Places to stay, things to do, good food and drink
The UK winner of the RELACS (REnewabLe energy for tourist ACcommodation buildingS) has been revealed as no. 2 Danby Cottages, near the village of Yorkley in the Forest of Dean.
2 Danby Cottages is a 3 bedroom holiday cottage nestled in the Forest of Dean which, despite its typical appearance, boasts a number of energy saving and environmentally friendly features. The owners of 2 Danby Cottages undertook a major renovation project of this 1904 Foresters Cottage in 2007, seeing old solid walls stripped back before insulation and new plaster was applied. At the time of the renovation, a timber framed extension was added, which incorporated more sustainable recycled paper-based insulation. As well as the traditional central heating system, the cottage has a closed, log-burning stove, with a wood store in the cottage’s garden, and hot water is supplied by solar water heating panels on the cottage’s roof. 2 Danby Cottages also has very low energy LED lighting, AAA rated appliances, a guide for visitors on what they can do to be more environmentally friendly, and a real-time energy display to show how much electricity is being used.
A close runner-up was Upper Middle Road Farm B&B in the Brecon Beacons, which has wood-fuelled heating, solar water heating and photovoltaic (PV) panels to provide electricity, in addition to a range of other energy efficiency improvements including extensive insulation. Many other excellent tourist accommodation buildings across the Brecon Beacons, Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and Wye Valley entered the RELACS competition, and their details can be seen on the RELACS website at www.relacs.eu.
The RELACS project has the key aims of encouraging tourist accommodation buildings to reduce energy use and to integrate renewable energy technologies. Support has been offered to any tourist accommodation business in the Brecon Beacons, Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and Wye Valley over the last 3 years, and RELACS will draw to a close with the final competition. Winners from each of the 10 countries participating in the competition will be put forward for the EU prize, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be invited to Berlin for a presentation ceremony within the ITB fair in March 2013.