Responsible tourism: Historic house holiday apartments, South Downs, England
Avington installed in 2012, a water sourced heat pump for the heating and hot water. The power and energy created by the Ricer Itchen creates electricity. No oil or gas is used now and we consider the business to be very green in this respect.
The Tea Room is very unusual and popular with guests. Great cakes and cream teas with homemade scones and locally supplied homemade jam are served in a gorgeous setting
All the food provided at Avington Park is locally sourced and seasonal, from local small shops, not supermarkets and we do our utmost to make sure that local suppliers are used.
The building itself requires constant renovation and we take the extra time often needed to research and find the materials needed. However given the beauty of the house it is something that we take great care with.
The Park is something of a haven for wildlife, with many rare species or waterfowl on the lake and the river. We see everything from Snipe, Teal, Swans and more Geese than you have ever seen. There are also more rare sightings such as the ever popular Kingfisher for people to see in the grounds.
The house hosts many local community projects. Avington Village fete is held every 4 years to raise money for the local church projects and other projects happen annually The house and grounds need at least 10 local employees from the nearby area all of whom are on a part time basis.
We also try to recognise the businesses nearby by recommending them to our visitors. There are a couple of local pubs which we are happy to send people to, for example the Trout which is set tight beside the River Itchen. It also claims to be where Charles Kingsley got his inspiration for his famed work, 'The Water Babies'. The Chestnut Horse in Easton serves up all local ales and food and is a great place to go and eat out in the country.
We also actively encourage people to use the village shops which are full of really good local produce. Though there are few local craftspeople nearby we do try to promote the local businesses with leaflets and by word of mouth to those who come and visit us.
Fact sheets and information are provided concerning the history of the landscape, with recent tree planting . On open days people are allowed to walk in the grounds. The countryside around us is right on the Western Edge of the South Downs National Park†and there is a wonderful walk from Winchester to the South Downs.