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Country hotel first Porlock Vale business to have ‘plastic free approved status’

Author: Chloe P Published: 22nd March 2021 11:22


THE AWARD-WINNING Dunkery Beacon Country House Hotel on Exmoor has been named this month (March 2021) as the first business in Porlock Vale to achieve ‘plastic free approved status’.

The award was presented to the hotel by the community-based Plastic Free Porlock Vale group, which is focused on reducing single use plastic and plastic waste, supported by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). 

John Bradley, Chef and co-owner of the country house hotel in Wootton Courtenay near Dunster, explained: “We’re delighted to announce that we’ve become the first business in Porlock Vale to be awarded plastic free approved status.

We’re very proud to have achieved this accolade, as it’s not about us, but is for looking after our environment and the beautiful countryside we live in.

Our staff are trained and our guests are guided through our recycling practices. Products are separated on a day-to-day basis from our general waste. Our visitors are also provided with fresh milk in thermos flasks in their rooms, as well as chilled spring water in re-usable glass bottles. This avoids single use plastic milk jiggers and water bottles.

“We supply any walkers who stay with us with sports bottles instead of them buying pre-bottled water. We avoid using disposable toiletries/bathroom items and in all areas have reduced supplier packaging. We have also never used wasteful guest bedroom consumables like coffee sachets and pre-wrapped biscuits, opting instead for cannisters of loose products or compostable pods and homemade biscuits.

“In our restaurant and bar, sauce sachets and plastic straws/stirrers are never used. When shopping, we carry our bags for life, and we buy loose fresh produce wherever possible. For our Gourmet to Go food and drink service, we also use biodegradable takeaway packaging.”

Plastic Free status is awarded by SAS. The marine conservation charity works with communities and groups like Plastic Free Porlock Vale to help keep plastic out of water courses and the countryside to protect beaches and marine life.

Ruth Walker, the Wootton Courtenay member of the Plastic Free Porlock Vale Team, explains: “We were so impressed with John and Jane’s extensive list of actions to reduce single use plastic, which thoroughly deserved recognition, and we are delighted that the hotel is our first Plastic Free Porlock Vale Business Champion.

“The purpose of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle in Porlock Vale’ is to help build a resilient community, by bringing people together to work towards the shared goal of reducing waste and protecting our beautiful local environment.

“Our aim is to encourage residents and visitors to reduce single use plastic, reuse and recycle a range of materials, repair domestic items and provide water refill facilities for walkers across the Vale.”

The Plastic Free Porlock Vale initiative is being supported by Wootton Courtenay parish council, which is helping push environmental issues within the parish.

If you’re interested in getting involved with Plastic Free Porlock Vale, as an individual, a business or a community group, please email plasticfreeporlockvale@gmail.com.

John continued: “We pride ourselves on offering luxury accommodation for those wishing to escape the humdrum of day-to-day life and to unwind in a truly tranquil location with

“Exmoor has the least footfall of all the national parks in England and is blessed with diverse, wide open spaces and coastline, where numerous paths, bridle ways and public rights of way abound. A true hidden gem that many people are yet to discover.

“We are fortunate in being located in a quiet, rural position on the edge of a tiny village within Exmoor National Park and we want to look after our local environment.”

The hotel aims to re-open for guests again on May 17, 2021 and is currently running a weekly hot takeaway food collection service including its Dunkery Dory Chip Shop menu for people living in the area.

To find out more about Dunkery Beacon Country House, please call 01643 841 241 or visit www.dunkerybeaconaccommodation.co.uk.

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