Gorge View Cottage

Only a small eco cottage, but we have from the outset, aimed for strong sustainable design in all details where practical. In the operation of the cottage we use green products and services, and promote sustainability with all our guests in a gentle (non-militant) way. We offer 10% discount for guests arriving without a car. Our approach reflects our own life-long passion for care for the planet and society.

The result has earned us Green Tourism Gold standard on first application, maintained ever since, and we were runners-up in the annual national Green Tourism Awards for our category in 2013.

The cottage was fully renovated using environmental design, eco-paints and materials, FSC woods, re-use of local stone from our own garden, has PV on the roof, fully green electricity from Ecotricity and “green gas” also from Ecotricity, and all rainwater is captured. Double or triple glazing throughout, underfloor heating and more. We promote organic and permaculture with our shared garden.

Free bottle of organic wine to all bookings from Tourism Concern members. Please quote Tourism Concern when booking. We also offer a 10% green-travel discount to all guests if they come car-free, using public transport, or cycling or walking

We have taken an active role working with our local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Mendip Hills AONB) to promote the care, respect, and enjoyment of our natural landscape. We lead a local initiative to promote walking to visitors and the community: Cheddar Walking has national Walkers are Welcome status, has held a first walking festival in the village and is planning to develop walking maps for the area. In this, we work with local tourism businesses, National Trust, Somerset Wildlife Trust, the AONB and Sedgemoor District Council tourism.

Cheddar Walking promotes walks that include history walks of the village and industrial archaeology, alongside the more obvious, nature and geology walks.

We have taken part and presented at several local events to help improve sustainable tourism and in particular greener tourism for our area. We are engaged with the MyCheddar and Cheddar Community Partnership initiatives which are in turn helping shape the Neighbourhood Development plan. 

We do not imply anyone as our business is currently too small to justify this. However, we have a strong policy to use local products and services and supplies in almost all that we do. From the original design and build of the cottage, through to supplying local water, promoting local food and produce, local natural soaps and where requested local artisan wines and chocolates. We now that all our visitors spend time and money in the local shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs. They typically all go to the local tourist attractions of Cheddar Caves and Cheddar Cheese making. We encourage use of local public transport to visit nearby attractions (and lend bikes where wanted).

We give a donation (£10 for every booking) to our local charities: Prickles Hedgehog Rescue and the Mendip Hills Fund. 

Our entire property and garden use organic and permaculture methods: we have Somerset Wildlife Trust “Wildlife Garden” status. We work with the local AONB to help promote sustainable tourism and have featured in online videos promoting this in the area. We record and video wildlife in our garden and feature this in our web blogs: bats, hedgehogs, badgers, foxes and the odd deer.

We strongly promote green travel and give a 10% discount to all guests who arrive using public transport, cycles or walking. We also encourage car-free activities for all guests who visit and stay.

All of our operation recycles most everything, including on site composting of food waste. The cottage is designed to be very energy efficient. All rainwater is collected in an underground tank for garden use. All energy used is from the greenest sources (Ecotricity) and we have PV system help limit grid import and export over 50%.

We fund local charities directly: Prickles Hedgehog Rescue and Mendip Hills Fund. 

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About the author

Helen Jennings

Helen has studied at the Universities of Goldsmiths, Kent, Jyvaskyla (Finland) and The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø) where she obtained a MA in Indigenous Studies. She has travelled extensively and has lived and worked in Canada, Scandinavia, and South America. Helen is particularly interested in cultural, indigenous, and spiritual tourism, ideas behind sensible ‘regulation’ and is convinced of the value of ethical and sustainable tourism.

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