Bryher Guesthouse Gets Top Environmental Rating

Samson Hill Cottage Guesthouse on Bryher

A Bryher guesthouse, which has been open less then a year, has gained a prestigious environmental award.

Samson Hill Cottage, owned by Issy and Gareth Tibbs, has received a Green Tourism Business Gold award, one of only two guesthouses in Scilly with that distinction.

Issy says she’s excited to have gained the top level. As this is their first year in business she had been hoping for a Silver award.

The Green Tourism Business Scheme has been running since 1997, covering the whole of the UK and Ireland, and aims to highlight those tourism businesses with strong environment credentials.

Issy said Samson Hill Cottage had to go through a full inspection and at relatively short notice. Most businesses usually get 8 weeks to prepare, but her inspector gave just 2 weeks notice.

They were marked on areas such as their use of resources, waste management and how they enhance the natural environment.

Issy says they were keen to a have strong environmental aspect to their business and, being a new build, they were able to work with the Duchy at an early stage to ensure good quality insulation was fitted, as well as water-saving showers and taps.

She says every decision they made was in an environmentally-friendly way rather than the more usual approach on Scilly which is about how easy it is to get something from the mainland.

The couple received praise for their innovative use of recycled materials. Their dining tables are made from reclaimed planks and the beds are constructed from wooden packing pallets.

They also received lots of good advice from the Wildlife Trust about planting their large garden with native trees. They also grow a lot of their own fruit.

Issy says joining the award scheme and sticking to their focus on the environment is also paying dividends. She says at least five booking so far this year have come specifically through the Green Tourism Business Scheme and she says the guests have been very enthusiastic about their approach.

But she says, at the end of the day, when you’re surrounded by such beauty on Scilly, you tend to see the environment in a different way.


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