Saturday, 22 November 2014

Go green this Christmas

Making Christmas decorations out of recycled materials...

We've been getting crafty today and making tree decorations for our Eco Cottages out of recycled materials. Blown and redundant (we only use low energy in our cottages) light bulbs have been decorated with glitter and transformed into hanging glass baubles.

Empty loo rolls usually get used in the woodburner but today they have been transformed into decorative stars!

A great weekend project for the children in the run up to Christmas.
More will be added soon...

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Merlin Farm wins Goldstar - Awards for the Greenest Businesses in the UK

 We did it!

Merlin Farm Eco Cottages has won the top accolade - the 'Goldstar' for Best Self-Catering business in The Green Tourism Business Scheme Awards. We were among 60 finalists from across the UK and Canada who made it on to the short-list from more than 2,400 contenders in a total of 15 award categories.

Merlin Farm is one of four Cornish businesses who have been praised by judges in an international competition to find the most environmentally friendly businesses. Now in it's fourth year, the annual Goldstar Awards honour businesses and organisations that have done the most to promote sustainability within the industry by implementing cost-saving practices that help the environment, improve customer services and benefit the bottom line.

Andrea Nicholas, Director of Green Tourism, said: "The Goldstar Awards are a recognition of the best of the best in Britain when it comes to creating and maintaining a thriving sustainable tourism industry.

“Just being nominated is a major achievement in itself as there were so many high quality entrants for the Awards this year The finalists represent the top 3 per cent of Green Tourism businesses in the UK.”

Green Tourism was launched 17 years ago and is now the biggest of its kind in the world having helped nearly 10,000 businesses improve their commitment to sustainability. It is considered one of the most rigorous of its kind and is the only certification programme independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) on behalf of VisitEngland, VisitWales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and endorsed by VisitScotland and Failte Ireland.

The programme criteria has now been adopted across the UK and as far afield as Canada, Eire, Sweden and New Zealand as the benchmark for sustainable tourism practices. Members are evaluated on a range of best practice measures, including use of energy efficient heating and lighting, nature conservation and community involvement, to achieve a bronze, silver or gold award.

Since joining Green Tourism in 2011 we are proud to have maintained a Gold Award. At our last bi-annual inspection we scored in the top 2% of greenest businesses and  went on to win a 'Highly Commended' award at the ceremony in Edinburgh on 25th May 2012. Since then we have become greener and have installed 216 Solar PV panels and generate/export our own electricity. 

The winners of all the awards were announced at the annual Green Tourism Conference held at the Palace Hotel in Manchester. Unfortunately we were unable to make the conference and award ceremony, but were very grateful to friend Tania from Bedruthan Hotel for accepting the award on our behalf. We congratulate Tania on her success at winning the 'Highly Commended' award for Bedruthan in the Hotel category.

Satish Kumar presenting the Goldstar award to Tania Clark on behalf of Merlin Eco Cottages

Green Tourism kept us up to date with events via livestream so we were able to listen to the inspirational guest speakers and still feel part of everything that was going on at the conference.

We would like to congratulate those who made the shortlist, and ALL the Green Tourism Business members who work very hard in ensuring that their businesses make as little impact on the environment as possible. I hope that many more businesses join this scheme, and we are always happy to offer advice to anyone wishing to adopt a greener approach to their business (contact us at

We are very proud of our 'Green Business' and are delighted to have been recognised for our efforts in not only running a sustainable business but providing guests with an environmentally friendly holiday in Cornwall. Guests leave feeling inspired, and with a positive outlook on leading a greener life when they return home.

We hope the success doesn't end there, we are delighted to have made the shortlist for The Cornwall Sustainability Awards! We look forward to the awards ceremony at The Headland Hotel on the 4th December 2014, wish us luck!

Read more about...
Our Story
Merlin Farm's Environmental Policy
Luxury Eco Cottages in Cornwall