Scottish Highlands holiday, wildlife & wellbeing

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

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This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Scottish Highlands holiday, wildlife & wellbeing

Environment

Accomodation is run by a small, intentional community, committed to living and working by socially sustainable principles. Our major project for 2014 is to transform our large 1890ís Victorian country house into a completely carbon-neutral base for all our activities. We will be using multiple renewable energy sources including sun, wind and wood fuel. The infrastructure is being designed both to maximize efficiency and for educational access.

In the last year, we have reduced our carbon output by 45% by switching to wood-burning stoves and aim to be 90% carbon-free this year by switching completely to wood and solar-thermal.

Alongside this big project we are not neglecting the daily choices. For example we compost all our food waste, have a car-share scheme and use low energy lighting. We either recycle paper or use it for composting and wherever possible, we avoid using printed materials and market via the Internet. For any materials we do print we use an award winning environmentally friendly printing company based in the next village.

As we are based in the UK it is possible to travel here using a lower carbon option than flying. There is an excellent sleeper train service from London to Inverness and trains and coaches from most large cities. Bringing your own car is also a good option if there is a group of you, allowing a car share. To encourage people to choose one of these lower carbon options we can help you with planning your transport and route. For those of you who do need to fly, we provide an optional offsetting scheme.

Whilst our courses and workshops are based within the community, we have close connections with the Findhorn Foundation, and the much larger community that surrounds the Foundation itself. As members of this larger community through the New Findhorn Association we support and have access to a unique eco-village model which has the lowest recorded ecological footprint for any community in the industrialised world, just half the UK national average.

Community

We contribute to the local economy in a number of ways. We grow most of our own vegetables and fruit, make our own bread and apple juice and sell some of this produce at the local Farmerís Market.
We forage in the local woods and work to preserve, dry and cure as much home produce as possible.

When we need to buy in we source as locally as we can. For example though mostly vegetarian, when we buy meat we use a local butcher whose produce is all sourced locally to a very high welfare standard or from a local smallholding and buy our cheese and yoghurt from a local dairy. Itís also important that our suppliers are socially responsible and employ local people. For example, many of our dried goods come from a local whole food shop that is a community owned enterprise.

Our volunteer program covers numerous areas including gardening, cooking and the complexities of maintaining a listed building. These are skills people can then use to find employment. The program also provides a sense of community and identity for those involved and develops their team working and communication skills. When we need to bring in people to help with building and maintenance work, we use local companies. We also provide therapy rooms (for example, for massage or reflexology) that are used by local practitioners.
We are forming partnerships with local individuals and organizations that are able to provide a broad range of educational experiences in many aspects of sustainability ranging from conservation and ecology to conflict resolution and non-violent communication. We are also starting an exciting program to foster social inclusion and local culture using a range of local performers. Within the house, rooms are decorated with a variety of locally sourced antique linens and furniture we feature artwork by local artists.

The members hold a wealth of local knowledge and a wide skill-set so whether your question is about organic farming, how to build a chicken run, what happens in our shamanic sweat lodge, how best to preserve turnips or where the best local pub/organic bakehouse/pottery is we are certain to be able to help!

Reviews of Scottish Highlands holiday, wildlife & wellbeing

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 04 Jun 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The most memorable part of the holiday was during dolphin-watching, when a baby dolphin with itís' mother, dived in and out of the water, around both sides of our boat. They swam very close to us. Sarah, who steered the boat, knew the sea area near Cromarty and the Black Isle extremely well. She gave us an informative and exhilarating boat journey.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


This is a bespoke holiday so discuss with Deborah, the marine biologist, exactly what you would like to experience. She was very attentive to individual preferences and requests. If you get a chance, stay in a luxurious tent that includes a double-bed, couch, carpet and cupboards!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The experience of picking pea-pods at Findhorn certainly benefited the local people since we were able to enjoy a delicious lunch with the community. The staff at were very knowledgeable and respectful of the dolphins' environment. The wholesome food at Newbold house was locally produced, much of it in the beautiful gardens.

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