There’s a lot to consider when planning an eco friendly holiday. From the transport you choose to get you there to the accommodation in which you stay and the activities you do during your break, every part of your holiday has an environmental implication. For those travellers who seek to make their holiday as environmentally friendly as possible, one of the most important considerations is your carbon footprint.
By selecting a destination which doesn’t require a flight, the carbon impact of your trip is substantially reduced and this has led to the increasing popularity of domestic travel (holidays here in the UK) in the past few years. The New Forest has played an important part in this, as a destination which can be easily reached on the train (just 1.5 hours from London) and which offers plenty of sustainable accommodation options and activities on arrival, too.
New Forest: Environmental Credentials
The New Forest is a National Park which has been so categorised thanks to its expansive countryside and moorlands, hundreds of wildlife species and its long standing history as an area of national importance.
The local council works closely with environmental agencies to protect the area and its inhabitants. The range of environmental protection schemes and coastal management programmes mean that the authorities are well placed to preserve the New Forest.
But the environmental credentials of the New Forest go beyond the programmes and agency involvement. Those who live and work in the region take great pride in preserving its heritage and natural beauty too.
Eco Friendly Accommodation in the New Forest
For some, eco friendly accommodation usually means camping or staying without ‘luxuries’ like electricity. But that’s not the whole story and visitors to the New Forest can elect to stay in beautifully presented, well appointed accommodation which still ticks the ‘eco friendly’ boxes.
One such property is Beecroft, a beautifully appointed holiday cottage for two in Minstead, New Forest. It has been built with environmental considerations in mind and has a minimal carbon footprint due to its focus on various elements:
Reduced carbon footprints come down, in large part, to the use of natural resources in an accommodation. The generation of electricity can be a big drain because the property is adding to the already huge demand on the National Grid.
Solar power is one way to reduce the carbon footprint and those properties which incorporate solar panels are generating their own electricity and therefore reducing their carbon footprint. Beecroft uses solar power to generate electricity which is used by the property, and the excess is fed back into the Grid.
Efficient use of resources
The efficiency of appliances and heating systems is another important contributor to the eco friendly credentials of holiday accommodation.
When we go on holiday, we often want to have those home comforts like under floor heating and 24 hour hot water, but those things don’t usually ring of eco-friendliness. However, when implemented intelligently, they can be much more efficient than your usual installation. For example, Beecroft uses an Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) to improve heating efficiency as it uses electricity to transfer heat from the outside to the inside of a building, and vice versa.
Use of local resources
Finally, eco friendly properties will make use of the resources available locally, and ensure they are ethically sourced and replenished.
Wood burning stoves, for example, can be really lovely additions to a property but if the wood used for it isn’t locally sourced, it has its own carbon impact. Beecroft has a wood burning stove and its fuel is sourced from logs grown on the property and frequently replenished.
Beecroft is available for weekend or week long stays. It sleeps two people plus a cot or child under 10 years old and costs from £715.00. Find out more here: https://www.newforestliving.co.uk/holidaycottage/beecroft-68/
Eco Friendly Activities in the New Forest
There are plenty of activities for visitors of all ages in the New Forest. It’s an area of natural beauty and simply walking around will give you chance to see wild New Forest ponies roaming the streets, birds of prey flying overhead and trees and plants of all varieties.
Beaulieu is a gorgeous area to visit if you’re interested in history especially. Beaulieu Abbey is a 13th century Cistercian abbey which was destroyed in 1538 on the orders of King Henry VIII, the conserved ruins and herb gardens are fascinating and beautiful to explore. Just down river is Buckler’s Hard, a preserved 18th century village where Nelson’s fleet was built.
The sea wall between Lymington and Keyhaven is a real treat for those who enjoy the coast. It’s a gentle 5 miles walk and you can stop along the way to take in the views across the Solent over to the Isle of Wight.
If you prefer something more organised, New Forest Activities offers a range of activities. Their guided walks offer a range of locations and activities such as foraging and animal tracking, which are great for teaching little ones about the importance of protecting the environment.
They also offer kayaking trips and cycle hire, helping you to get out and see more of the local area in an environmentally friendly way.
Green Tourism in the New Forest
The New Forest is a great option for anyone looking for an eco friendly travel destination. With eco friendly accommodation like Beecroft, plenty of eco friendly activities and the local council’s commitment to preserving the area, it’s set to be an eco friendly destination of choice for many years to come.
February 12, 2016 - by Gemma Dalton