A farm with holiday cottages in the Ribble Valley countryside has received the Sustainable Tourism Award at the 'Oscars' of the North West tourism and will go forward to compete at a national level.
Clough Bottom Farm near Clitheroe, a seventeenth-century working farm with holiday cottages, won the accolade at England’s Northwest Tourism Awards.
The annual award ceremony, held at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Manchester on Wednesday, 29 September, was organised by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).
The Lancashire business was up against fellow contenders, Chester Zoo, the Manchester International Festival, Elder Grove in Cumbria and Jury’s Inn in Liverpool. It will now go forward to represent the North West in the sustainable tourism category at the national Enjoy England Excellence Awards 2011.
'Better and better'
Clough Bottom Farm already holds the Sustainable Tourism Award 2010/2011 from the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board and it won the Lancashire Evening Post Green Business of the Year Award in 2009. It received re-accreditation as a Gold member of the national Green Tourism Business Scheme last December.
The business has implemented a number of recycling and waste reduction initiatives and in 2009 it installed a bio-diesel processing plant to convert waste oils into bio-diesel and provide a renewable source of fuel for its farm vehicles. It has also installed low-energy light bulbs and has a water borehole to draw up groundwater and help control mains water usage.
The farm runs a 'Give the car a holiday' scheme to encourage guests to explore the Trough of Bowland on foot or by bus, with a series of 'Explore from your Door' itineraries. It has also been part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme for 20 years. Beehives are managed on site and a range of organic fruit and vegetables, free range eggs and farm-reared organic beef are produced.
Felicity Goodey, chair of Visit England’s Northwest, said: "It just gets better and better. Each year we celebrate some of the best of our many outstanding businesses which, together, have established the North West as one of the most popular visitor destinations in the country.
"We are used to them going on to win national awards and I have every confidence that last night’s winners will be the ones to beat at the next national finals."
Clough Bottom Farm has received advice on renewable energy technologies from Envirolink Northwest and taken part in an on site resource efficiency review by a local ENWORKS adviser from Groundwork Pennine Lancashire, who identified a number of additional opportunities for reducing costs and improving its energy efficiency.