Experience the real Hamble Valley with help from ecoescape

‘At ecoescape, we think the UK is full of unique locations, and should stay that way. The Hamble Valley is no exception. Our enjoyment of the Hamble Valley will continue for many years to come as long as we remember a few key things to protect it and we support local industry and people.’ Laura Greenman, Director, ecoscape

So whether a visitor or a local resident, follow these top tips for great green holidays and days out with your family in the Hamble Valley.

Shop locally

Support local businesses when you explore the Hamble Valley. From where you stay to wherever you eat, if you choose a local business then your money will benefit communities that need it most. Look for local food shops where produce has been grown nearby to help to reduce food miles and carbon emissions.

Waste less and recycle

Not only will you save money, but you’ll also help us to keep the Hamble Valley free of waste and litter. Think about what you buy and where it will go next. Here are a few tips you can follow during your stay that will help you have a great time, save money and look after your surroundings:

  • Look out for the nearest bottle bank recycling facilities or ask your hotel or holiday home to recycle your waste.
  • If you are staying in the Hamble Valley at one of the many hotels, guest houses or self-catering cottages, ask the owner how to recyle during your stay.
  • Pick up a re-useable bag for all your goodies. Local shops throughout the Hamble Valley design their own hessian bags, which double as a great souvenir.
  • Try to aviod using disposable cups and cutlery if picnicking – ask your bed and breakfast or guest house if they have items you can borrow.

Choose a responsible operator

Just like choosing Fairtrade or local produce, you can choose accommodation that makes steps to improve its impact on the environment and local communities. The Green Business Tourism Scheme is an industry programme that provides accreditation in the form of a gold, silver or bronze award that recognises high environmental standards.

Here are a few from our region:

Woodend Self-Catering Cottage

Old Bursledon, 023 8040 2804,www.woodhousecottages.co.uk

Silver Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme

‘Very quiet cottage in beautiful country – nice surroundings.  We like the “green” and simple life with the animals’ 2009 Guest

Attractions being green in the Hamble Valley

Royal Victoria Country Park Why not sponsor a Celebration Tree and help to maintain the woodland for future generations? The project plays an important role in the protection of the wildlife that exists in the park. Select a tree and assist in its planting – A Celebration Tree makes an ideal and unique gift!

Take part in Apple Day events to celebrate the delicous varieties of apples at the country park (over sixty varieties in the orchard). Events include competitions and cookery challenges. Join the staff in picking and eating the fruit or have a taste of the cider that is produced on-site. National Apple Day takes place on 16 – 17th October

Manor Farm Country Park is an icon of self-sufficiency: root crops grown on the site are fodder for the livestock, the cows’ milk feeds the calves and pigs and the animals’ manure becomes fertiliser for the surrounding fields. Visit the Victorian kitchen to see pickles and preserves that have been prepared using fruit and vegetables from the farm gardesn or take home some free-range eggs.

At Itchen Vally Country Park, a turbine known as  ‘Windy Bill’ coverts wind energy into the electricity which  powers to the Visitor and Study Centres. The latter is insulated with sheep’s wool and uses harvested rainwater to flush the toilets!