Responsible travel: Burley self catering cottage, New Forest, England
The New Forest Tour visits Burley during the summer months and we are very keen to promote this as both a sustainable form of transport and also as a visitor attraction in its own right. You can get a great view of the forest from the open-top deck and there is also an on-board commentary explaining about the wildlife, history and customs of the New Forest. The New Forest Tour is a hop-on hop-off bus that brings visitors to the village as well, so itís good for tourism here. Visitors can stay here and sample our cider without worry of the need to drive back to their accommodation afterwards!
We run our operation here as efficiently as possible, making full use of all the natural resources around us. Our large barn provides an excellent area to catch the rays on our solar panels which powers all our electricity on the farm. Any old or damaged vats, which cannot be used for cider, make fantastic water butts and our rainy days provide an environmentally friendly way to maintain and carry out any general/yard cleaning on our farm.
As a cider producer, we keep our product as kind to the environment as possible. We only use English apples, and press only in the autumn when in season. Much of our fruit is unsprayed keeping our product as natural as possible and in our own orchards in Burley we have the use of five beehives. The worker bees do a fantastic job of pollinating our orchards in the spring as well as providing us with honey to sell in our shop.
You'll find all of our packaging is environmentally friendly too. If stopping for a drink with us on the farm, you'll be served up a cider in a compostable cup. If you're taking cider away, rest assured it will be in a recyclable container, or even better, we encourage you to come back and refill for a discount. Itís great for our guests to be able to sample our produce and get a real taste of locally produced traditional cider.
Our staying guests have the opportunity of not only experiencing our cider but also the benefits of having our cafe on site! We are keen to promote and use New Forest Marque products at our cafe, The Cider Pantry, including Owls Barn Meat, from just down the road in Sopley and New Forest Lyburn Cheese feature in our famous ploughmanís. We have regular deliveries from the fruit farm in Sopley, with fruit that the supermarkets just don't want. We hate waste... so proudly turn all kinds of fruits and veggies into jams, fruit coulis and chutneys which keep our Pantry well stocked throughout winter.
Community Events - Our annual open weekend is a chance for the local community to see cider making as it was done in days gone by. Using a 'Workman' steam driven press and an antique ratchet twin hand screw press filtered through straw we shall be demonstrating the art of cider making the old fashioned way with a variety of vintage presses, ranging from a 'workman' steam driven mobile press to the simplicity of a hand operated twin screw press using straw as a filter, then sample the finished product in our farm shop. There will also be traditional country craft demonstrations. We like to continue the celebration of theses old traditional ways so that people can learn about them. Some of the country crafts have made a comeback like hurdle making.
We actively support the work of the Burley Tourism Group and have attended many meetings to discuss, plan and deliver good community based events. That bring people to the village to create a vibrant place that people feel good about living in and a good place for people to visit.
We are actively involved in the promotion of the New Forest National Park at Borough Market-The famous Borough Market is food heaven, voted Londonís Best Market 2007 and 2008 by the Evening Standard. We not only promote our own business and products but also the New Forest National Park as a destination.
Itís no exaggeration to say we are based within one of the most unique landscapes in Europe! The history of commoning is one of the most interesting forms of landscape management and it is still alive and well today. It helps maintain the forest's flora and fauna through grazing and at the same time helps generate a modest income for those still practicing it here. We like to explain to our visitors about these things that make the New Forest special and we hold leaflets to help tell the story.
During our annual events we are always keen to promote traditional forest crafts. Hurdle making using hazel coppice is a good sustainable use of woodlands as it helps create habitat that is good for butterflies and other flora and fauna. It can also increase the life of the woodland through the active rotation coppice practice and we like to promote this ancient craft to our visitors here. Another thing we like to do is promote the local landscape, with all its paths and also the cycle tracks. We have been here for many years and have built up a good knowledge of the New Forest that we are keen to share with our visitors.