Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Gold Award for Green Tourism at Chatsworth

Chatsworth has received a ‘Gold’ award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) in recognition of its commitment to excellent environmental practice.

GTBS Inspectors visited the Peak District country estate on 19 February to make an assessment of Chatsworth House, Garden, Farmyard plus the Stables Shops and Restaurants and remarked that “Chatsworth clearly demonstrates how a historical building can carefully juxtapose this historic significance with the principles of sustainable tourism.”

The audit drew particular attention to highlights such as improved roof insulation; excellent use of local and homemade food and beverage products; the replacement of high wattage lighting with LED equivalents; and excellent green management processes, in a report which also noted that “over the last two years the GTBS scoring system has become more rigorous and receiving a GOLD should be commended.” Andrea Nicholas, Director of Green Tourism at GTBS said: “They are an excellent example for other historic attractions.”

“The award is a great achievement, and should be seen as part of Chatsworth’s ongoing commitment to the environment, with recommendations from the assessment helping us to push for further success”, said the Duke of Devonshire.

“We want to develop, steer and promote an evolving policy of environmental awareness and social responsibility with a vision to ensure Chatsworth’s on-going commitment to sustainability with the philosophy ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ at its heart.”

Recent green successes at Chatsworth include:

  • Annual litter pick: this year 86 volunteers covered 30 miles on the Chatsworth estate and collected 150 bags of litter including larger items such as car batteries, tyres, 17 hub caps and enough tiles for a whole bathroom.
  • The Farm Shop uses half a million fewer plastic bags than it did 2 years ago.
  • New, additional recycling bins mean Chatsworth now recycles more than 60 tonnes of visitor waste every year.
  • A rolling programme of replacing halogen/high wattage lighting with LED equivalents, which use much less electricity, including LED floodlighting on the house.
  • More than 40,000 trees have been planted across 60 acres of the ‘Jubilee Woodland’ - the largest tree planting at Chatsworth for over 90 years.

Sustainability and the environment have been important at Chatsworth since the early 1800s.  The 6th Duke developed the sustainable water features in the garden, bringing water from the nearby lakes and in the late 19C Chatsworth’s first water-powered turbine was installed to provide green electricity to the house.

The Green Tourism Business Scheme has been running since 1997 and with over 2000 members across the UK and Ireland it is the largest and most established scheme of its type in the World. Green Business UK Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2001 to deliver the GTBS. Chatsworth was previously assessed in 2011 when it achieved a silver rating.

“We are very impressed with what Chatsworth has achieved over the past two years.  Working with historic buildings especially one as iconic as Chatsworth can be challenging.  However, they have embraced modern technology in appropriate places and through their green team they have been able to successfully integrate measures without detracting from the building while also improving the quality of the experience for their guests”, said Andrea Nicholas, Director of Green Tourism.

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