Responsible tourism: South Downs budget campsite with yurts, England
The Sustainability Centre aims to educate, enable and inspire people from all walks of life to make positive changes to the way they live and work. As part of this vision we aim to manage our land, our charity and our businesses as working examples of sustainability. Our business has been given 'Gold' in the Green Tourism Business Scheme Award.
We practice and promote sustainability as a process of making decisions which balance economic, social and environmental factors for positive benefit. We nurture people and ideas. And in an increasingly uncertain world, we aim to provide positive messages and practical solutions for dynamic, creative change.
Power is sourced responsibly and used wisely; old buildings have been renovated to the highest levels of insulation including lambs wool insulation and triple glazing. Even cleaning products are eco friendly and biodegradable. Our manmade wetland ecosystem treats our sewage and produces willow for crafts and biomass for our boiler as well as unique wildlife habitat.
Walking guides, cycle routes and bike hire can all be arranged. We even keep our campsite vehicle free, human powered wheel barrows the only way to get to the campsite!
By acting in a more sustainable way, based on thought, fairness and understanding, we can develop a world that future generations will thank us for. It can start here. Our aim is to open ears, eyes and minds and, we hope, inspire us all to act differently.
We welcome families and schools; professionals and special interest groups; walkers and cyclists on the South Downs Way; children and young people; and simply anyone with an interest in what we do. Learning, discovering, bonding and even marrying are just a few of the reasons to spend some time here at Sustainability Centre.
Here on the South Downs, we provide a beautiful and inspirational backdrop to a host of activities, courses and events. From hedge laying and permaculture to managing woodlands and converting your car to veggie power, we offer a wealth of inspiring courses on sustainable living and working. All have the need for us to work and learn together to improve the communities and the surroundings in which we live.
As a not for profit organisation, we can keep our prices as affordable as possible to ensure we can offer something for people of all income levels and backgrounds.
In accordance with our ethos, the building of our woodland classroom has provided a number of educational opportunities for adults, children, and school groups including 4 five-week building apprenticeships and clay inspired activities. Sustainability is now an issue that schools are keen to address, both inside the classroom and through organised visits.
Learning and sharing is part of everything that we do, even if you don't realise it! We all live as part of the landscape, and you should feel that more than ever at The Sustainability Centre.
Our policy involves sourcing local produce where we can, providing walks and cycle routes to explore under your own steam re-enforce connections with the countryside.
We have bronze and iron age sites close by, and these are a reminder of how land use changes overtime. Indeed in the last 50 years the Centre itself has returned to being more sympathetic to the landscape around it and show and teach how that has been possible.
Our landscape type is chalk downland at the western end of the South Downs, composed of a mosaic of different field sizes, soil types and extent of tree cover. We are on the prominent chalk ridgeline that leads towards a series of hills located at Butser Hill, Old Winchester Hill and Beacon Hill from which you can get great panoramic views. Another important part of the downland mosaic type is that it has a mixture of 18-19th century arable fields and early post medieval pasture fields with surrounding woodland producing a mosaic of habitats that support arable weeds and farmland birds. Also, the area has a number of different monuments including long barrows, round barrows and linear boundary earth works providing evidence that the land was valued as a ritual landscape.
Our 'South Downs Experience' school residential shows how food and farming interact with the landscape and land use changes over time.