Wallops Wood Cottages won the Best Rural Tourism Award for the UK !
We were so overwhelmed by this major win, in fairness we still are!
The prestigious Finals were held at Chateau Impney in Droitwich on the 28th February. The evening was a glittering do with an amazingly diverse group of rural people with such interesting businesses.
The rural awards aim to recognise and celebrate the successes of businesses operating in the UK’s rural economy. The rural sector contributes something like a 5th of the country’s economic activity, some £229bn goes into the coffers.
There were hundreds of entrants and a very competitive shortlist with regional finals taking place last year in 2019 which Emma and Fran attended.
There were so many amazing businesses showcased throughout the heats, it must have been such a hard process to judge them all!
Working in a rural area is not always easy
At the finals in February this year, we were invited along with all the regional finalists to Chateau Impney in Worcestershire. Katherine and Andrew attended the finals night and we can report it was a fantastic evening. They had the pleasure of meeting so many interesting businesses and lovely people who work so hard in our rural economy. It is not always easy to earn money, even with the help of online marketing and selling when you are in a rural area.
Most of the things that people take for granted in a city, were implemented by ourselves.
Broadband was installed throughout the estate. This was important for our light industrial units and offices which we rent out to rural businesses so that they are able to sell their services and products fast and reliably.
We use our own wood chips for heating, sourced from our own managed woodland. We have just installed new solar panels on the cottages (already installed at the offices). These will power our facilities such as the new swimming pool, game room and wellness room (coming on board this summer).
We sourced local produce from local businesses for our welcome basket even though it would have been easier and cheaper to get online deliveries. Our staff lives locally, meaning we are close to work and can be on hand for our guests. We also know our area really well, which allows us to share the information.
We have made many improvements since our 2016 Silver award from Visit Britain’s Green Tourism Business Scheme. It
provides recognition of our commitment to green issues and sustainability. Being rural doesn’t have to mean living in isolation and muddling by, we are committed to ensuring we make the most and the best of our beautiful region for all to enjoy.
It’s definitely not always plain sailing, it’s definitely very hard work but it is always fun and at least our brain cells get a working, if not our muscles!
The Rural Business Awards were founded by countryside-based business-women, Jemma Clifford and Anna Price, the Rural Business Awards are supported by Amazon, as headline sponsor, and judged by an independent panel, drawn from the rural business sector, rural public sector agencies, and rural charitable organisations.