Green Tourism beside the Helford River

The Budock Vean Hotel, three times winner of Cornwall’s Hotel of the Year Award and Gold Award Winner for Green Tourism, celebrated the New Year with two new eco-tourism awards.

The Budock Vean achieved Gold in the Sustainable Tourism Initiative of the Year category of the Cornwall Tourism Awards 2007. Judges were impressed by the Budock Vean’s strong sustainability ethos where care for the environment was clearly at the heart of operations.

The level of commitment and thoroughness of sustainable practices shown by the hotel to reduce their environmental impact was highlighted as an example to other businesses in the tourism industry.

The Cornwall Sustainability Awards 2007 also named the Budock Vean as Medium Sized Business Winner for its best practices of sustainable solutions that help save the planet and make economic sense.

Second generation owners Martin and Amanda Barlow have made considerable efforts over the past seven years to run the hotel in an environmentally friendly way to benefit their native Cornwall.

Recent initiatives are inventive and varied and include:

  • the use of a granular organic fertiliser combined with mycorrhizal fungi to feed the gardens and the nine hole golf course.
  • a clever UV dechlorination system which recycles every three weeks 10,000 litres of wastewater from the pool and the hot tub to water the gardens and the golf course every three weeks.
  • waste water and sewage discharge occurs to enzyme-activated septic tanks and feeds an alder bed. This is a core part of a strategy to ensure that the Budock Vean does not pollute the Helford River as a result of business activities.
  • The Budock Vean is totally committed to purchasing as many products and services as possible from Cornish and in particular local based suppliers. In 2007, the hotel spent approx £3 million with suppliers and 75% of this total spend was with suppliers within the county.
  • Over 25 native species of trees and wildflowers have been re-introduced and the nesting boxes accommodate bats and wild birds.

The word is spreading and the Budock Vean has been listed in the top 50 greenest hotels in the UK and short listed in the Virgin responsible Tourism Awards. Martin Barlow was recently invited to advise hoteliers in the Isles of Scilly on best environmental practices.

The Barlows agree that ‘going green’ will never jeopardise their guests feel good factor and believe that the Budock Vean is its own best advert for the eco approach in this highly competitive industry. Guest repeat and recommended stays account for 64% of the bookings year on year.

And as for the future? Budock Vean is committed to becoming less oil dependant and plans are in hand to make the hotel estate a mini generator of energy rather than purely a user.

For further information visit
Martin and Amanda Barlow – owners Budock Vean Hotel

Extract from HVMCA newsletter No.35 Autumn 2004

© Helford Voluntary Marine Conservation Area