Here at Exmoor House we had our latest Green Tourism assessment a couple of months ago, and we got the results the other day. To our delight, we've achieved a gold award. In fact, we are the first accommodation provider on Exmoor, and the first guest house in Somerset, to do this. The only two other places in Somerset to have achieved gold so far are Wimbleball Lake, near Dulverton, and Tordown Bed & Breakfast, in Glastonbury. As well as accommodation and attractions, the awards cover other businesses such as pubs, information centres, tour operators, events venues and language schools.
We've always done our best to run Exmoor House in such a way that we minimise our effect on the environment. To me, as well as being something I really believe in, this is just plain old common sense. At the risk of sounding a bit jargon-y, the Green Tourism accreditation process is a very good way for businesses to benchmark themselves against a comprehensive set of standards.
The assessment visit is thorough, helpful and positive, with credit given where it's due and useful tips provided for how to improve where necessary. Green Tourism assess each business every two years, and since our last inspection in 2008 they had revised their assessment scheme criteria, making the standards even more rigorous. So it's even more pleasing that we've improved on the silver award we gained two years ago. Now we're shouting about it!
There's more information about the scheme at http://www.green-business.co.uk/