At Footpath Holidays we consider ourselves to be very privileged to be living and working in the heart of the British countryside. The very nature of what we do makes us passionately committed to the preservation of landscape, flora, fauna and biodiversity as well as to the conservation of the planet's natural resources. As parents we feel an additional responsibility to do as much as we can to ensure that our daughters, and future generations, are able to enjoy the natural environment to the same extent as we have. On the home front we are committed to reducing our energy use, minimising pollution and waste, recycling and the use of recycled products, purchase of local produce, increased use of organic produce, and producing a high proportion of our own food from the garden. We use the car as little as possible and make as many local trips as are practicable by bicycle. We are equally committed to the principles of sustainability and conservation in our business.
Green Tourism Business Scheme: Footpath Holidays are members of the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS), which is the nationally-recognised sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK. Footpath Holidays currently holds a Gold Award from the GTBS.
Our Walks: We choose our walks carefully to show our guests the very best that the countryside has to offer but take care to avoid the most fragile habitats and to avoid disturbance of wildlife, such as ground-nesting birds.
Our Accommodation Providers: As well as comfortable accommodation, great food, good location and a warm welcome we look for country houses, inns and guest houses who shop locally and ethically, as well as making sustainability and conservation a priority when it comes to housekeeping and administration. Many of our accommodation providers are fellow members of the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
Transport: We hope that as many guests as possible will take the opportunity to leave their car at home, so all of our holiday bases can be reached by public transport. Outline information is provided in our brochure and throughout our website. Detailed information is sent out in response to bookings and we are always happy to answer specific questions and provide guidance on request. When we use transport for our walks, we work with minibus operators local to the walk base. This serves to keep carbon usage to a minimum and helps to sustain often fragile local economies - a tangible benefit in return for welcoming visitors to the area. Our guests enjoy the contact with local drivers, many of whom are great characters with plenty of tales to tell!.
Administration: Within the Footpath Holidays office we try to ensure that all stationery comes from recycled sources, and all paper material received is either recycled or reused. All ink/toner cartridges are recycled. As in the home, we try to minimise energy use and make every effort to support our local village Post Office. We are making it a priority to cut down on the use of paper and ink by making e-mail our preferred method of communication.
The Future: Footpath Holidays will continue to seek to improve its environmental practises, support 'green tourism' initiatives, and comply with the requirements of environmental legislation and approved codes of practice.
"Your suggestion that we walk in Cornwall in spring was inspired! We saw so many beautiful flowers along the coast. We especially loved crossing the rivers on little ferries which we had to call for ourselves, and arriving at new inns every day."
Mavis B, NSW, Australia