With thousands of people visiting Britain’s countryside and beaches every year many are trying to be as eco-friendly as possible to ensure the landscape remains unspoilt. Here’s how you can enjoy an eco-friendly holiday in Britain’s countryside.
From the Scottish Highlands to the Cornish coast – Britain has some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. Our countryside and beaches attract tourists from across the globe and, as family budgets tighten, many are forsaking their exotic holidays to discover new places closer to home. The entire magnificent scenery could easily be spoiled by, say, littering.
The bonus of holidaying in Britain is that most places only take a few hours by car to get to. The flipside is that you often are more aware of wanting to protect the local area, not just for this country’s future generations, but also for the thousands of foreign tourists who visit our shores every year; no one wants tourism to negatively affect the environment to the extent that you need to call in a specialist waste management companies.
Of course, even low levels of tourism can be damaging to the local environment, however there are loads of simple ways to ensure you do as little harm as possible; whether you are visiting just for a day or for two weeks.
Respect the natives and wildlife
Respecting the local wildlife is one of the most important things you can do when in the countryside. In the same way as you wouldn’t go to a foreign country and destroy the locals’ homes or littering your forests, you wouldn’t destroy the habitation that plants and animals need to survive. Britain’s countrywide and beaches are teaming with a variety of plants and animals, some of which are protected or rare species.
Taking your rubbish home, keeping to marked paths, paying attention to site notices and closingcgates behind you are simple ways of ensuring that your visit has a minimum damage on the local wildlife. Also research ahead of your visit to make sure there are any particular rules or special wildlife that you need to be especially aware of, for example the Norfolk Broads has speed restrictions to ensure boats don’t destroy the habitation there.
Although you will probably need to get to your destination by car, or maybe even plane however once there look at using local public transport rather than driving everywhere. Some of the lakes in the Lake District, for example, have ferry services while other popular tourist destinations have efficient bus services geared towards visitors.
Also while in the countryside it is a great opportunity to get involved in the outdoor lifestyle by walking and cycling more; lots of Brits like to bike, and this is definitely one of the things you can learn from them and take back home. By doing a bit of research beforehand you will probably find a great bike hire place or some national trust trails.
Eat like the locals
Being a tourist is an ideal opportunity to explore and try new things. If you usually rely on supermarkets for your weekly shop, being on holiday makes it a perfect time to try local produce and shop in farm shops for your food.
Not only does this give you the opportunity to try new foods, but also helps local farmers and, as the produce isn’t travelling long distances, is environmentally-friendly too – a win-win situation all-round!
Where to stay
When planning a trip, deciding where to stay usually takes the most time. You might think there are few eco-friendly choices here, but with a little creative thinking you would be surprised at what is now available.
Have you ever thought about staying on an eco-friendly houseboat? Or perhaps a sustainable farm? For the less adventurous there are many eco-friendly hotels and Bed and Breakfasts across the UK. Honestly, there are just so many things you can learn, while having a fantastic time at this kind of housing.
If you decide to camp, remember that unless you are staying in a designated camp site you need the landowner’s permission to set up camp. Also be sure to remember to be careful with fires and that you take all rubbish home with you. This being said, camping is definitely one of the most fun options available.
With a bit of research, planning and common sense, visiting the countryside or beach doesn’t need to damage the local environment or wildlife, and by using local transport, shops and farms may in fact have a positive impact on the local area.
This article was written by Derin Clark – a writer, journalist and blogger with many years’ experience writing for business publications. She is particularly interested in how businesses are improving their commitments to being more environmentally friendly.