WHAT THIS BLOG IS ALL ABOUT: a journal and compendium of where to go and what to do for those who love to travel ...

Monday, 12 November 2012

Shropshire calls ... and such a lovely area to visit

The glorious 'Stiperstones' in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

An innovate scheme in Shropshire, based on ‘green’ and sustainable principles, is being highlighted as a guide to where locals and visitors will find the very best value-for-money in the Shropshire Hills. Members of the initiative tend to be ‘cottage industries’, where overheads are low, and where personal service and quality are valued more highly than profit margins. As a result, the directory which maps-out where people can ‘go, buy, eat, and stay’ not only offers its customers the chance to support some of the most sustainable businesses in Shropshire, but to also find some of the best value-for-money.

Seven miles north of Ludlow on the A49 - superb produce, and enjoy the Barn Cafe, too.
(image copyright Ann Somerset Miles)
Many of the businesses are tourism-related - including B&Bs, guest houses, holiday cottages and inns where, for a fraction of the cost of staying in a chain hotel, guests can enjoy award-winning breakfasts, cosy log fires, and professional hospitality. The restaurants, cafés, tearooms and inns, meanwhile, are where it’s possible to enjoy afternoon teas, pub lunches and wholesome dinners made with locally-sourced produce. The food producers themselves are where customers will find a fabulous array of food-and-drink to take home with them - including artisan breads, home-made sausages, jams, cheeses, honey and beer.

Rocke Cottage Tearooms, 3 miles from Clungunford, Shropshire
And for visitors, in particular, there are a number of activity providers who can use their knowledge and expertise to offer fresh experiences and ways of enjoying and exploring some of the more secluded corners of The Shropshire Hills. Eco, green and sustainable, the scheme has so far been able to sign-up more than 100 local businesses who have pledged to reduce their impact on the environment, to enhance wildlife and landscape, to involve both locals and visitors, and to support the local economy.

The project as a whole has been running for almost five years, and is becoming increasingly visible across the Shropshire Hills.  Most of the B&Bs, guest houses, farmhouses, cafes, restaurants, pubs, shops, food producers and activity providers now proudly display the “Buy Local - Be Sustainable” logo in their windows and front doors. Businesses which have signed-up to the scheme are asked to sign a Sustainability Pledge, which is then displayed on their walls - showing their customers all of the activities they are carrying out to become more sustainable.

For full details about the Shropshire Hills Sustainable Business Scheme, click on www.shropshirehills-buylocal.co.uk.  Text supplied by Ian Weightman, and images by Jodie Griffith, Project Officer Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership.