The Ironbridge Gorge Museum is committed to the promotion of Green Tourism. One of the strategic aims of the Trust in conjunction with its partners is to make the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site the greenest inhabited World Heritage site in the world. In 2010, the Museum secured a prestigious Silver Award in the national Green Tourism Business Scheme. The scheme provides accreditation and encouragement to business to adopt sustainable practices to ensure the continued enjoyment of the environment around us. The scheme also assessed the Trust's work in a variety of areas and praise came for the following initiatives:
- A community recycling scheme based at Coalbrookdale
- Award-winning environmental education work, especially at Enginuity, for example innovative recycling exhibits and extensive schools' programme
- Powerful examples of best practice at Blists Hill Victorian Town including the use of water butts, recycling of scrap iron and sustainability messages in the schools' programme, for example making rag-rugs.
- Being the Fairtrade Flagship for Shropshire. Ironbridge Gorge Museums are proud to be part of the Shropshire Fairtrade Coalition. For more details visit shropshire-fairtrade.org.uk.
- Using environmentally-friendly cleaning materials and using low-energy lighting across most sites
Our Environmental Policy highlights some of the main steps we have taken to reduce our impact on the environment, and our Visitor Environmental Charter sets out steps to encourage visitors to support us to become a more sustainable destination.
The Museum continues to work closely on a number of environmental programmes with local schools and community groups as well as charities and other businesses. Our partners in the Gorge who all hold the Green Tourism Business Scheme Gold award are:
The Best Western Valley Hotel, a holder of the coveted GOLD Award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme, to provide a sustainable destination to the leisure and group market.
The Severn Gorge Countryside Trust works to balance the conservation and enhancement of landscape, wildlife and public access, and also to reinforce the cultural importance of the special areas under its management. All landholdings are open to the public to explore and enjoy, and a network of waymarked paths and trails have been established through the woods and meadows of Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale, Jackfield, Coalport, Madeley, Barrow and Broseley.
The Greenwood Centre promotes the educational, social and commercial use of green and small diameter wood. It runs a highly successful range of traditional craft skills and woodland management courses and manufactures landscape furniture from green oak as well as offering a venue for training and meetings, the Greenwood Centre is a branch of the Small Woods Association.
For bicycle hire go to www.thebicyclehub.co.uk. Based in Telford Town Park, in Telford Centre just 4 miles from Ironbridge, the Bicycle Hub offers bicycles for hire, sales and full technical support for those bringing their own bicycles. All 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museums and the World Heritage Site are within easy reach by using dedicated cycle routes, bridleways and /or minor roads.
For more information about the Green Tourism Business Scheme visit www.green-business.co.uk