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Ness wins Green Tourism Award

Ness Botanic Gardens has won the Sustainable Tourism category at the Wirral Tourism Awards 2017.

The Wirral attracts more than 8 million visitors each year, contributing £385 million to the local economy and supports 5,055 jobs.  Now in their 17th year, the Wirral Tourism Awards recognises the outstanding contributions made by individuals, groups, and businesses across the peninsula.

The Sustainable Tourism Award was particularly closely fought, with other finalists including Claremont Farm, Mere Brook House and Caffe Cream.

Highlights of the Ness's sustainability strategy include:

  • Creation of a Permaculture garden at Ness. Permaculture principles emphasize working in harmony with nature and minimising environmental impact. The garden demonstrates how growing a range of flowers and vegetables together encourages wildlife and allows natural control of pests and diseases. Other features include an herb spiral and hugel beds which are attractive, space saving and require no watering or feeding while growing plentiful vegetables and herbs.
  • Significant parts of Ness including the wildflower meadows are managed specifically for wildlife and the Garden are home to over 900 species of insects, birds, mammals and other wildlife including owls, foxes, bats, harvest mice and voles.
  • The installation of a new Rocket Composter that will allow Ness to recycle all food waste. This is in addition to the Eco Green Bio Shredder which allows the production of compost in as little as eight weeks. All garden waste from the 64-acre site and a significant amount of paper and cardboard are recycled.  The compost from both are used as a mulch in the garden and for growing and potting on plants.
  • An area containing 150 solar panels which provide 25% of the energy required for the Visitor Centre and adds power back into the National Grid. This is addition to wider University of Liverpool schemes using as PC Power Saving feature developed by Computing Services department which reduce overall power consumption.
  • A borehole with water extraction managed by the Environment Agency which alleviates some need for mains water.
  • Many the plants in the garden - for example the Mediterranean Bank, have been grown by taking cuttings from existing plants, thereby significantly reducing the number of plants bought in from external sources.
  • Participation in a seed exchange scheme with other botanical gardens across the world supporting plant conversation, education, and research efforts.
  • The Gardens also, provide a resource for students and research programmes across the University of Liverpool. Ness is regularly used for teaching of undergraduates, PHD projects and longer term research like the ongoing Grasslands & Climate change study. This part of the development of the University's research profile to studies that have significant impact on global policy, the environment, and the lives of people across the world.

 

Click here to find out more about the other winners of the 2017 Awards (opens external link)

23 April 2017