10 great conservation-led places to stay around the UK

10 great conservation-led places to stay around the UK

To celebrate Earth Day, here’s our pick of eco-hotels, campsites and cottages that use tourism to fund conservation, promote biodiversity and protect endangered species Conservation comes first at the UK’s only family-owned and -managed national nature reserve. Elmley’s 1,335 hectares (3,300 acres) of freshwater grazing marsh, salt marsh, hay meadows and newly planted woodland on the Isle of Sheppey allow birdlife to thrive. Sightings of marsh harriers, short-eared owls and merlins are commonplace, but the success story is ground-nesting birds: 463 lapwings fledged at Elmley last year, which is 400…

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Pastures new: a family farmstay in Austrian Tirol

Pastures new: a family farmstay in Austrian Tirol

Our writer thinks her family are not really ‘animal people’ but a stay on an organic farm, with rabbits, ponies, llamas and hens, could just change her mind Hay fever. Animal allergies. Arachnophobia. Sensitive skin. I should have paid more attention to my personal hindrances before saying that I liked the sound of sleeping in the hay barn at Wolfseggstall, a small organic farm in Austria’s eastern Tirol. It looked so winsomely appealing on the tourist board website, with images of cherub-cheeked poppets in toddler-size lederhosen beaming from neat piles…

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Garden getaways

Garden getaways

These splendid hotels and cottages sit in some of the country’s finest gardens ands estates, offering relaxation and a riot of colour Bucolic bliss awaits at Barnsley House hotel in Cirencester. Redesigned by Rosemary Verey in the 1950s, its 11 acres combine formal gardens, clipped yews, rock roses and mixed borders with an ornamental fruit and vegetable garden that gives on to wild meadows. The laburnum walk is Barnsley’s showstopper, but look out, too, for the frog fountain and, at the other end of the long vista, the whimsical, classical…

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