Gold for Noss Head lighthouse cottage in Green Tourism Awards

John O’Groat Journal and Caithness Courier – Alan Hendry 

The operators of a lighthouse cottage in Caithness have struck gold in a national certification programme for sustainable tourism businesses.

The prestigious gold Green Tourism award was described as a great way to start 2023 for the team at the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage at Noss Head, north of Wick.

Ben Makin, who launched the cottage as a self-catering holiday home in 2018, said: “It has been quite the journey for us. We received the silver award in 2018 but had to opt for single-use items when we reopened after Covid.

“Now we know the virus is airborne, we have got back to our green roots without compromising safety.”

Ben says she credits her green ethos to her grandmother. “She taught me to ‘make do and mend’ long before ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ was a thing,” she said, explaining that guests appreciate the information in the cottage about spotting Caithness wildlife.

The Green Tourism Awards focus on sustainable and ethical practices, including energy and water use, waste disposal, responsible buying and promoting biodiversity.

Ben said she had found the process of applying for the award very useful.

“It reminded me of the little changes we could make to help guests be green when they visit the North Coast 500,” she said.