Something I am very passionate about is sustainability and our impact on the environment. As a campsite that is closed for the winter months now is a great time to look at things from more of a distance. It's an opportunity to take stock of what we already do and find areas where we can do better.
At the moment this is exactly what I am doing, so I wanted to make a post at the beginning of this project, share some ideas about how we might go forward and be honest about where we can do better. Becoming an environmentally friendly campsite is about continuous improvement, not a just quick fix. Luckily Cornwall is full of great initiatives and forward-looking businesses. The chance to work with other local businesses and get advice from some fantastic support structures is hugely exciting. It's not just world leaders talking about it!
My first step is to understand what we are already doing well. Trewan has always been developed to be sympathetic with its surroundings, all of the conversions on site have used local materials, and in the historical vernacular of the existing structures. Our woodlands and gardens are carefully developed and supported with native species and aiming to increase the natural diversity of plants and animals across the estate.
For a long time, Trewan has been a part of the David Bellamy scheme and we are the proud owners of a Gold award for conservation. We have also been recognised as a bee-friendly campsite, 5/5 for Wildlife conservation, 5/5 for Woodland conservation and 5/5 for supporting local tourism jobs.
What's great about being part of the scheme is that we get annual reports on how we are doing and where we can improve. Last year's report advised three possible areas of improvement. Firstly adding a thermos for coffee milk in the Camp Shop. In the past, we have used individual servings so this seems like an easy fix. Something we need to be wary of, however, is Covid-19 implications for this summer, another reason to cross our fingers we operate as close to 'normal' as possible!
Secondly, they advised we add a water butt for watering around the shop area. This is an interesting one because we draw our water from several wells around the estate. This is something we are licenced to do and take great care that it meets all the health requirements. With this in place, I am not sure if it makes any difference if we draw water or store rain runoff for watering purposes. The only potential benefit would be reducing the usage of small pumps in the wells, but these are reasonably efficient. I see this falling in the category of 'fine tuning'.
Lastly and something that gets me excited - we were advised to make a nature trail for the campsite. This would give kids and adults a chance to explore the grounds and learn about the environment we have here in a fun and interactive way. We are blessed with some beautiful and varied ecosystems here at Trewan and it feels like a great opportunity to shine a light on some of these. Needless to say plans are in the works to create such a trail, so watch this space!
Camping is already such a great way to take a holiday that is low impact, but it would be amazing to reduce this impact even further in an easy and non-costly way. What's better than taking a holiday where you both get back to nature and feel like you are leaving no trace - I'm looking at you cruise ships...
As a business, there are many other areas that we will look at but they feel like separate posts. Things like our waste arrangements, packaging in the shop and getting involved in other local initiatives. All things I am going to look at in more detail and hope to write more on soon.
On a more personal note, I have recently found a way to offset my carbon through an app -Tickr. I love a good app, and especially a tech solution that makes things easy! At the risk of sounding like a plug, here is a link if people are interested -
Its primarily an investment platform for positive impact businesses but they also allow you to spend £6 a month on carbon credits, which they have calculated off-sets the typical carbon footprint of a UK citizen. I'm sure there are lots of other ways to do this but this is one I found very easy.
I would be interested to hear about what areas you would like to see us look at, and of course, if you have any comments about specific things I have mentioned please do post away!