Cumbria MP Rory Stewart helped wave the flag for sustainable tourism this June when he cut the ribbon on a new “zero waste” food shop at a Lake District holiday park.
The Quiet Site, near the shores of Ullswater, is offering its guests the chance to buy produce free from unnecessary packaging, and with the fewest possible food miles under its belt.
Mr Stewart, who is the MP for Penrith and the Border, described park owner Daniel Holder and his family as “true leaders” in promoting quality tourism and Cumbria’s food producers.
He said that Cumbrian produce was worthy of being served up “on every plate in the world”, and that farming and tourism should be celebrated as two of the county’s biggest success stories.
Mr Stewart made his visit in the same week that The Quiet Site was named as the overall winner in the “responsible, ethical and sustainable business” category of the Cumbria Tourism Awards.
It’s the latest in a long list of accolades received by the park for its many initiatives to help protect the natural world, and for its reputation as a top-quality destination for Lake District visitors.
The Quiet Site provides a range of glamping options, including underground Hobbit Holes, camping pods, glamping cabins and holiday cottages plus pitches for tents, caravans and motorhomes.
But when Daniel and his wife Anne first acquired the park 30 years ago, it was just a simple camping field – though boasting some of Cumbria’s finest lake and mountain views.
Over the years, the couple have invested much time and energy into The Quiet Site, adding new accommodation and features such as a cosy bar converted from a barn built in 1648.
Their reward has been to see a large following of fans from both the UK and overseas, and plaudits from newspapers such as The Times which described it as “one of the coolest sites in Britain”.
Daniel and Anne are today helped in the running of the park by the eldest of their three children, George, and Daniel says that sustainability remains a major priority:
“Living and working in this glorious part of Cumbria, it’s impossible not to feel some sort of responsibility for trying to preserve its beautiful but fragile landscape,” he said.
“Tourism is vital to our regional economy and supports thousands of jobs, and it is perfectly sustainable if we all play a part in minimising our impact on the environment.
“Our new zero waste shop has a total ban on single-use plastics, and much of our produce, such as fruit and vegetables, require customers to bring their own containers.
“We also try and source much of what we stock here from local suppliers and producers in the Penrith area, keeping the food miles of these items down to an absolute minimum.
“We were absolutely delighted that Rory Stewart was able to take time out open our new outlet, and he clearly understands the importance of both visitors and farming to this region,” added Daniel.
The Quiet Site’s zero waste shop is open seven days a week, and the park is located near Watermillock on Ullswater (www.thequietsite.co.uk).