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Hawkstone Park receives environmental award (4th November 2011)

A historic Shropshire tourist attraction has earned a silver award from a nationwide business tourism scheme for its commitment to protecting the planet.

Hawkstone Park in Weston-under-Redcastle, Shrewsbury, has been presented with the award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme – the national sustainable certification scheme for the UK.

Over the last 12 months, environmental issues have been top of the multi-purpose site’s agenda as staff have insulated buildings and roof spaces, used rainwater to water the grounds, recycled plastics, newspapers, stamps and scrap metals, used eco-friendly products, audited its suppliers for their green credentials and bought recycled paper.

Grade I listed Hawkstone Park, which features the Follies, two golf courses and a hotel, has promised to achieve a number of green goals over the next year ranging from growing food on site and operating a car sharing scheme for staff to monitoring its flora and fauna and selling and donating unwanted equipment.

David Sims, general manager at Hawkstone Park, said looking after the environment was a very important cause for staff and its visitors.

“Working at such a fantastic countryside location as Hawkstone Park makes us all aware of the importance of protecting our environment for the benefit of our visitors and future generations,” he said.

“The Green Tourism Business Scheme is a key part of our plans to improve our carbon footprint because there are often very simple actions we can all take from switching off our computers when we go home to putting timers on heaters.

“We have identified several sustainable ways in which we can improve our business activities to prevent any impact on the environment which we will be putting into action in the coming year.

“We will be growing food here to use in dishes in our restaurant, monitoring our water usage, using biodegradable packing and products not tested on animals, and encouraging staff development through training, education and voluntary work.

“We have also planted over 200 new trees on the golf course and this is part of our commitment to plant at least one new tree for each conference that takes place at the hotel. Hopefully this goes someway to offsetting the carbon footprint of the event and giving conference organisers another reason to choose our quiet rural location.

“Moving forwards we are looking at ways of generating our own power on site and introducing more sustainable systems for heating our water.

“By securing a silver award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme it enables customers to make a clear environmental choice when looking at tourism services in Shropshire and we are pleased with the significant strides we are taking.”