Business News Wales spoke with Sophie Hurst Director and co-owner of Preseli Venture a sustainable adventure tourism business on the Pembrokeshire coast, about her views on sustainability and what her business is doing to create a balance between economic activity and nature and the environment.
The Visit Wales graded 5 star Preseli Venture eco lodge is extremely low carbon; and utilise renewable energy in the form of a ground source heat pump boosted with solar hot water panels to generate all its heating and hot water.
Photovoltaic panels are also in place to generate electricity, the lodge runs on green electricity from ‘ecotricty’ and is highly insulated being built out of polystyrene formwork.
All the bedrooms and most of the rest of the lodge lighting is provided by ultra low-energy LED lights. They recycle almost everything including glass and cans from the bar, all recyclable waste including paper and cardboard and office materials, and reduce food waste and other consumable waste by sensible controls of quantities cooked and stock controls.
Any food waste is collected by the council and not sent to land fill. They compost everything possible and use this to grow herbs for the kitchen and feed flowering borders!.
Since they are in the countryside and off mains sewerage, considerable investment has been made in a modern bio-disc sewerage system preventing pollution in the local valley and stream.
Guests use environmentally friendly hand wash and shower gel in all lodge bathrooms, as well as recycled toilet paper, and guests are asked to dispose of their waste in the relevant recycling bins available.
At the ecolodge investment has been made in the form of an on site car park that is for the free and convenient parking of clients and staff cars and vehicles.
As Preseli Venture has set itself up as an adventure centre, investment has also been made in a purpose built equipment storage and changing building adjacent to the ecolodge accommodation. This building houses all their equipment from wet-suits and flotation jackets through to the fleets of kayaks, and surf boards. All kit is washed using rainwater harvested from the roof of the equipment stores.
Preseli Venture are an accredited “Green Key” eco lodge. A global eco-label, Green Key is managed in Wales by the environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, and recognised worldwide in over 47 countries. Green Key aims to educate and encourage the tourism industry from providers to visitors to change unsustainable behaviours, to engage a greater awareness of the environment when making choices, and importantly to become more involved in the protection of their environment.