Our Standedge Visitor Centre is officially ‘green’ – thanks to a coveted Silver Award from the Green Tourism Board.
The popular visitor attraction in Marsden, West Yorkshire, celebrates the nation’s longest, deepest and highest canal tunnel, Standedge Tunnel, which takes the Huddersfield Narrow Canal under the Pennines.
For many years a hit with visitors, the centre has now proved it has first class sustainable credentials too. The award is proof of excellence in energy and water efficiency, waste and recycling, ethical sourcing and ‘green’ values.
We have made a range of improvements across the centre and Tunnel End Café over the past year. These include a £45,000 investment in low energy lighting, improved recycling facilities and an increased focus on working with local suppliers and community involvement.
Claire Atkinson, Standedge duty manager, said: "We always felt that Standedge was a sustainable visitor attraction but we wanted to learn, test ourselves and improve. We discovered the Green Tourism Board and saw this as a great opportunity to measure our effectiveness. We have worked hard and made many changes such as investing in low energy technology.
"Many of the changes have cost little if anything. For example we now recycle the majority of our kitchen waste in new green tombola bins. The composters cost us nothing, but mean that we continue to drive down the amount of waste sent to landfill. Our young visitors can even help by giving the composters a spin. The Green Tourism Board has made some excellent suggestions of where we can make further improvements and we look forward to getting even greener in the coming months.
"Visitors too can help reduce their carbon footprint by arriving on public transport. We are just a short delightful stroll along the towpath from Marsden Train Station and anyone arriving by public transport or bicycle can even look forward to free refills in the café as a reward."
We are certified to the Carbon Trust Standard – delivering a further 6.7% reduction in our CO2 emissions from 2014-2016.
David Baldacchino, local waterway manager with the Trust, added: "Working more sustainably is a key ambition for Canal & River Trust. We’re really proud to have achieved this award for Standedge Visitor Centre".
More and more people are looking for eco-friendly options when planning a holiday or day out, so Standedge Tunnel and visitor centre have worked with Green Tourism to gain the all important Silver Award showing our dedication to improving sustainability.
Green Tourism is considered one of the most rigorous certification programmes of its kind. It is the only one independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) on behalf of VisitEngland, VisitWales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and is endorsed by VisitScotland and Failte Ireland.
If you care about the environment, look for the Green Tourism leaf. It shows that an organisation:
Choosing to visit a Green Tourism member means you’re supporting a business that is positively working towards this. And our Green Leaf shows that we are activity looking at ways to reduce our environmental impact.
Download our Responsible Visitor Charter for ideas on how you can help us achieve this.
And see the Green Tourism website for more information on why this is such an important award for us.