Exotic Logan Botanic Garden, near Port Logan on the Rhinns of Galloway, has scored a double success, with the news that it has earned a Gold Award for its Green Tourism credentials – just months after securing coveted five-star status from VisitScotland.
Green Tourism recognition requires an independent assessment on how an organisation operates sustainably to meet the needs of the environment, local residents, businesses and visitors - both now and in the future. Its standards are respected for their stringency and Logan’s attainment of a Gold award is all the more remarkable for having been achieved on first time submission.
Paying tribute to team at the Garden, Green Tourism Assessor Gill Thomson commented: “Logan has done very well to enter the Green Tourism Programme at the Gold level. There is a wide range of reasons why the site was awarded Gold, from the solar PV and air source running the new greenhouse to the levels of information and interpretation on-site for visitors.
“The range of eco-friendly and recycled goods sold in the gift shop is also vast and very in keeping with the sustainable theme that the staff operate on a daily basis. The cafe on site uses a range of local products from milk to vegetables that come from a garden just along the road. Overall, this is a fantastic first assessment with Green Tourism”.
Welcoming the news, Logan Supervisor Colin Belton said: “The 20-year gap from the initial concept of erecting a display conservatory - in what was our former storage yard – to completion of a remarkable structure has well been worth the wait. To have such a modern glasshouse, designed and built by Alitex, with all the charm of the Victorian era has transformed this part of the Garden into a main feature of Logan. With all the heating being supplied by sustainable energy, air source heat pumps and electrical supply offset by solar panels, this is – to the best of our knowledge - the first totally green display glasshouse in the UK.
“To be awarded the Green Business Tourism Award with Gold puts the cherry on the cake for this project. It is the ultimate accolade for the glasshouse and also acknowledges all the hard work of everyone in the Garden, shop the Potting Shed Bistro to Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.
“Being part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - with a Mission Statement dedicated to exploring and explaining the world of plants for a better future - it is important to integrate the organisation’s work with the wider ecological benefits of creating a far greater sustainable environment, as a whole, and to show all our visitors what everyone could achieve with a bit of work”.
Congratulations have been received from Paula McDonald, Regional Director for VisitScotland, who noted: “This is yet another great accolade for staff at Logan Botanic Garden who have worked so hard to improve their overall visitor experience. The Green Tourism Gold Award recognises businesses committed to sustainable practice that will help grow tourism in Dumfries & Galloway, and the team at Logan is deserving of this, the highest award within the Green Tourism category.
“This year, the world’s attention is focused on Scotland with the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and a packed programme of nearly 1000 Homecoming Scotland events taking place throughout the country, so this latest achievement, along with the Garden’s five-star award, can only help encourage more visitors to come to this very special part of Scotland”.
Garden Curator Richard Baines summed up: “The importance of this award to Logan cannot be understated. To be recognised by an independent national organisation validating our green credentials as a tourist attraction strengthens wider understanding of our ethos. Caring for the environment is at the very core of what we do as an organisation and it is vital we communicate this as widely as possible. I believe membership of the scheme cannot have anything but a very positive influence on the way Garden is understood by others”.