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Sustainable Tourism

Caring for the places we love

Making the Right Choices

In choosing Wilderness England you can be sure that you are travelling with a company that takes its commitment to sustainable tourism seriously. Our commitment started two decades ago when we launched our first venture in Scotland. Since then we have been dedicated to operating in as sustainable a way as possible with all of our operations throughout the UK and Ireland. In addition to our Conservation Contribution Scheme, we provide financial and volunteering support to a range of great projects the UK and Ireland.

Our vision for the 21st Century is one in which tourism can play a major role in helping people to enjoy, experience and connect with the amazing natural environments in which we live.

Our commitment has been recognised in many awards over the years including twice winning the Best Green Tour Operator in the World Travel Awards. Since 2006 we have held a Gold Award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme – recognised as the world’s most credible Sustainable Tourism Programme.

Find out more about Wilderness England’s commitment to sustainable tourism below.

Explaining Our Approach to Sustainability

Wilderness Climate Emergency Declaration

Our business was created to share our passion for the inspiration, spirit and value of the natural environment. What we didn’t know when we started out running tours many years ago was how significant the threat of a changing climate would become. While we have always sought to run an environmentally sustainable business (and have been independently recognised several times for doing so), we feel the time has now come to ramp up the action, work harder and act more creatively to respond to the climate emergency with renewed focus and energy.

The Tourism Industry

Alongside other industries, tourism plays a contributing role to the climate crisis and we acknowledge this requires an urgent need for change across the industry. The paradox is that travel and tourism can be an amazingly positive force for good. Well managed, sustainable tourism supports local economic development, sustains local communities and traditions and shines a light on nature and wildlife conservation.

Built upon this philosophy, our mission is to maximise these positive benefits of tourism while seeking to minimise the negative impacts. As part of our Climate Emergency Declaration, we aim to evolve our low carbon approach to business further and become climate positive by the end of 2022. What does being “climate positive” actually mean and is it even possible?

Becoming Climate Positive

Our work over the past two decades has taken us a long way to this “climate positive” goal already but there remains a lot of work to be done. The recent design and development of our own carbon-neutral Wilderness HQ, powered by renewable energy on a brownfield site in the Cairngorms National Park is a sign of our commitment. Over the next 12 months, we’ll continue to push harder and respond faster to make further reductions to both our direct and indirect carbon emissions based upon the most extensive measurement and benchmarking exercise we have ever done.

Further reduction is our first and overriding priority and we will continue to seek out innovative methods and approaches to achieve this across all aspects of our business. However, where reductions simply cannot be made, we will be working with Climate Neutral Now – the United Nations Carbon Offset platform to purchase carbon credits in projects which reduce, avoid or remove certified emissions from the atmosphere. Our aim by the end of 2022, is to purchase credits which not only offset our unavoidable emissions but additionally invest in projects which deliver a positive carbon impact.

This is an ambitious goal which will challenge our commitment, creativity and collective resources. In making the commitment to be climate positive, we are not totally sure it’s achievable but we are 100% focused on trying. Even if we are successful, we recognise that the overall contribution in global terms will be absolutely minute. However, as a business that feels passionately about our planet, we don’t doubt for a minute that it’s absolutely the right thing to do. We commit to updating on our progress regularly and reporting on our website on an annual basis.

Find out More at Tourism Declares

Making a Difference

Our Environment

The Environment

Through the provision of engaging experiences from wilderness to wildlife, we are firmly of the view that positive tourism experiences have the capacity to foster a strong connection with the natural world and promote more sustainable living in these challenging times we currently face.

We never forget that first and foremost our adventures are about great holiday experiences so, don’t worry, we won’t be holding evening lectures and workshops on embedded carbon and alternative energy! However, you can expect our experienced and knowledgeable guides to develop your understanding of the amazing environment in which we live.

Our business activities and trip operations are purposefully designed to minimise environmental impact and operate on a low carbon basis. For example, all of our group holidays start at mainline train stations and we keep the use of motorised vehicles to a minimum. We are all about experiencing the wilderness using human power, be that on foot or by bike, kayak canoe or SUP.


Local Communities

Local Communities & Economies

A Wilderness England experience is defined not only by its environmental qualities, as integral to the experience is an involvement and interaction with local communities.

We consistently receive feedback from clients that the encounters and relationships with the local population are one of the most enjoyable and memorable elements of a trip to the wild places of England. We strongly support this view and recognise the wonderful contribution and added value that communities, culture and customs make to the tourism experience.

We are absolutely committed to engaging local businesses throughout our entire operation and ensuring that the economic benefits are distributed in this equitable way. As well as providing a great service to our clients, by working with local partners it also means that our groups always receive a warm welcome from the locals wherever we go.


In the Office

As part of our business wide commitment, we’re working hard to do all the good stuff that any responsible company should do. This approach is based upon the familiar mantra of reduction, re-use and recycle.

The good people at the Green Tourism Business Scheme have helped us along the way setting the standards which form part of our Gold Award accreditation. You can read more about the scheme and what it involves here

Award-Winning Journeys

Green Tourism
Gold Approved
Experiential Travel
Leading Green
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