Tuesday, 20 May 2008

ecoescape in the Cornish Guardian

Orchard Lodge B&B, one of our top 50 ecoescapes, recently appeared in their local newspaper - the Cornish Guardian, brandishing a copy of ecoescape. The article reads:

Date : 14.05.08

A couple who took over a North Cornwall business less than two years ago have made it into a prestigious new guide to eco tourism.

Orchard Lodge is one of only two B &Bs in the area to be featured in the latest edition of ecoescape, described as "the handbook to responsible escapism". Editor Laura Burgess visited the guest house run by Geoff and Shelley Barratt (left) during their first full season last year and describes some of the new renovation as "inspiring". The second edition, which has just been published by the Green Guide Company, also includes some of Cornwall's best known attractions, such as the Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan.

For Geoff and Shelley it's one of a number of accolades gained in the past year.

Orchard Lodge, Boscastle achieved a gold award from the Green Tourism Business scheme and Shelley has been appointed an ambassador by the Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project (CoaST) and invited to talk on sustainable tourism at conferences in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles.

"Were delighted that the guide chose to feature Orchard Lodge.

"We'd no idea we would get such a glowing report, we didn't think we would be important enough to be included" said Shelley.

The book is defining a new way to travel and "proving that we can enjoy the environment but leave no hint that we'd ever been there."

Ms Burgess said : "We don't have to go far to do this: we believe the best places to escape are closer than we had ever imagined.

"In the UK there are some of the most inspiring people and places to be found anywhere in the world: It just takes some fresh eyes and a new mind set to enjoy them."

At Orchard Lodge, Geoff and Shelley are already hard at work on more plans to develop the business. In the last few months they've joined farmers Liz and Anthony Brewer at their nearby B &B in a new scheme to produce their own pork for breakfast sausages, and only this week a new, state of the art, solar water heating unit has been installed.

"We want to get away from any suggestion that being green or environmentally friendly means a lowering of standards," added Shelley. "We think you can care and enjoy all the comforts we've traditionally been used to in Cornwall. In the Boscastle area, for instance, there are five gold award winners, proportionately more than anywhere else in the UK and in real terms more than for the whole of Greater London."

As members of Boscastle's Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Geoff and Shelley are also actively involved in planning for Boscastle's big festivals this autumn - the Food and Craft Festival on October 4 and 5, followed by Walking Week from October 6. This year the festival is raising money for the Precious Lives Appeal for a Children's Hospice in Cornwall. It will be launched with a charity concert on Thursday, October 3. Already more than 90 food and craft related businesses across the South West have signed up and chefs from leading restaurants such as Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall and Rick Stein's in Padstow will be giving demonstrations.

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