The gold star rating is the highest possible within the scheme and is acknowledgement that the visitor centre development, near Peebles in the Scotish Bordedrs, is built and managed on eco-friendly principles.
The timber used in the buildings’ trusses are from trees felled in Glentress and surplus wood was used for panelling. Heating and hot water for the whole complex is supplied via a modern and efficient wood chip boiler. Even the bike wash uses rainwater collected from the site.
Cathie Sutherland, Green Tourism Co-ordinator with Forestry Commission Scotland based at Glentress said: “We are all thrilled to bits with the award. This is a very prestigious award for the Commission and it really showcases just how fantastic timber is as an attractive and environmentally friendly building material.
“We are sharing this award with our business partners Alpine Bikes and GT Restaurants Ltd as we are all working hard to make Glentress Peel a first class visitor attraction.”
The Green Tourism Business Scheme is the UK’s national certification scheme for sustainable tourism. Businesses are assessed to bronze, silver or gold status by a qualified grading advisor against a number of eco-friendly issues, including energy and water use, waste management and biodiversity.
Andrea Nicholas, Manager of Green Tourism Business Scheme added: “We’re delighted to award Forestry Commission Scotland with the Gold award for its stunning Glentress Peel development. Not only does the building look fantastic, it is also very practical for the outdoor visitors that it caters for. The Commission has approached the whole development on sustainable principles and its green credentials are just what we would like to see replicated elswhere.”
Glentress Peel consists of a new modern café, a bike shop, an orientation building and an office building, all on an area of land that has been carefully landscaped.
The development has been open for a year now and is continuing to ensure Glentress Forest is the number one visitor attraction in the Scottish Borders.
Green appeal: Receiving the award are (l to r) Cathie Sutherland, Forestry Commission Scotland, Claire Bony, GT Restaurants Ltd and Simon Todd of Alpine Bikes.