A NORTH Yorkshire hotel has become just the fourth in the country to receive top marks for its green credentials.
The Traddock, in Austwick, is celebrating a hard-to-come-by gold award from the nationwide Green Tourism scheme.
Eco-initiatives that scored highly include a wood pellet-fuelled heating system, a locally-sourced slow food-inspired menu, extensive herb and wildlife gardens, a move to greener cleaning products and the use of low energy lighting.
The hotel was recently crowned the Good Hotel Guide country hotel of the year.
Assessors were also impressed that many breakfast and dinner items are made on site, including bread, jams, fruit compotes, yoghurt, cereals, biscuits and cakes.
The Reynolds family bought The Traddock in 2002 and are keen environmentalists and apply their principles to every aspect of the business.
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“Our rare breed pork travels just six miles from the Blue Pig Company in Long Preston. Beef, lamb and milk are on the road for less than 16 miles from Mansergh Hall and Brades Farm Dairy.
“Potatoes are from Clapham Community Cooperative, one-and-a-half miles from the hotel, and venison is sourced from Holme Farmed Venison, in Sherburn in Elmet, 60 miles away."
Whilst committed to improving environmental standards even further, general manager Paul Reynolds admits that ‘greening up’ the 12-room grade II listed Georgian country house has not been without its expenses.
“We’ve invested £44,000 in a low carbon biomass boiler which burns wood pellets. Although it was a large upfront cost, we received a government subsidy through the Renewable Heat Incentive and expect to reduce our energy costs by around £12,000 a year.
“Again, with lighting, each LED bulb costs us £9, with around 290 needed to illuminate the hotel. But as they last up to 100 times longer than a traditional bulb, we are saving both time and money as well as energy. I used to be up a ladder changing bulbs every few days and I can’t remember the last time I had to now.”
Simon Dodds, Green Tourism Assessor, said: “The Traddock is to be congratulated for the significant effort made by Sabrina and Paul to reach Green Tourism gold award status.
"The Traddock has benefitted significantly from the installation of a Biomass system, a large growth in LED and low energy lighting, a rolling program of dual flush toilets and a move to greener cleaning products.
"Also significant is the food provenance which is excellent, plus organic status, herb and wildlife gardens, together with 40% reduction in external lighting wattage.”
As a gold award holder, The Traddock will now act as an advocate for sustainable and environmental business, hosting open days for other interested businesses twice a year.
Aimed at improving environmental standards amongst leisure and hospitality business, The Green Tourism Business Scheme criteria include energy and water usage, food sourcing, recycling and waste management and supporting wildlife. Bronze, silver and gold awards have been up for grabs since 1997.