The Benefits of Green Tourism & Our Commitment
What is green tourism and how can visitors to Ross Bay Retreat enjoy the benefits of going green?
Here at Ross Bay and we strive to implement green initiatives and enable sustainable farming. This benefits the farm animals, local wildlife, the environment, landscape and nature, making the wonderful Ross Peninsular beautiful for all to enjoy.
As part of one of many sustainable measures we have put in place here at Ross Bay, we have just installed solar paneling on our farm buildings. This is to provide a renewable energy source and electricity for all of our holiday cottages. This complements our Biomass heating system and Dowling multi fuel burning stoves in each of our cosy cottages.
Sue Dale-Sunley, owner at Ross Bay Retreat says:
“In addition to the many changes we have made to help our farm and holiday cottages become more green, there are a wide range of natural things to see and do for guests to connect with the great outdoors, enjoy nature and help keep their carbon footprint neutral”.
The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve
We are so incredibly lucky to be located within such a beautiful area but also happens to be one of only two UNESCO Biopsheres Reserves in Scotland. The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve works to demonstrate the importance of landscapes and ecosystems for the future of sustainable development within a region.
The reserves are large defined areas, like National Parks, with a particular focus on enhancing biodiversity. They incorporate protecting the natural habitat whilst creating an ecosystem that combines the needs of both the environment and those who live and work within the area. Visitors can also enjoy exploring the Biosphere with many outdoor activities, abundant wildlife and dark skies to be experienced.
Our Commitment to Biodiversity
As part of our commitment to biodiversity and sustainability, we actively encourage the natural local habitats on our farm and surrounding land. This includes promoting hedgerows, woodlands and stonewalls for shelter areas for animals, wildlife, nesting birds and bug life. We do not use pesticides and we use organic manure is used to help improve the land naturally.
We installed a Biomass Heating system back in 2014 which runs on renewable energy products including dry woodchip from reputable responsible sources. This system provides heating and hot water for our home and the holiday cottages.
Having taken a number of green initiatives we were delighted to have achieved the Silver Level of Award for Green Tourism in 2019 at the first attempt. We are however fully committed to introducing yet more sustainable measures here at Ross Bay. The installation of solar panels is just one of many planned to help us ‘Go for Gold Award’ in 2020.
The Benefits of Green Tourism for Guests
So how can guests enjoy the benefits of green tourism and the efforts which aim to bring economic and environmental benefits to the local area?
We are keen to provide local experiences; experiences which help make visitors feel like they can feel part of Ross Bay and our local area. We aim to provide useful information on how guests can enjoy this beautiful location and our local area in a more sustainable way.
Here are a few green tourism ideas that can be enjoyed by all.
Walk Our Wonderful Peninsula
All you need to do is step outside and take a wonderful 3-4 mile circular walk around our 400 plus acres to see nature at its very best including our own farm livestock. Take the dogs too as we even have a doggy welcome pack including bio-degradable doggy bags. Walk around the Ross Peninsula with views to the Lighthouse on Little Ross Island, along the coastline to Mull Point and Brighouse Bay and back to your cosy cottage for a cuppa.
There are several shortcuts back if you have taken on too much. See our Ross Bay interactive map with highlights, information and pictures of what can be seen en-route.
Enjoy the Local Wildlife, Birdlife & Buglife
With red kites, mountain goats, weasels, stoats, oyster catchers and brimstone butterflies among so many, there is an abundance of diverse wildlife that can be seen from your doorstep, close by and further afield. Check out our new bug hotel for all sorts of micro creatures and our nature diary as well as our wildlife spotting books. Take your binoculars, camera, look about and see what you can spot. To see a gallery of some of the amazing creatures you can see in and around Ross Bay Retreat see our ‘local wildlife webpage‘.
Dumfries & Galloway Safari – Checkout Scotland’s ‘Big Five’
Scotland’s big five creatures are a big hit with wildlife enthusiasts. They can all be seen in the area and these include red squirrels, red deer, harbour seal, otter and golden eagles – all right here in Dumfries & Galloway. Many visitors have never seen any of them in the wild before they came to Ross Bay Retreat.
Stargazing – Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park
With so few people living in this 300 square mile area of forest and hills there is very low light pollution so the skies really are black at night. This gives great views and a dazzling number of stars and planets can be seen with the naked eye. The bright band of the Milky Way is usually easy to see spot arching across the dark night skies. Book a ‘Night Sky Experience’ at the Dark Sky Observatory
Seafishing, Beachcoming & Kayaking
You could do a spot of sea fishing here at Ross Bay, we are advised by the locals that the rocks off Miekle Ross is the place to go. Bring your own boat, canoes or kayaks and leave from the slipway across the bay and explore the little coves around the peninsula!
Cycling, Biking & E-Biking
Bring your bikes and enjoy our quiet country lanes. Ride to the local pubs, explore the nearby villages and wondferful countryside. There is bike hire including electric bikes at some of the local cycle trail centres at Balbeattie and Kirroughtree in the Galloway Forest Park. Both of these cycle areas have graded trails and maps to follow and suitable for all ages and abilities.
Other Great Outdoor Natural & Green Activities
All of the following can also be enjoyed locally include:
- Wild food foraging walks at Galloway Wild Foods
- Make orgainic ice-cream at Cream-o-Galloway Farm
- See the starling murmurations and more at RSPB Mersehead Nature Reserve
- Country and coastal walking
- Rock climbing at Meikle Ross
- Pony trekking at Brighouse Bay
Other Local Attractions
For more information on local attractions when staying at Ross Bay Retreat visit our web page Ross Bay Retreat Local Attractions.
Some of the best views can be enjoyed from within the cottages or outside whilst having a BBQ or just sitting out and relaxing with a glass of wine at sundown. On a clear day you can see the Isle of Man and the Cumbrian Fells of the Lake District, however they will be looking back envious of you experiencing the delights of South West Scotland.
Get Outdoors & Enjoy Going Green
These are just some of the outdoors delights that are available to guests when they stay at Ross Bay Retreat. Have a wonderful green tourism experience but don’t forget to tell your friends and family all your tales of the great outdoors here in South West Scotland.