8.01

Promotion of car free activities

Could develop some specific car free itineraries for days out without car (or minimal) linking walks, cycle routes with attractions and public transport in the area. For ideas see: http://www.bosinver.co.uk/green-bosinver/50-things-to-do- without-a-car or http://www.gorgeviewcottage.co.uk/some-car- free-ideas.html

8.04

Information on walking, cycling and other travel activities

In cottages there is path . 40 walks. Could look to personalise walking and cycling information further with routes starting from the property taking into account nature and culture on the way. Could grade easy, medium, hard for guests.

8.05

Cycle storage & cycle hire

Bike hire in Kirkcudbright. Could mention any secure storage and repair kit on your website.

8.09

Electric car charging point

The introduction of an electric vehicle charging station could be looked into or promoted.

9.01

Natural and cultural heritage initiatives

Consider joining a conservation organization e.g. RSPB or WWT or having an animal mascot for your business – this could be useful for any promotional work you do

9.09

Significant tree planting or conservation

Have done some in past. Planning for more. Keep a log of these.

9.13

Dark skies as part of a package/product

Dark sky tourism is becoming more popular in the UK. Could promote any events but also have binoculars/telescope, star charts etc. For ideas see http://www.staybeacons.com/activities/star-gazing/

Green Tourism Ver 5 – 2014
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